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Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy

Kansas Civic Life Project

Kansas Civic Life Project

The Kansas Civic Life Project (KCLP) is an engaged research project funded by the Sunflower Foundation. This engaged research will enable Kansans to find individuals and groups in their communities, regions, or across the state who have the ability to facilitate difficult public discussions around a host of challenging issues using civic discourse.

The KCLP attempts to 1) understand and assess the ways in which various individuals, organizations, and communities across the state are using public engagement approaches that are rooted in different dialogue and deliberation models and 2) build civic infrastructure in Kansas to better understand and use civic discourse.

Phase 1: Mapping Public Discourse Across Kansas

To accomplish the first goal, the KCLP utilizes a nationally recognized set of processes and models from the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation to identify the various streams of engagement being utilized in Kansas. These different processes used to facilitate public discussions represent a wide range of approaches and end goals. The KCLP is attempting to understand the specific processes and models—or other ways of having public discussions—used in Kansas by professionals and ordinary citizens alike.

In order to encourage and further develop civic discourse in Kansas, it is important to first understand what is currently taking place and to capitalize on the existing efforts to date. To do so, KCLP utilizes Kumu, a recognized data visualization program that will enable us to map and categorize the people and organizations using a diverse range of processes, models, and approaches to having public discussions.

Watch a brief introduction about the map of the Kansas Civic Life Project.

As we seek to expand the mapping of Kansans using dialogue and deliberation, we invite you to please complete the questionnaire at this link. This survey will enable ICDD researchers to understand who is doing what, how they are doing this work, and where they are doing it. This map will become freely available to enable you to find others across Kansas doing civic discourse work. More information about the project, in addition to the map that will be publicly available, can be found by visiting https://www.k-state.edu/icdd/research/map.html.

Fill out the brief survey at this link. 

Phase 2: Education and Training in Civic Discourse

ICDD has launched facilitation workshops that can occur virtually or in person. If you are interested in being part of this element of the KCLP, please contact ICDD. They are free to your organization or community, but it important to discuss the ways in which this facilitation training can be useful to your work and your efforts to cultivate civil discourse. 

Facilitation Workshop


Feedback, Comments, or Interest

If you have any feedback, comments, or interest in being involved with the KCLP, please contact ICDD Director and Principal Investigator of the KCLP, Dr. Timothy Shaffer at tjshaffer@ksu.edu or 785-532-6849.

Kansas Civic Life Project Questionnaire Letter (PDF)