Free Webinar: CLDE18 Call for Proposals & Emergent Theory of Change
In this session, participants will engage in conversation about the emerging theory of change [PDF] for the annual CLDE conference and CLDE work. How are these components – civic ethos, civic literacy and skill building, civic inquiry, civic action, and civic agency – actualized on our campuses and outside of the campus community. This session is intended to further explain the emerging theory of change, how one might incorporate the theory into your work and how the CLDE18 planning committee envisions what a thriving democracy is.
What is the Role of Higher Ed in Fostering a Strong, Positive Public Discourse?
When Jürgen Habermas discussed the notion of the public sphere, he identified three hallmarks central to an open, honest discourse: (a) a disregard of status, (b) a space for common concerns, and (c) inclusivity. The sociological argument he proposed is that: if a group of private citizens wish to come together as a community – a public sphere – this group must disregard backgrounds of participants (valuing all ideas and opinions, yet not necessarily agreeing with them), question and challenge traditions in ways that promote social progress, and above all, remove the temptation to form cliques (Habermas, 1991).
Educating Engaged Citizens Across Campus Boundaries
For the coming year, ECU is offering its own version of a citizen academy -- also known as Citizen U. We will partner with Political Science, History, Business and Communication, as well as city government to facilitate this new program. The goal of this academy -- one that has curricular and co-curricular elements -- will be to educate students on the basic tenets of a functioning democracy and improve the overall civic health of our community. The academy will attempt to impact the growing problem of alienation and nonparticipation within our democracy. “According to the 2010 Civic Health Index, North Carolina ranks 42nd in the nation for volunteering, 44th for participation in non-electoral policy activity (such as public meetings), and 39th for group affiliation/membership. Too few of our citizens are willing to contribute their civic ideas, and those that do worry that their thoughts are not being heard or supported by people with the capacity to implement them” (NC State Institute for Emerging Issues). This academy will address the persistent problem of civic apathy and non-participation.
Civility Strikes! Intentionally Implementing a Common Theme throughout Campus and Community
How do you move the needle on your campus and local community through current topics? This question was posed to us – and our answer was to create a program called the Engaged Learning Series (ELS). The ELS is an organized university-wide series of programs and events designed to engage students, faculty, staff, and community members in discussion, debate, dialogue, learning, and action around an issue of public concern. Housed in the Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), the series was created in 2012 after observing a need to raise awareness, impact personal behavior, and increase public engagement around specific issues that affect everyone.
Creating Space for Democracy
This academic year, much like the beginning of our last academic year opened with our nation facing difficult challenges. We prepared to welcome students back to campus in the wake of Charlottesville and the Presidential administration’s announcement of the Military Transgender Ban. We knew that many of our students were impacted, we knew that our community was impacted. We wanted our students to arrive on campus knowing that we were prepared to enter into deep and challenging dialogue with them; dialogue that is driven by historical context, knowledge, and authentic care.
Hope and Strategy for a Thriving Democracy
Most of us have chosen our careers and commitments in part because of our profound optimism about the American experiment in self-governance. Our work with students in communities on campus and beyond reflects our belief that We, the People, appropriately oriented to our collective power, can work together across differences in background, experience, and perspective to promote the general welfare wisely and justly.