#CLDE18 OPENING PLENARY | CivEd Talks and Our CLDE Theory of Change

March 20, 2018

The 2018 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE18) meeting organized by the American Democracy Project (ADP), The Democracy Commitment (TDC), and NASPA LEAD Initiative, is continuing the conversation about our collective emergent Theory of Change adapted from elements of the 2012 A Crucible Moment report. We encourage participants to reflect on how together we can build campus cultures and contexts contribute to a more vibrant democracy, advance civic outcomes and pedagogies, and strategically institutionalize our work.

This year’s conference will feature three CivEd talks by practitioner scholars who will actively engage participants in stretching our thinking and motivating us to action concerning three wicked problems faced by our campuses and communities: hunger and homelessness, DACA and immigration, and climate change. CivEd Talks are dynamic, short, and quick-paced presentations by members of the civic learning and democratic engagement community intended to inspire and challenge our collective imagination and thinking. Each of the three CivEd Talks presented will actively engage participants in stretching our thinking and motivating us to action as we return to our campuses and communities following the meeting. 

Join us for an opening plenary session that asks you to envisioning the work of our CLDE movement in higher education and consider how you can help us move the needle on democratic engagement on campus, in your communities, and in our civil society. 

The opening plenary session will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday, June 7, 2018. 

Opening remarks by: Mildred García, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities

CivEd Talks:

Hunger, Homelessness, and Action to Include Today's Students

There are invisible populations on our campuses - students who are not sure where they will sleep tonight, or when they will get their next meal. Knowing that obtaining a college degree is a key to a more stable and successful life, students are having to choose between groceries and graduation, textbooks or rent. This talk describes the challenges facing today's student as they seek to survive and to thrive in the new economics of higher education, offering ideas and potential solutions from the growing intersection of higher education and human services. 

Speaker: Clare Cady, Director of Community Engagement, Temple University (Pa.) & Founder and Director, College and University Food Bank Alliance 

Climate Change Action Through Student Resiliency Ambassadors

Higher education institutions across the country are committed to climate action and leadership through the Second Nature framework. The Second Nature Climate Resilience in Urban Campuses + Communities (CRUX) grant, from the Kresge Foundation, is a pilot program designed to encourage resiliency across the country. South Mountain Community College has partnered with the City of Phoenix to develop a climate resiliency model for heat related incidences. This talk describes how we developed an individual resiliency survey and empowered student to take action by creating resiliency ambassadors. 

Speaker: Sian Proctor, Geology Professor, South Mountain Community College (Ariz.) 

Dream Deferred: Broken Promises for Undocumented Students

An estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school every year. Undocumented students face many tests, including potential deportation and emotional challenges that affect their daily lives, including loneliness and depression. Their undocumented status leaves many of these students feeling hopeless and seeking answers. This talk will address how to best support our students as they navigate the already challenging journey of achieving their dreams of obtaining a degree while trying to remain hopeful in the midst of an uncertain future. 

Speaker:  Joel Pérez, Vice President and Dean of Students/Title IX Coordinator, Whittier College (Calif.) 

There will be plenty of additional engagement opportunities about these wicked problems during the Featured Sessions on Friday, June 8 from 1:15 - 2:45 p.m.: 

  • Climate Change - Environmental Stewardship: The civic imperative for learning about and engaging within our local habitats 
  • DACA and Immigration – Creating a Welcoming and Inclusive Campus Environment
  • Hunger and Homelessness - Democratic Action to Address Food and Housing Insecurity on Campus
  • Media Literacy - What to do next? Understanding and responding to student's media literacy skills

To learn more about the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting and to register by the May 1, 2018 early-bird deadline, visit the conference website

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