Our 2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE19) is a conference intended to facilitate exchanges of knowledge and develop a sense of community around our shared civic learning and democratic engagement work. This meeting is designed around our CLDE Theory of Change which poses four important questions:
Purpose: What are the key features of the thriving democracy we aspire to enact and support through our work?
Learning Outcomes: What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do people need in order to help create and contribute to a thriving democracy?
Pedagogy: How can we best foster the acquisition and development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a thriving democracy?
Strategy: How can we build the institutional culture, infrastructure, and relationships needed to support learning that enables a thriving democracy?
The theory of change also suggests that campuses consider how best to construct campus cultures and contexts that foster:
Civic Ethos of Campus
The infusion of democratic values into the customs and habits of everyday practices, structures, and interactions; the defining character of the institution and those in it that emphasizes open-mindedness, civility, the worth of each person, ethical behaviors, and concern for the well-being of others; a spirit of public-mindedness that influences the goals of the institution and its engagement with local and global communities.
Civic Literacy & Skill Building
Civic Literacy & Skill Building as a goal for every student: The cultivation of foundational knowledge about fundamental principles and debates about democracy expressed over time, both within the United States and in other countries; familiarity with several key historical struggles, campaigns, and social movements undertaken to achieve the full promise of democracy; the ability to think critically about complex issues and to seek and evaluate information about issues that have public consequences.
Civic Inquiry integrated within the majors and general education: The practice of inquiring about the civic dimensions and public consequences of a subject of study; the exploration of the impact of choices on different constituencies and entities, including the planet; the deliberate consideration of differing points of views; the ability to describe and analyze civic intellectual debates within one’s major or areas of study.
Civic Action as lifelong practice: The capacity and commitment both to participate constructively with diverse others and to work collectively to address common problems; the practice of working in a pluralistic society and world to improve the quality of people’s lives and the sustainability of the planet; the ability to analyze systems in order to plan and engage in public action; the moral and political courage to take risks to achieve a greater public good.
Civic Agency involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography, race, and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems and create common ground; requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions; also involves questions of institutional design, particularly how to constitute groups and institutions for sustainable collective action.
Participants will have opportunities to network and develop their civic-minded thinking and practices through engaging plenary sessions, informative general interest sessions, interactive workshops, research and program-based poster sessions, roundtable discussions as well as in working groups and in informal expert led forums.
The meeting begins for all attendees in the early morning of Thursday, June 6 and ends on Saturday, June 8 at approximately 1p.m. Pre-conference workshops and meetings are planned for Wednesday, June 5 beginning at 9 a.m. Please plan on arriving in Fort Lauderdale no later than Wednesday, June 5 (Tuesday, June 4th for pre-conference participants). You can plan to depart Fort Lauderdale on Saturday in the late afternoon; know that the conference hotel rate will be available June 4 and extended through Sunday, June 9, for those who would like to stay longer to explore the beaches and surrounding Fort Lauderdale area.
OPENING PLENARY | CivEd Talks and Our CLDE Theory of 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. Stories shared in this format reflect the individual's genuine experience with and relevant knowledge of their topic. Each of the three CivEd Talks presented will actively engage participants in stretching our thinking and motivating us to engage in innovate practices with our campuses and communities: media education, urban planning, and community engagement. Join us for an opening plenary session that asks you to envision the work of our CLDE movement in higher education and consider how you can engage in your local community. Together we'll explore our CLDE Theory of Change which asks that we consider 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.
#CivEdTalk Speakers & Topics:
Making Waves Along the Mississippi - An East St. Louis Story
Kenneth M. Reardon, Professor and Director of the MS in Urban Planning and Community Development Program in the School for the Environment, The University of Massachusetts Boston
As a new Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990, Ken was asked to assist a small group of African American church woman struggling to stabilize their once-vibrant working class neighborhood. Ken will describe how this modest service-learning project evolved into a long-term project that generated more than $50 million in new development while transforming the lives of participating residents, students, and faculty
Revolutionizing Honors, Cultivating Talent, Engaging Communities: Beware the Shrinking Imagination
Timothy K. Eatman, Dean, Honors Living Learning Community and Faculty Co-Director Emeritus, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Lifee
Honors programs represent a celebrated space in higher education, and for good reason. Interrogating the question of what honors is and how it can be used in a liberal arts context to prepare and strengthen the emerging citizenry is a useful and much needed area of inquiry and action. Yet structures, processes and systems deeply embedded both in the Ivory tower and larger society serve to mitigate progress. Academe needs to activate prophetic imagination on multiple levels to advance the second order change needed for substantive amelioration. This is especially true in the realm of honors which is so intensely challenged by operationalizing the oppressive myth of meritocracy. The Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC) at Rutgers University - Newark provides one example of an Urban Research Institution talking the courage to imagine and execute toward transformation.
The Flip Side: Bursting Media Bubbles
Annafi Wahed, Founder and Co-editor of The Flip Side,
The Flip Side is a daily email newsletter that launched in January 2017. Its founder, Annafi Wahed, will tell us about this new venture designed to burst ideological media bubbles. Each morning, her team selects one or two newsworthy events, and presents a side-by-side summary of the political analysis from both the conservative and liberal media. The Flip Side’s mission is to help readers break out of their media bubbles and discover views and arguments they might not otherwise be exposed to. Annafi will discuss the motivation behind The Flip Side, explain media bias, and talk about how her team interacts to create this newsletter each day.
Be sure to watch the #CivEdTalks from the 2018 CLDE meeting in preparation for CLDE19 in Fort Lauderdale:
In order to encourage student participation in the annual CLDE Meeting, AASCU's American Democracy Project and the NASPA LEAD Initiative are proud to offer the opportunity for three students to have a voice on the planning committee. The three Student Interns for the 2019 CLDE Planning team are:
Matea Pejic at Washtenaw Community College
Steven Lock at Alfred State College
Samantha Uptmor at University of Michigan
Join us in Fort Lauderdale as we work to advance the civic learning and democratic engagement movement across higher education. We look forward to seeing you there!