Strengthening Democratic Engagement to Address Local Civil Unrest
In Chicago, on March 3, 4, and 5, 2019, the Divided Community Project (DCP) at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution (Collectively the Hosts) host a national Academy, We, the People: Strengthening Democratic Engagement to Address Civil Unrest for Community Leaders. The program’s goals are three-fold:
- Strengthen conflict resolution-related planning, capacity building, and the specific skill-sets of each participant and participating communities to better identify and implement constructive strategies to prepare for, address, and/or respond to local policies, practices, and/or actions of residents or local officials, that undermine community trust and may divide and polarize communities.
- Support and strengthen the development of a local ‘core’ leadership convener group that can serve as a reliable source of independent information, and cross-sector collaborative planning and engagement, for its community’s public sector leadership.
- Provide planning opportunities for each leadership team to build on Academy programming through further initiatives within each respective, participating community.
DCP Steering Committee members will facilitate the Academy with support from the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution. Collectively, Academy leaders bring significant experience in serving as mediators, interveners, and process designers, in conflicts of national significance and are recognized not only as nationally pre-eminent trainers of mediators and facilitators but also as authors of leading books, articles, and pedagogical materials examining effective third-party intervention principles and strategies in divisive community conflicts.
The Academy program will include conversation with civic leaders versed in the challenges of addressing community division and facing potential or imminent civil unrest. Using the Divided Community Project’s tools as a guide—including strategies used in other DCP communities—participants will develop constructive and collaborative strategies to prepare for, address, or respond to resident or official actions that polarize community members. Core leaders from each community attending the Academy will develop strategies so that the group can serve as a reliable source of independent planning and engagement to its community’s public political leadership.
August 14, 2018 at 12:30 Eastern: Participate on a forty-five minute informational webinar. The webinar will be available as a recording if prospective applicants cannot attend. Sign up for the webinar using this link.
DEADLINE: September 7, 2018: Submit this preliminary application.
September 15 to November 1, 2018: Work with the Hosts to further illustrate commitment to the project.
November 15, 2018: Academy participants announced.
* depending on the number of applications received, the Hosts may extend one or more of the above-referenced dates or deadlines.
The Hosts intend to communities based on three criteria: diversity, commitment, and need.
Diversity is fundamental to the program. The hosts anticipate selecting participant communities that collectively reflect diversity of geography, size, and community demographics. The hosts urge core leadership groups to consider how they reflect the diversity of their own community.
Applicants should identify the four to seven core leaders who are committed to attending the national academy on March 3, 4, and 5.
Applicants should tentatively articulate how the core leadership group will begin convening broad-based community planning efforts to identify and address issues that polarize the community and whether and how the core leadership group has (or will) meet prior to the Academy.
Applicants should commit to working with the Divided Community Project—following the Academy—to implement initiatives aimed at addressing community polarization.
Applicants should articulate their perception of issues polarizing their home community as well as their perception of the next issue that may be facing their home community.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the cost?
Due to generous support from the AAA-ICDR Foundation, the Academy is free for core community leaders. The Hosts will provide coach airfare, lodging, and meals for Academy participants.