We are kicking off the opening plenary on Thursday, June 2, 2016 in a new way for the2016 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting organized by the American Democracy Project (ADP), the Democracy Project (TDC), and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. We will begin our meeting for the first time using a format that we are calling, “CivEd Talks.” These 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 should reflect the individual’s genuine experience with and relevant knowledge of their selected topic. Each of the CivEd Talks presented here 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.

Meet our CivEd Talks Speakers:

Justice WorkJustice Works: Why Student Engagement on Social Justice Issues is Good for Democracy
Can student engagement on issues of social justice and inclusion help to restore higher education’s sense of civic purpose and produce the kind of active citizenry we need to support an effective democratic society? While passion about injustice is a good start, students need the skills, knowledge and capacity to translate their hunger for justice into positive social change. This talk will consider the role of higher education, philanthropy, and government in fostering positive student engagement on criminal justice reform, college access and equity as well as other issues.
Speaker:  Austin Belali, Director, Youth Engagement Fund

KeiConnecting the Dots – Why We Need to Care about Civic Learning on and Off of College Campuses
What would it be like if college-based civic and political learning takes into account what students are learning before they enter college?  What would it be like to build a cohesive learning theory of civic learning and engagement within local and regional communities? This talk will ask us to think beyond our campus boundaries by pointing to the value of building a cohesive set of learning activities, objectives, along the developmental continuum. Together we can engage the entire community surrounding each campus in building a generation of youth and students who start learning how to become engaged citizen have important long-term consequences.
Speaker:  Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University

DavidA Brief History of U.S. Democracy, 2016-2046
What can we achieve together in the next 30 years if people in higher education concerned about civic learning and democratic engagement pull together to move an ambitious collective agenda forward? Building on experiences fostering democratic culture at his own institution, David Hoffman will take a “retrospective” look at a future history we can create together.
Speaker: David Hoffman, Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)  

This conference promises to catalyze a more intentional academic and student affairs collaboration and to enhance institutional commitments to excellence in civic education and development. Take advantage of the early-bird rate and register by April 25.

We hope you will take advantage of this year’s conference to continue our civic missions!