New Frontiers in Civic Revitalization: Local Democracy Summit

The Public Work Academy at Augsburg University and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service are co-presenting a local democracy summit in Wausau, Wisconsin.

New Frontiers in Civic Revitalization:
Local Democracy Summit

November 15, 2018 • 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

UW Center for Civic Engagement
625 Stewart Ave Wausau, WI 54403

 Register Now!   Registration is limited to the first 75 attendees

The theory and practice of “public work” are transforming civic and professional practice in the United States and abroad.           – David Mathews, President, Kettering Foundation

Communities across the nation face fragmentation and polarization. Yet cities and towns, large and small, also have the potential to be the seedbed for a rebirth of citizenship and democracy – providing an alternative to the national politics of blame and gridlock.

This summit at the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service will introduce civic leaders from Wisconsin to the new Midwest Public Work Academy’s Small Cities Democracy Network located at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Participants will:

  • Engage in a high-level conversation with thought leaders across multiple sectors – including business, education, government, health care, foundations, and more.
  • Share perspectives, examples and leading practices in citizen-centered efforts to address public problems and create shared community resources across partisan and other differences.
  • Learn from case studies of effective citizen-government and cross-partisan partnerships for the common good such as “Clear Vision Eau Claire,” “Better Angels” and “Public Achievement.”
  • Receive training from internationally recognized leaders in public work, including Harry Boyte, Marie Ström and Mike Huggins.
  • Receive a free copy of Harry Boyte’s new book, “Awakening Democracy through Public Work.”
  • Learn about how your organization or community can plug into the growing movement around public work being organized by the new Midwest Public Work Academy based at Augsburg.

Cost: $75 per person (includes lunch and book) For information, contact info@wipps.org or call 715-261-6388.

Auggies Engage

 

Auggies Engage​ aims to co-create a shared vision of civic and campus life with fellow students, problem-solving for the benefit of the whole community. Do not underestimate the power of your voice. We don’t.

Throughout September and October, incoming first year and transfer students meet with a student leader on campus to build a relationship and explore your power and purpose at Augsburg University. Your student leader will reach out to you via your Augsburg email account to schedule a time to meet.

As an incoming Transfer or First Year student, you will have the opportunity

  • To connect with current student leaders with whom they may not necessarily connect to create understanding around shared interests, values, goals, and passions;
  • To begin to inform students’ sense of agency and community on campus; and
  • To ask any questions or share any concerns they have regarding their first few weeks on campus.

Engaged Student

Engaged Students operate from a mindset that campus and community change is a possibility, and that new realities can be realized. They build relationships and alliances with fellow students, staff, and faculty; and attempt to build their capacity by understanding others’ values, cultures, backgrounds, and experiences (adapted from Strom, 2006).

Contact Auggies Engage

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your student leader or to the Auggies Engage team at auggiesengageprogram@augsburg.edu.

RELATIONAL SKILLS FOR BRIDGING DIVIDES

In this climate of political polarization, people with differing perspectives and opinions struggle to engage in productive conversation. We tend to be quick to defend or demonize, deepening the divide that exists in the American people. Even when we want to reach out to those with different perspectives, we often don’t know how.

May 7, 2018, 1:30-3:30 p.m. | Marshall Room, Christensen Center

This workshop offers a sampling of two different strategies to engage more productively. The first hour will be devoted to learning some of the skills developed by Better Angels for listening and speaking in difficult conversations. In the second hour we’ll put those skills into practice with a deliberative dialogue on How to Prevent Mass Shootings in the United States.

This event is free and open to the public. Register here to participate.

As participants in this workshop you will be the first to be invited to a full-day seminar on these themes and practices will be offered on November 3, 2018.

Sabo Center Collaboration: Cultivating Civic Skills for Community-Centered Healthcare

When most people think of nursing, the first association that comes to mind is not usually “political.” But the Nursing Department at Augsburg College, in partnership with staff at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, is encouraging their students to think of nursing as just that: public, change-making work, focused on relationship-building, public dialogue, and grassroots efforts in local context.

Beginning in 2009, the Augsburg College Nursing Department began collaborating with the Sabo Center, bringing in Public Achievement Organizer Dennis Donovan to teach graduate students about beginning organizing skills, such as one-to-one relational meetings. In the years since, the Augsburg nursing program has turned to social change-making as a key component of its course curriculum, focusing on the social barriers to health in addition to bedside care. After receiving a grant from the Augsburg College president’s office in 2014, the Nursing Department worked with Sabo Center staff to train department faculty about civic skills, and to subsequently embed these concepts into curriculum and coursework. Such core civic skills include one-to-one relational meetings, formulating public narrative, deliberative dialogue, power mapping, and public evaluation.

Katie Clark, Nursing Instructor and Director of Augsburg Central Health Commons and Health Commons in Cedar-Riverside, incorporated these civic skills into a graduate-level class focused on unique models of care and communities as the foundation of health, utilizing a social justice lens. For their final project, students had to apply civic skills in the context of their care site. The impact on student’s professional self-understanding was immense, according to Clark. Because of the incorporation of civic-focused strategies in their nursing practice, “students think about how they can create change in different ways. I don’t think people in nursing really think of themselves as political,” Clark said, “Nurses are more caregivers…(but) students get out of that mindset and think, ‘Oh, I could have a one-on-one (relational meeting) with that person.’ I see students thinking about engaging in their community differently.”

The collaboration with the Sabo Center has complimented the nursing department’s commitment to transcultural nursing, a model for nursing that holistically considers culture, life patterns, and other social factors while providing culturally competent care. Health and people are viewed not as discreet cases, but as individuals who are incorporated into webs of relation and inhabit different ways of being in the world. Nursing thus becomes concerned with community health, examining how and where people belong, the strength of human connections, and health inequities. Rooted in community-based praxis, nursing professionals know not only how to administer direct care, but how to build relationships, formulate a public narrative about community health, and advocate for change.

The community-based, transcultural focus of Augsburg’s nursing program has also intersected with another Sabo Center program, Campus Kitchen. For the past 4 years, the Nursing Department and the Sabo Center have partnered to host an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer, with a particular focus on the intersection of the Health Commons and the Campus Kitchen-run Augsburg Community Garden. Through the relationship between the two programs, more Cedar-Riverside residents have been engaged with the garden; additionally, the relationship between Health Commons and Campus Kitchen has been key to the success of the farmer’s market gleaning project, with a neighborhood health liaison hired by Health Commons spreading the word about the program and distributing food.

Partnerships and collaboration are a hallmark of the Sabo Center’s work, and the relationship with the Nursing Department embodies our mission to foster civic agency, to help cultivate public, change-making skills, and to forge connections with the local community. Read more about our mission and purpose.

Want to learn more? Visit the Health Commons website, the Augsburg College Nursing Department website, the Augsburg Campus Kitchen website, and the Sabo Center website.

FOSTERING COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH CIVIC AGENCY

May 20, 2015, 9:30-3:30 p.m. | Kennedy 303/305

A growing body of literature suggest that students develop grit, resilience, and self-directed action by working for constructive social change. This symposium provides a new lens on student success by bringing into dialogue two academic fields: cognitive science research on executive function and the theory and practice of civic agency.

Introduction: Defining Our Terms
How is “civic agency” different from “civic engagement” or “civic service”? Elaine Eschenbacher, Director, Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship; What is Executive Function? Phil Zelazo, the Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor of Child Development, University of Minnesota

Dialogue: Fostering Cognitive Development Through Civic Agency
Moderated discussion between Stephanie Carlson, Professor and Director of Research, Institute for Child Development, University of Minnesota; and Harry Boyte, Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy, Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship. Featuring a panel of citizen young people and moderated by Peg Finders, Professor and Chair, Department of Education, Augsburg