Dialogues for Public Life

 

What is Dialogues for Public Life?

Dialogues for Public Life logoCo-sponsored by the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) Center for Community Engagement & Learning, the UAA Ethics Center, and the UAA School of Social Work, Dialogues for Public Life was created when UAA was invited to participate as a member of a national learning exchange cohort with The Kettering Foundation.

Dialogues for Public Life (often simply referred to as Dialogues) currently has two priorities centered on building the capacity of the UAA campus and Alaska communities to engage in public dialogue and deliberation..

  1. To provide training workshops on dialogue and deliberation, and
  2. To support community partners who are interested in hosting an event. This assistance may take the form of consultation and/or event facilitation.
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.
 
-Thomas Ehrilch

How Can I Get Involved?

  • Upcomming Training
    TITLE
    Friday, August 9, 2019
    8:30 am - 4:00 pm
    $125 per person
    UAA/APU Consortium Library, Rm  307
    Inlcudes Lunch | Free Parking
     
     DESCRIPTION?
     

    REGISTER

  • Upcoming Events
     Stay Tuned!
  • Past Trainings & Events

    Monday, December 4th, 2018 6:15-8:00 pm  How can we make Anchorage a more welcoming community? A free Open Space event where participants share their ideas and create their own sessions around the central question. Held at the BP Energy Center, 900 E Benson Blvd.

    Saturday, September 23, 2017  1:00 pm - 5:00 pm - Dialogues for Public Life & Project Campus Vote tables  
    Held at the front lawn of the Anchorage Museum, 625 C Street Anchorage, Alaska 99501 

    Friday, October 27, 2017  - Naming & Framing Social Issues Workshop
    An afternoon session at the Urban in Alaska Conference at Rasmuson Hall & Student Union, UAA

    August 23, 2017 - Facilitating a Public Dialogue Workshop

     

    March 2017 - Facilitated Vision – Take It to Action event for the Conversations re: Girdwood Lecture Series

    Spring 2017 -  Social Work undergraduate students enrolled in SWK A331 facilitated two community forums, one for Bean’s Café and one for the Children’s Lunchbox

    November 2016 - Workshop on incorporating deliberation into social work courses at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

    Spring 2016 - Consult with Anchorage Planning Department regarding community meetings

    February 2 2016  - Beginning Skills in Public Deliberation - Urban in Alaska Conference

    Spring 2015 - Social Work undergraduate students enrolled in SWK A331 facilitated two community forums, one for Covenant House Alaska and one for Identity, Inc.

    April 2015 - Dialogues for Public Life CESA students poster presentation at the CCEL Community Engagement Forum

    April 2015 -  Presentation on engaging students to build capacity in a new campus-based dialogue and deliberation program at the Continuums of Service Conference, Long Beach, CA.

    April 14 2015 -  "Over the Edge: When the Substances We Use Become a Problem "Students, faculty, and community members are invited to participate in this forum to discuss their priorities as well as the challenges in responding to substance abuse, with an eye for forward-thinking solutions.

    March 2015 - Presented with CESA students at Urban & Rural in Alaska: Community Engagement at UAA conference

    2014-2015AY - Trained a year-long cohort of Dialogues for Public Life CESA students in public deliberation

    November 5th 2014 - Community Forum - Over the Edge: When the Substances We Use Become a Problem

    November 7th 2014 World Café - Over the Edge: When the Substances We Use Become a Problem

    September 11th 2014 - Think Tank forum

 

Please contact us if you are interested in learning more, attending a training, or talking about how Dialogues could partner with your organization. 

Donna Aguiniga: 907-786-4087 / dialogues@alaska.edu


Featured Training

TITLE

One Sentence Desription.

Friday, August 9, 2019 | 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
$125 per person
UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307
Inlcudes Lunch | Free Parking
 
 

Who is Dialogues for Public Life?

 

Donnaaguiniga
Donna M. Aguiniga, PhD, MSW
Program Director
My interest in public dialogue and deliberation stems from my belief that we all have an active role to play in developing a civil and just society. Community events that provide an opportunity to learn about others' perspectives can help bring us closer together and identify solutions to the difficult social issues that affect us all. Training from the Kettering Foundation provided a new perspective centered around public discourse and have enhanced the group facilitation skills that I used in my social work practice and teach in classes.

 

Stephaniebauer

Dr. Stephanie Bauer, PhD
Associate Director
Dr. Bauer is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the chair of the Department of Philosophy. She is also the interim director of UAA’s Ethics Center. Dr. Bauer teaches and researches issues in biomedical ethics, disaster ethics, and public deliberation. She received training in public deliberation from the Kettering Foundation from 2014-15 and founded UAA's Dialogues for Public life with Dr. Donna Aguiniga in 2014.  With Dr. Aguiniga, she has offered a number of trainings in deliberation techniques for both UAA and community members and facilitated deliberation events for municipal agencies and others in Anchorage. 

 

Donnaaguiniga
Donna M. Aguiniga, PhD, MSW
Program Director
 
My interest in public dialogue and deliberation stems from my belief that we all have an active role to play in developing a civil and just society. Community events that provide an opportunity to learn about others' perspectives can help bring us closer together and identify solutions to the difficult social issues that affect us all. Training from the Kettering Foundation provided a new perspective centered around public discourse and have enhanced the group facilitation skills that I used in my social work practice and teach in classes.
 
 
StephaniebauerDr. Stephanie Bauer, PhD
Associate Director

Dr. Bauer is an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and the chair of the Department of Philosophy. She is also the interim director of UAA’s Ethics Center. Dr. Bauer teaches and researches issues in biomedical ethics, disaster ethics, and public deliberation. She received training in public deliberation from the Kettering Foundation from 2014-15 and founded UAA's Dialogues for Public life with Dr. Donna Aguiniga in 2014.  With Dr. Aguiniga, she has offered a number of trainings in deliberation techniques for both UAA and community members and facilitated deliberation events for municipal agencies and others in Anchorage. 

Dialogue Fellows

Dialogue Fellows description

  • Marsha Olson, MA
    I first encountered Dialogues for Public Life at a faculty event centered around community engagement, the program felt like a natural fit. The notion that we create our world through discussion and interaction is a key foundational principle of my field, Communication. A primary focus of mine in recent years has been on democratic engagement, in particular, voting. The Dialogues for Public Life couldn’t have come to me at a more opportune time. In a world where we have a tendency to isolate ourselves from different perspectives, this approach encourages thoughtful discussion and deliberation.
  • Jackie Cason, PhD
    I came of age in Los Angeles County, a network of sprawling suburbs where young people can easily feel anonymous. To escape the crowd and pursue higher education (M.A. and Ph.D. in English), I moved east and south, first to North Carolina and then to Arkansas, before migrating to Anchorage in 1992. The southeast gave me an appreciation for regional identities, a sense of place, and storytelling. One thing I enjoy about Alaska is the lower population density where people and place are interconnected. My research and teaching inquire into public forms of rhetoric and writing through which citizens engage one another on the issues they care about, through deliberation, dialogue, stories, and shared expertise. In Alaska, key questions and issues often focus on natural resources and cultural diversity and the strategies that enable residents to build as well as sustain resilient communities over time. I am partnering with my writing class, Rhetoric and Writing in Public Life, on the Welcoming Anchorage Initiative.
  • Shannon Donovan, PhD
    Dr. Shannon Donovan is a conservation social scientist and Chair of UAA's Department of Geography and Environmental Studies.  All of her research is community-based and she uses service learning and community service to engage students in their coursework and to address local problems. Her students study human-environment processes by conducting biological, physical and social field work, and analyzing existing community engagement practices and developing inclusive public outreach activities.  An example of this can be seen in a community meeting students organized to inform citizens about the status of a proposed road development project.  This particular project was politically charged and has left many stakeholder groups feeling disenfranchised. The purpose of the meeting was to provide an overview of the NEPA process, share opportunities for further public involvement, and assist participants in writing an effective and meaningful public comment. The class and service project received a host of media attention including an article published in the Alaska Dispatch News on November 22, 2014. Shannon is currently working with the Mayor's office to develop a community engagement strategy for rolling out the city's Climate Action Plan. 

CESA Fellows

Community Engaged Student Assistants description.

  • Andrea Toston, BSW Student
    Andrea Toston is a third year student in the BSW program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Correctional Social work is her major area of focus, primarily working with current or formerly incarcerated individuals and helping them overcome obstacles and difficulties. Reentry program development which will aid in the reduction of recidivism is her chief concern. She is actively engaged with Bean’s Café, the local soup kitchen and day shelter, as well as other non-profit organizations that services the homeless population in Anchorage Alaska.
  • Gaby Shelton, BSW Student
    Gaby Shelton is a Junior in the Social Work program. She is currently assisting Faculty member Marsha Olson on the UAA Campus Voter Project. She is passionate about this project because it is helping to increase voter registration, education and turnout among college students and our community members. This is Gaby’s first year as a CESA. She is excited for the opportunity to apply her major to work with the local community. As well as developing her skills and gaining experience working with faculty and facilitating dialogue to find new solutions to issues affecting community members.
  • Erin Neubauer, MSW Student
    Erin Neubauer is a first year student in the MSW Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Erin is from Anchorage, Alaska and is passionate about being a social worker here after she graduates. She is passionate about Dialogues for Public Life because it allows for individuals to open up and have conversations about important issues that impact everyone. By having these dialogues with each other Erin believes that it allows for new learning opportunities. There is always something we can learn from each other.

 

 

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