The Wabash Democracy & Public Discourse (WDPD) initiative formed a project team to address local planning in Fall 2017. Wabash College Democracy Fellows researched the topic from abstract and ideological perspectives, explored the specific constraints of planning in Indiana, and conducted dozens of interviews and focus groups with community stakeholders in and around Montgomery County.
These preliminary efforts led to the development of a community conversation on April 10, 2018. Titled “Planning for Montgomery County’s Future,” this open-to-the-public event sought to bring together various perspectives regarding land use and planning in Montgomery County.
A report from the event is available below.
Report: Planning for Montgomery County’s Future, 2018
On Tuesday April 3rd and Thursday April 5th, 2018, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., members of the Crawfordsville community assembled at the Crawfordsville District Public Library to participate in a deliberative discussion on transportation in Montgomery County. A report of the event is available.
Report: Conversation on Transportation
As part of our work with the Wabash College Chemistry Department, WDPD, Dr. Sara Drury, and Dr. Laura Wysocki have developed a deliberation focusing on how communities and states can best respond to and protect against environmental contaminants.
This deliberative activity had three parts:
- A class period with dialogue in small groups about the issue, using knowledge from current media accounts of communities impacted by contaminants, such as Flint, Michigan and East Chicago, Indiana.
- A class period of lecture, questions, and discussion on scientific concepts relating to the issue.
- A class period of deliberation about what can be done. The participant guide for this day can be found here: Chemistry – Environmental Contaminants Guide
On April 20, 2017, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse teamed up with the Indiana Public Health Association to facilitate a breakout session deliberation at their annual conference. The breakout session focused on deliberating the impacts of problems associated with mental health issues in Indiana, and identifying prioritized actions for local and state actors. WDPD also partnered with the Wabash Global Health Initiative, training GHI students to take part in note-taking for this deliberation event.
To learn more about the conference, click here.
The WDPD team of Ben Johnson, Blair Littrell, and Jack Kellerman authored a report summarizing the themes from the breakout session deliberation: Indiana Public Health Association Conference Report
On April 10, 2017, WDPD partnered with the Montgomery County Health Department to hold a public forum on mental health in Montgomery County. The deliberation utilized an issue guide specifically prepared for Montgomery County, based on focus groups and interviews with local experts.
The results of this deliberation are available in the Public Forum on Public Forum on Mental Health in Montgomery County Report.
This spring, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse partnered with the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forum to run deliberations on safety and justice. Our community conversation reports can be found below. For more on this series, see this post.
A Public Voice: Safety and Justice Report from South Bend, Indiana (Report: APV_SouthBend_Report)
A Public Voice: Safety and Justice Report from Northwest Indiana (Report: APV_NWIN_Report)
This spring, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse will partner with the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forum to host a number of deliberations around the state of Indiana using the deliberation guide Safety and Justice.
From the NIF website:
How should communities increase safety while at the same time ensuring justice? This issue guide is a framework for citizens to work through these important questions together. It offers three different options for deliberation, each rooted in different, widely shared concerns and different ways of looking at the problem.
Results from the forums will be shared as part of the Kettering Foundation’s annual report to policymakers.
In November 2016, WDPD traveled to Leslie County, Kentucky, and worked with the community there on a public deliberation on future economic opportunities.
See the Leslie County Community Conversation Report.
In November 2016, Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse traveled to Greene County, Indiana, and facilitated a community conversation on future opportunities in that community.
See the Greene County Final Report.
The Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse (WDPD) Initiative hosted two community conversations on the state of childcare in Montgomery County on January 28 and 30, 2016. The deliberation focused on the question “How can we work together to improve childcare in Montgomery County?” The January 28 event was held from 4pm-6pm at the Hays Center within the Chase Building in Crawfordsville, IN and the January 30 event was held from 2pm-4pm in the Montgomery County Boys and Girls Club in Crawfordsville, IN.
The report about the events can be accessed by clicking here: Childcare Report 2016