Report: Planning for Montgomery County’s Future

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

Deliberations in Chemistry: Environmental Contaminants

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:

  1. 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.
  2. A class period of lecture, questions, and discussion on scientific concepts relating to the issue.
  3. A class period of deliberation about what can be done.  The participant guide for this day can be found here: Chemistry – Environmental Contaminants Guide

WDPD Report – Indiana Public Health Association Conference 2017

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

WDPD Report – Public Forum on Mental Health in Montgomery County

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.

WDPD Reports – A Public Voice on Safety and Justice, Spring 2017

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)

WDPD Report – Community Conversation on Childcare in Montgomery County

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

Pike Street Pocket Park Report

On February 22, 2016, the Mayor’s Office of Crawfordsville hosted a Community Input Session for citizens to come together and discuss amenities for a pocket park located at the intersection of 231 and Pike Street. The event was held in the Hays Center in downtown Crawfordsville. The conversation focused on three areas: first, the overall vision of the pocket park; second, what amenities would help bring this vision into reality; and third, which amenities should be prioritized with the size and fiscal constraints for park planning. More than 80 community members attended this event, as well as representatives from local government and the local media.

To view the report, click here: Pocket Park Report 2016

Value Your Voice: Redefining Indiana Report

On March 22, 2016, the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative (WDPD) facilitated a community conversation in conjunction with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General to address issues of civic engagement and improving civic health in the Indiana communities.

The community members used the WDPD created a discussion guide drawing on state statistics of civic engagement and civic health.

For more about this conversation, including themes discussed and suggested actions to improve civic health, see the report: Value Your Voice, Columbus Report.


Upcoming Event–Value Your Voice: Redefining Indiana

Join the Office of the Indiana Attorney General and
Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse, an initiative of Wabash College
for a public deliberation event


Value Your Voice: Redefining Indiana
March 22, 2016
Summerville Room, Columbus Learning Center, IUPU-Columbus

RSVPs requested at


Sponsored by the Office of the Attorney General of Indiana, the Democracy Fellows of the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative will be facilitating a discussing over Indiana’s civic health. The Value Your Voice: Redefining Indiana conversation aims to create an environment that allows the Attorney General to hear from the people about the issues that face Indiana, and brainstorm ideas about how to enable all of Indiana’s citizens to become civically engaged in their communities.

The conversation will be participant driven and divided into in three phases.  First, participants will be identifying the issues, both problems with becoming civically engaged and bigger picture problems, facing Indiana from the citizen’s perspective. Second, participants will discuss possible solutions to the issues they have identified in the first section. Third, participants will prioritize the solutions on what is most feasible and what is most important for Indiana to strive for. The discussion and the results will be reported directly to the Attorney General’s office.