T H E D E L I B E R A T I V E V O I C E
The purpose of The Deliberative Voice is to share the value and methods of the deliberative process for upper elementary through high school classrooms, university curricular and co-curricular settings, faculty development, and communities where citizens seek to address local issues in a reasoned and inclusive manner. Contrasted to debate, where two opposing viewpoints compete, and distinctly different from conversation for the sake of becoming better informed, deliberative democracy helps people move from sharing their respective opinions to making collective choices or judgments with others by weighing strengths and corresponding challenges or drawbacks of a series of potential "problem-solving" actions.
This site represents the voice of one person who has worked in community, organizational, and university settings; one voice who serves as a Kettering Foundation Research Associate and is an active member of the National Issues Forums Institute; and one voice who values the voices and capacities of others to make deliberate choices to improve their lives and communities.
Baptist Health/Wolfson Children's Hospital Tipping the Scale Adolescent Mentoring Program
Founded in 2002, the Tipping the Scale program connects accomplished professionals with high scho ol students. The mentors begin working with their mentees in the young person's 9th grade year and continues through their high school graduation. The youth were the first to experience a deliberative forum as they discussed Youth and Violence: Reduce the Threat. The next month the mentors used the issue guide Making Ends Meet: How Should We Spread Prosperity and Improve Opportunity? In February 2018, young people and their mentors formed deliberative groups to discuss How Should We Convey the History of Jacksonville: Monuments, Parks, and People. The next step involves moderator training.
Leadership Jacksonville educates, connects, and inspires diverse leaders to build. and strengthen their communities and has served the city since 1977. Three leadership tracks include adult citizens from all backgrounds, university students, and high school youth. Over the course of a year, participants broaden their understanding of the city, discuss community challenges, and develop leadership skills. Deliberative dialogue is a democratic skill that enables people to listen to different perspectives and seek common understanding that often results in offering the public's recommendations to elected officials.
Jacksonville Monuments and History
The contentious issue involving Confederate monuments is being addressed in many cities. Hemming Park in the center of Jacksonville features a Confederate Soldier statue and several blocks to the north Confederate Park pays homage to the women of the Confederacy. Some citizens feel that the monuments overshadow the rich culture and history of African Americans in Jacksonville, where blacks and whites populated the city in equal numbers for over 70 years. The Jessie Ball duPont Fund and Leadership Jacksonville co-host the forum series. How Should We Convey the History of Jacksonville? Monuments, Parks, & People
Coming to America. Who Should We Welcome? What Should We Do?
The 2018 national subject for deliberative forums focuses on immigration. Several Jacksonville faith communities will host forums in March.
Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence?
In 2017, the National Issues Forums Institute and the Kettering Foundation worked with organizations across the nation to host forums on community-police relations. Several organizations brought together over 200 Jacksonville citizens in 14 forums. The final report was shared with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the Jacksonville Mayor's Office, the State Attorney, media outlets and forum hosts and participants. Read the Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence Final Report.
Religious Organizations and Community Building
This Kettering Foundation is interested in how faith communities cultivate civic skills and contribute to community problem solving. A new research project, Faith-based Organizations as Sites for Public Deliberation commenced in February 2018. As well, this project will experiment with faith-based dialogue resources adapted from NIFI issue guides.
University of North Florida Hicks Honors College
The UNF Hicks Honors College engages students in a four-year academic and community service program with an emphasis on the American immigrant experience. Students develop leadership and citizenship skills through participating in Jacksonville area nonprofit and educational organizations. Deliberative dialogue is one of several critical thinking methods used to engage students in action civics.
University of North Florida Osher Lifelong Leaning Institute
The UNF OLLI program engages over 1,500 citizens age 50 and older in a wide variety of academic, cultural, and travel courses. Deliberative Democracy is a course that brings people together to discuss National Issues Forums Institute issues.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
The Deliberative Voice works with the ELCA to develop conversation resources that link communal discernment and deliberative dialogue in order to help members of Lutheran churches discuss church teaching documents, social statements and messages relative to public issues. The ELCA Appalachian Strategy Assembly utilized a deliberative issue advisory on the Opioid Epidemic. Go to the Religion Page to download ELCA deliberative materials.