The Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University has been selected as one of five finalists for the “local” category of 2018 American Civic Collaboration Awards, popularly known as The Civvys.
The Civvys will be presented in Washington, D.C,. on October 18, during the National Conference on Citizenship, an annual event that brings together the best minds in civic engagement. They are the first national awards program – started by Big tent Nation and The Bridge Alliance – to recognize exemplary cases of high-impact civic collaboration that bring people together, engage communities in political and social action, and enact long-lasting change.
The CPD has served as an impartial resource for the Northern Colorado community since 2006, working with local governments, community organizations, and citizens to enhance local democracy through improved public communication and community problem-solving. In its first 10 years of service, the CPD provided $1.5 million worth of services to local organizations at no cost.
Housed in the Department of Communication Studies, the CPD has trained more than 300 undergraduate students as impartial facilitators, who work with CSU faculty and graduate students, to design, facilitate, and report on projects tied to key community issues, from water and foodsheds, to homelessness, aging, education, and CSU’s on-campus stadium. More than 20,000 local participants have been engaged in this work.
“For so long we’ve been operating as an experiment of what could happen when an organization dedicates itself to helping communities solve problems,” says CPD Program Coordinator Kalie McMonagle. “Being selected a finalist validates many of the relationships we’ve spent the last 12 years building.”
In fact, the CPD has become a national model that has been adopted by other universities, including the University of Houston-Downtown, James Madison University, and Wabash College. Co-Director Martín Carcasson says he hopes that “every college and university in the country can develop a similar program and transform the quality of our democracy.”
View a list of finalists in all categories on The Civvys website.