Call for Workshop Proposals for Local Governance Conference

109th National Conference on Local Governance:
Building Community, Achieving Equity
June 22, 2018

The National Civic League invites proposals for workshops as part of the National Conference on Local Governance on June 22, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. The topics of the proposed workshops should be aligned with conference goals and relevant to the audience.

Background and Tracks

This one-day conference will highlight successful projects and initiatives around the country, with speakers focusing on creative strategies for civic engagement that promote equity. The conference will promote inclusive civic engagement, innovation and collaboration as the best strategies for cities to make progress on complex issues like health, education, and relations between community and police.

The conference will precede the 2018 All-America City awards event, which will focus this year on Promoting Equity Through Inclusive Civic Engagement. The theme of both the conference and All-America City awards will be connected to the 50th anniversary of several events that occurred in 1968, including the release of a report from President Johnson’s Kerner Commission, which warned of a worsening racial divide and proposed actions at the local and national levels to improve relations with people of color and reduce disparities.

The conference will provide resources, examples and best practices for community activists, government officials, nonprofit leaders, academic researchers and those interested in better understanding how we can create more inclusive, equitable and thriving communities.

Equity and inclusion are the overall conference theme and therefore not included as a workshop focus. Each track will have three corresponding workshops with a broad focus on its intersection with one of the All-America City criteria: Engagement, Cross-sector Collaboration and Innovation.

The three tracks are: Health Equity, Youth and Education, and Community-Police Relations. More detail on each track is provided later in this document.

Each workshop will last 60 minutes. The format and content of each workshop will be determined by its organizers. However, preference will be given to workshop formats that allow interactive discussions and that feature replicable community lessons. Organizers of accepted workshops are expected to:

  • Publicize the workshop in the relevant communities
  • Prepare workshop notes to be distributed (possibly online) to attendees
  • Attend the workshop in person, and supervise the workshop operations

Proposal Submission

We are accepting proposals for either workshops or individual presenters. Proposals should be submitted in a Word Document to Carla Kimbrough at [email protected]. Please add “NCLG workshop proposal” in the subject line.  The proposal should be limited to three pages and include the following information:

  • Proposed workshop presenters (names, affiliations and email addresses; identify one person as the primary contact person)
  • Short biographical sketch for each presenter, describing relevant experience and qualifications (e.g., previous workshop organizing)
  • Description of the workshop: objectives, goals, relevance to community organizers, local government officials and academics
  • Proposed title, format, activities of the presentation or workshop
  • List of related workshops in recent conferences, indicating the differences between the past and the proposed workshop
  • If the workshop or presentation is accepted, organizers will be asked to create a pitch, 50 words maximum, to promote workshops and for possible use in conference materials.

Key Dates:

  • Workshop proposal due: January 4, 2018, 11:59 p.m. Mountain time.
  • Notify accepted authors (no later than): February 9, 2018
  • Workshops date: June 22, 2018



Workshop Context

Health Equity
Healthy, thriving communities use all sectors to make better health possible for all residents and engage residents in the design and implementation of those activities. Whether it’s access to fresh food, green space or affordable housing, local governments, nonprofits, school districts and businesses all have a role to play. This track will focus on engaging community members to create a complete picture of health, from physical environments and planning to strategies for promoting mental health. Equity will be a connecting focus throughout the conference, with a focus on eliminating disparities and a vision of creating a community in which demographics or a zip code do not determine residents’ health outcomes.

Youth and Education
Investing in equitable educational opportunities for youth and adults creates a strong foundation for a thriving community. For this track, education goes beyond just the school system to include all learning opportunities a community can provide for youth and adults from libraries and monuments to arts spaces and more. This track will also explore the strategies and programs that create spaces for youth to be leaders in the community. The vision for this track is a thriving, learning community that provides equitable, culturally responsive educational opportunities that lead to meaningful work.

Community and Police Relations
Fostering community trust and relationships with police departments is top of mind for American communities. This track will explore successful programs that begin to honestly address policing issues and engage community members in activities to increase safety and well-being for all residents, regardless of race or other characteristics. Community work to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline will also be a focus. A thriving, safe community is one where all residents feel welcome and supported by law enforcement and justice systems and where residents are a part of the solution.

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