State Legislatures

In today's political world, it seems there are only two sides: left and right. However, things get done in the middle. So what's the secret to getting things done?

NICD’s Next Generation program works with state legislators to cultivate a culture of discourse and collaboration amidst public policy development. NICD begins its work in each state with an introductory workshop tailored for state legislators entitled “Building Trust through Civil Discourse,” which uses active learning exercises to explore the benefits of improving the level of civil discourse in their state’s legislature and more effectively work across the aisle. 

Participants in the program gain a strong understanding of how to build trust through compassionate communication and how to work together to create appropriate structural changes within the existing system. This workshop allows state legislators to practice changing their behavior in their interactions with colleagues with whom they may disagree.

After holding 12  "Building Trust through Civil Discourse" in-state workshops and having had nearly 400 state legislators participate in at least one workshop, Next Generation now offers all alumni of the program the opportunity to become part of the National Network of State Legislators Committed to Civil Governance. This National Network allows state legislatures to further build relationships and skills by employing cross-state collaboration strategies, including sharing civility resolutions, best practices, lessons learned, and success stories from their state. An annual convening brings network members together face-to-face to further develop civil discourse skills and practices.

For more information or to learn how to get involved, contact

Director of State Programs
Ted Celeste