How to Bring A Workshop to Your State

Here is a step-by-step guide to bringing a  "Building Trust through Civil Discourse" Workshop to your State:


Getting Started

1. A bi-partisan pair of legislators can agree to "champion" the workshop and approach their leadership asking for their support to hold a workshop. Once support is confirmed, the champions and leadership should establish a date for the workshop.

2. Any individual legislator, local organization, or constituent can approach the entity that organizes new member orientation for legislators in their state to propose  the  workshop  as  part  of  new  member training. Constituents and organizations can also approach their state representatives or state legislative leadership to be champions for the workshop.

Workshop Size, Timeframe, and Materials 

When planning the date of the  Workshop,  the  number  of  expected  participants  should  be considered. Full legislatures (100-200 participants) take approximately 3-4 months to plan, whereas, partial legislatures take 2-3 months to plan. While full legislatures are slightly more time consuming to plan, they are highly encouraged as the results of the workshop are far more successful  with greater participation.

The ideal ratio of workshop participants to workshop facilitators is 2 facilitators for every 25 legislators (No   more   than   30). Therefore, full legislatures or larger groups will be split into multiple groups so that all legislators have adequate time for participation. The ratio of Republicans and Democrats should be as equal as possible.

Next Generation will provide the following materials: participant folders and facilitator folders, bios, agenda, feedback form,   workshop   booklet), name badges, sign in sheets, pens, post-it notes, adequate number of facilitators, and at least   one   NICD   staff member on location for each workshop. Next Generation's program coordinator, Makayla Meachem, handles facilitator and staff travel logistics, materials, and serves as the primary contact for workshop planning.

Materials not provided by Next Generation are easels and  notepads (with  sticky  backs). Each facilitator requires their own easel with attached notepad for recording notes during the workshop.

Planning your state's workshop once a date has been set

1. Picking a venue/location is the first critical step in the process.  Workshop  venues should be large enough to accommodate the  number  of  participants  expected to attend the Workshop and room requirements detailed in the diagram below.

2. Invitations should be sent from leadership unless otherwise specified by leadership. Next Generation will provide templates for invitations and "save the dates".

3. If a local sponsoring group has not been identified by NICD, you  are  encouraged to seek out a University School of Public Policy, or an advocacy group that might be interested in providing the venue/co-ordination assistance for the Workshop. Sponsoring organizations will work with NICD to determine funding   and logistics responsibilities during planning stages. See page 4 for  more information.

Room Set Up

Rooms must have enough wall space to use one wall for the Personal Journey exercise exclusively and the others for posting notes recorded by Facilitators throughout the Workshop.

Chairs should be arranged in a circular shape, facing the front of the room where the Facilitators will stand with easels and notepads.




















Sample Agenda: Morning Workshop

8:00     Breakfast:  Introduction of Workshop Purpose

            *Participant   Introductions

8:45     "Unlikely Friendships" Video and Ground rules for the workshop

9:00      Define the Current State of Civility/Incivility and  Political Dysfunction

9:15      Personal Journey

10:15   Break

10:30   Envisioning the Desired State of Civility

10:45   Opportunities to leverage change/ Identifying Barriers

11:15   Action Agenda

11:45   Feedback 

12:00   Adjourn

Sponsor Opportunities

NICD offers the "Building Trust through Civil Discourse"  workshop  through  the Next  Generation  Program  at  no  cost  to  individual  legislators  or   state   legislatures. However, NICD encourages all states interested in holding a workshop to seek out sponsors and/or partner organizations that will not only serve  as  a  community supporter of the workshop's efforts, but also assist in sustaining  those efforts after the workshop. These sponsors can help NICD continue  its  work  advancing civility across  the  country  while  simultaneously  supporting  improvements to their own state and communities by contributing to the costs of the workshop. NCSL and CSG also partner with NICD to sponsor workshops in states where Leadership invites NICD to hold a workshop for the legislature.

Sponsorship Levels

Civility Trail Blazer: $10,000

Covers  the  full   cost   of   one   "Building   Trust   through   Civil   Discourse" workshop with   two facilitators and up to thirty participants. There is a $2,500 added expense per every two additional facilitators and thirty participants.

Civility Champion: $7,500

Covers the cost of general workshop expenses excluding operational costs.

Civility Ambassador: $5,000

Covers general workshop expenses and some Facilitator expenses (travel, lodging, etc.)

Civility Pillar: $2,500

Covers a portion of general workshop expenses.

Sponsorship levels are tailored to costs associated with workshops for 30 participants and 2 facilitators. Each additional 30 participants and 2 facilitators increases the workshop cost by $2,500.

E.g. A workshop for 120 participants would require 8 facilitators, therefore costing approximately $17,500 total.  A full breakdown of these costs is available upon request. Will vary by state.

NICD also accepts donations of smaller amounts as well as reimbursements for meals, airfare, lodging, and other specific expenses. Discussions regarding funding should be handled prior to workshop planning and finalized in writing prior to the workshop's date.

Contact Makayla Meachem, Next Generation Program Coordinator, at