Here is a step-by-step guide to bringing a "Building Trust through Civil Discourse" Workshop to your State:
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
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
10:30 Envisioning the Desired State of Civility
10:45 Opportunities to leverage change/ Identifying Barriers
11:15 Action Agenda
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.
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 email@example.com