Joint KitchenTable Democracy and UNCG Conference

Working through Privilege & Supporting Brave Spaces. . . . How Do We Measure? 

Conference Themes

The three themes of the conference, which intersect with one another in a variety of sessions, are:

Working through Privilege

This session is envisioned as the first of three sessions on the theme. Taken together, the sessions should help us to better align our intentions with actions. This first of three sessions recognizes that our success at advancing equity and diversity with others is dependent on our own understandings, capacity for authenticity, and the nurturing of spirit and heart as individual practitioners and as a field of practice. Session 1 offers participants a shared experience of training in key concepts and a common language to help us to innovate processes to better address issues of equity and diversity in our work. 

The second piece of this theme has us work together to dialogue, deliberate and decide upon on a set of reflective prompts that can be used individually and collectively to promote learning and improved practice by routinely and methodically inspecting how we do and do not address issues of equity and diversity present in a case or given context. 

The third part, "Applying Our Learning: Case Studies for Equity and Diversity," requests proposals for case studies. No matter our area of practice or research, we face communities with long histories of oppression along lines of race, class, ethnicity, and more. How have UNCG members encountered and confronted the issues that may not always be in the forefront of our work? For example, in many communities, housing is in crisis, with communities of color being displaced again amidst a long history of displacement. This is a story of oppression that we need to understand, even if many of us do not have personal experience of it. Can the case of housing illuminate some of our blind spots? What sort of process design and evaluation metrics are implicated for those who might work on housing?

Brave Spaces

Members of UNCG and Kitchen Table Democracy have worked over the past decades to help leaders and communities create public spaces to bring people together to achieve more civil discourse with the goal of relationship building and improving public decision making. In 2016 we will meet in Oregon, where public spaces have recently been the targets of disruption, sometimes including the threat and use of violence. As university-based programs, we sit within many institutions where the public spaces on campuses are used to protest racism and other institutionally based issues. This section of the meeting will focus on the implications for the practice of collaborative governance that emerges at the nexus of public space and civility. Specifically, this session of invited panelists will explore questions that include: Where are the boundaries of collaborative governance to bring people into the same space? How can calls for “civility” be used to both move forward and to prevent inclusion? What of safety is required in our public spaces to promote civility and to what extend do we shift our focus from creating “safe” spaces to promoting “brave” spaces without undermining the inclusivity that is vital to collaborative governance?


The third theme centers on evaluation and invites its members to present evaluation success stories from the field. We encourage proposals that examine themes of how or why these evaluations were successful and how we may replicate those successes. How did evaluators engage with stakeholders? How were evaluation conclusions developed, what gave them credibility, and what led to evaluation use? How did these evaluations contribute to decision-making processes, program improvement, policy formulation, effective organizations, and ideally to the enhancement of the public good. Proposals must also discuss the use of metrics and how this work could lead to the creation of effective evaluation standards in the field of collaborative governance.

Click here for conference information.


June 12, 2016 at 12pm - June 14, 2016
Portland State University & Courtyard Marriott - Portland City Center
550 SW Oak St
Portland, OR 97204
United States
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