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NCoC’s Learning Circles are an initiative focused on bringing community leaders together to share information, tools, and resources to adapt our democracy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this initiative, NCoC will organize national and community leaders around various topics that advance full participation in our democracy.

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2022 Recordings

March 9th, 2022: Two Essential Ideas: Civic Infrastructure & Asset-Based Community Development

Join the National Conference on Citizenship with two titans from our field: John McKnight, who developed the theory and practice of asset-based community development with his colleague Jody Kretzmann (Building Communities from the Inside Out, 1993), and Harold McDougall, who coined the concept of civic infrastructure (Black Baltimore: A New Theory of Community, 1993).


March 16th, 2022 Local and National Efforts to Get Out the Vote in 2022

Wednesday, March 16th, 2-3:00pm ET 

If the last few elections have prepared us for anything, it’s that leaders should over prepare and get their GOTV plans together early – especially in a non-presidential election year. Join experts from HeadCount, CivicGeorgia, and Civic Nebraska to discuss their latest efforts to increase voter turnout. 


March 23rd, 2022 How Do Different Groups Perceive Civic Language?

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2-3:00pm ET

How do different types of people perceive the words “civic engagement,”  “democracy,” and other common terms in civic language? Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement’s Language Perception Project seeks to understand peoples’ perceptions of all the terms associated with “civic engagement and democracy” work.


2021 Recordings

October 20, 2021, NCoC Learning Circle: Youth Building Bridges & Combating Hyperpartisanship in Politics with Junior State of America

August 25th, 2021, NCoC Learning Circle: Celebrating Voting With Civic Holidays

NCoC is preparing for the election season by providing a crash-course in Civic Holidays. Join the leaders of Vote Early Day, National Voter Registration Day, National Voter Education Week, and Election Hero Day for a one-stop shop on all the tools and resources to celebrate the election season with your community. 

June 16th, 2021, NCoC Learning Circle: America Talks – Conversations to Shift from Division to Understanding

America Talks (June 12-13, A Weekend of Connection in the Midst of Deep Division) will bring thousands of Americans together across differences to engage in one-on-one, face-to-face conversation on video to help mend our social fabric. Helping Americans shift from division and contempt to connection and understanding.

This event is a part of the National Week of Conversation 2021 (June 14-20, Courage over Contempt), the fourth annual that showcases opportunities for Americans to have conversations despite differences in bold and energizing ways. Powered by the 250+ organizations in the #ListenFirst Coalition, National Week of Conversation invites Americans of all stripes to listen, extend grace, and discover common interests.

May 12th, 2021, NCoC Learning Circle: Reimagining Civics & History Education in America

To strengthen our democracy, it is clear we need to foster a shared understanding of our government, the voting process, and democratic principles – as well as build critical skills like media literacy and respectful dialogue. 

At NCoC, we are excited to partner with Educating for American Democracy to work towards a resurgence of civics education in our classrooms.

On Wednesday, May 12th, NCoC was joined by leading civics experts to discuss the state of civics education today and the ways we can support and prioritize teaching of American history and civics.

April 28th, 2021 – NCoC Learning Circle: The Costs of Political Violence in the United States

What are the social and economic costs of political violence in the United States?

On Wednesday, April 28th, join the National Conference on Citizenship for a moderated conversation with Dr. Andrew Blum, executive director of the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego, and author of the new research report The Cost of Political Violence in the United States – And the Benefits of Investing in Communities. Dr. Blum will be joined by Rachel Brown, founder and executive director of Over Zero, and Ashley Quarcoo, a senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Democracy, Conflict, and Governance program, to discuss:

  • The human and economic harm and associated costs created by politically motivated acts of violence,
  • The critical need for whole-of-society solutions and collaborative infrastructure to create meaningful and sustainable impact for those targeted by hate,
  • Peace-building strategies led by targeted communities that prevent, respond to, and support recovery from hate crimes, terrorism, extremism, armed protests, and police brutality

March 24, 2021 – NCoC Learning Circle: Latvia, Norway, and Beyond – Democracy Festivals Across the World

In Northern Europe, democracy festivals have become a vital part of the culture and life. Each summer, citizens and leaders join together to exchange opinions and ideas from thriving democracies around the world. The tradition began in Sweden in 1968, and has since expanded to many countries.

Across Belgium, Latvia, Norway, and more, democracy festivals are creating a platform for dialogue between civil society, politicians, business, media, universities, citizens, and representatives from other countries.

On Wednesday, March 24th at 12 pm ET, we’re excited to be joined by representatives from Norway and Latvia to discuss the growing world of democracy festivals.

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Feb. 24th, 2021 – NCoC Learning Circle: Engage, Inform, Print, Repeat: How Printers Work and Play in Democracy

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Art and the printing press has long been used as a tool for civic and political expression. Still today, it helps leaders and activists form messages and movements that have transformed civic and political engagement in our country.

NCoC is fortunate to partner with an exceptional group of printer/designers to bolster our civic messages and inspire our community. On Wednesday, February 24th at 2pm ET, we’re excited to be joined by:

  • Allison Fisher, Globe Collection and Press at MICA ( @globeatmica)
  • Rick Griffith, a printer/designer from MATTER ( @theprintersunion)
  • Jenny Wilkson from Partners in Print ( @pipletterpress)

They’ll lead us in a discussion about the ways we can use art to better communicate and mobilize others. We’ll focus on unique partnerships between local printing houses and civic organizations – as well as the ways art can support a thriving local democracy. Our hope is to spark some creative ideas for your work.

January 27th, 2021 – One Year After Covid-19 Announced on U.S. Soil: Data Recovery Metrics

January 13th, 2021 – Ensuring ALL Citizens Can Vote: Voting Rights for Incarcerated Individuals

Learning Circle Recap of Events & Recordings from 2020

March 25th, 2020 – Shifting to Vote by Mail with Dana Chisnell

April 15th, 2020 – The Basics of Engaging Your People Online

Nicco Mele – CEO of NCoC – lays the groundwork with local leaders on the the available tools and strategies to reach their communities online now.

April 22nd, 2020 – Session 2 The Basics of Engaging Your People Online

In the second session, we focused on crafting the right messaging to reach your audience.

April 29th, 2020 – Session 3 The Basics of Engaging Your People Online About Voting

In the third session, we focused on specific tools and tactics to help leaders and organizations digitally get out the vote!

Led and facilitated by voting communications expert Brad Bauman and Kathryn Quintin from the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition at NCoC. The SLSV Coalition is the largest network of leaders in the country devoted to achieving full political participation among college students with a reach of more than 1,700 colleges and universities. The idea for this Learning Circle emerged from their work helping 14 statewide student voting networks from across the country shift their spring summits online.

May 6th, 2020 – COVID-19 Proofing Your Fall 2020 Voter Outreach!

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely altered your plans for voter outreach. How can we adapt and keep people safe? Led and facilitated by Nyki Robinson, Co-founder & CEO of Black Girls Vote

May 13th, 2020 – Internships During COVID-19: Adapting & Supporting Young People

With COVID-19 disrupting young people’s plans for things like further education and internships – how can we best adapt to support them? Guillermo Creamer, Jr. – co-founder of Pay Our Interns – talks to us about the resources and supports available for interns.

May 20th, 2020- How COVID-19 is Impacting the Census

NCoC’s Kyla Fullenwilder & Denice Ross have a virtual conversation with Dr. William Pewen, a public health expert and clinical infectious disease scientist, on the impacts of COVID-19 on the Census and the updated timeline.

June 17th, 2020 – Data for Good Understanding Your Community’s Civic Health

Utilizing civic health data on voting, social interaction, public trust, & community engagement helps leaders and communities take action. View civic health presentations from Dr. Ellen Szarleta from Indiana University Northwest and Kristi Tate from the Center for the Future of Arizona – great partners who have experience using this data to inform action. This Learning Circle – “Data for Good: Understanding Your Community’s Civic Health” – will be led by Jeff Coates, the Director of Research and Evaluation at NCoC.

July 8th, 2020 – Knowing Our History to Strengthen Civic Engagement

For “Knowing Our History to Strengthen Civic Engagement,” we’re excited to be joined by experts and leaders from Made By Us – a national coalition of leading history, civic, and local organizations, coming together to pool resources and find new ways to help people better understand and engage with the past. We’ll be joined by Nathaniel Sheidley, Ph.D. (Revolutionary Spaces), Cameron Patterson (Robert Russa Moton Museum) Caroline Klibanoff (Made By Us).

They’ll help you challenge yourself to bring history into the mix for informed participation in your communities. We’ll also discuss how you might identify in your area you can work with for a collaboration on history.

July 22nd, 2020 – Pandemic to Prosperity: Chronicling the Path from Response to Recovery

August 12th, 2020 – National & Public Service During COVID-19

August 26th, 2020 – Implementing Resilient Voting Plans During Covid-19

Trusted data to rebuild our communities after Covid is critical. Learn about newly-released indicators on voting, Census, housing, & more.

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September 23rd, 2020 – Implementing Resilient Voting Plans During Covid-19

Voters, especially new voters, should have the tools, information, and confidence they need to vote safely and securely.

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September 30th, 2020 – Compounding Crises Complicate the Recovery from Covid-19

Learn about newly-released indicators on voting, anxiety, the Census count, and more with co-presenters from the Census Bureau Pulse Team.

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October 14th, 2020 – The History of Us

Understanding the past is important. Learn about the “History of Us” and how to elevate civic education in your community.

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October 21st, 2020 – How City Governments Are Innovating for Full Participation

Join experts and leaders to discuss how municipalities are coming up with innovative ways to increase civic participation in communities.

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October 28th, 2020 – Pre-Election Data & Analysis: Jobs, Healthcare, Census, & More

Just days from the Election, we have new data & analysis on healthcare, jobs, Census count, and more with co-presenters from USA Facts.

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November 11th, 2020 – Veterans: America’s Greatest Civic Assets

On Veteran’s Day, NCoC presents the HOOAH Award to Ken Harbaugh, followed by a special live-recording of his podcast, Rebuilding America.

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Have any questions about NCoC’s Learn, Ask, and Share Circles? Reach out to [email protected]!