Latest News

Creating Community Solutions


AmericaSpeaks is excited to announce our involvement in Creating Community Solutions, which is part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health announced by President Obama on Monday, June 3, 2013. We are working with other national deliberative democracy partners. Many Community Conversations are already planned throughout the country. Check out the map on the homepage of the website to find one near you. Resources will also be available to launch a dialogue in your community at More information will be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Like and follow us to spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues.

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Ward 7 Economic Development Summit


Join Mayor Gray for the Ward 7 Economic Development Summit on Saturday June 29, 2013. Click here for more information!

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Join a Paired Conversation!


In conjunction with Face the Facts, we have developed a paired conversation tool to discuss the budget challenges that face our nation. AmericaSpeaks has developed an online survey on the values underlying budgetary considerations, as well as a tool to help weigh the tough choices America faces. The conversations are indended to help create dialogue on these issues, so you are encouraged to speak with someone with a different point of view. If you don’t have a partner, we will help match you.

To learn more, please visit

If you are interested in facilitating paired discussions, please visit our facilitation sign-up.

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Bullying Prevention Policy


AmericaSpeaks facilitated the District of Columbia Mayor’s Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force over the past eight months. The citywide prevention policy has just been released. Read more about AmericaSpeaks involvement in Steve Brigham’s blog post.

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First All Female Town Meeting


AmericaSpeaks took part in its first all female town meeting in September. The meeting took place in Cincinnati and focused on women’s views in the 2012 election.Read more about the meeting and AmericaSpeaks work with the YWCA.

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2012 Ward 8 Community Summit


Nearly 200 people, including Ward 8 residents, District staff, and volunteers gathered on June 9th, 2012 at Malcolm X Elementary to discuss progress made as a result of input from the Ward 8 Summits in July and September 2011.Read more about the 2012 Ward 8 Community Summit here.

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AmericaSpeaks Announces New President


AmericaSpeaks announced today that Steve Brigham will assume the role of President on July 1. Current President and AmericaSpeaks founder, Carolyn Lukensmeyer, has taken a position as the Executive Director at the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona.

To find out more, read Carolyn’s blog post and the AmericaSpeaks press release announcing Steve Brigham as the next President. Steve Brigham will formally introduce himself and share his goals for the organization in a blog post next week.For more information on Carolyn’s new position at the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD), read NICD’s press release announcing her appointment.

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Open Government Partnership


In April, AmericaSpeaks took part in the first high level meeting of the Open Government Partnership. The Open Government Partnership is a network of 54 countries that have made commitments to become more open, transparent, and participatory. The meeting, held in Brasilia, brought together representatives from approximately 75 countries.

In addition to leading a panel on participatory mechanisms, AmericaSpeaks helped to webcast the event for a worldwide audience.

To read more about AmericaSpeaks experience in Brasilia, click here.

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One City Summit


Washington, D.C., like so many U.S. cities in the 21st century, struggles with economic disparities, racial divides, and other associated challenges. At the same time, the nation’s capital is unique among most large American cities: its population has grown significantly in the past decade, and is positioned to grow as rapidly in the decade to come. How then can it capitalize on the upcoming economic and population growth without leaving critical segments of the population behind?

This was one of the key questions at the heart of the One City Summit that AmericaSpeaks held with Mayor Vincent Gray and his administration this February. Read more about Steve Brigham’s reflections on the event here. You can find materials from the event and the webcast here.

Make sure to check out Joseph Porcelli’s insights into engagement at the Summit. For an overview of media coverage of the event, read more here.

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Earth Hour Summit


On March 31, 2012, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will launch the first annual Earth Hour City Challenge. The Challenge provides a framework and benefits package that will engage, empower, and reward the efforts of participating cities to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the present and looming impacts of climate change.

Entrants will be judged on their ability to engage their citizens on climate preparedness, as well as scale up their use of renewable energy. All entrants will receive recognition of their efforts and be invited to join an elite group of leaders in citizen engagement on climate preparedness. The city with the most ambitious and holistic plan will receive the honor of being named the winner at Earth Hour 2013.

As part of the launch, WWF, AmericaSpeaks, and the City of Tucson, Arizona will host a 21st Century Town Meeting. The Town Meeting’s purpose is to solicit citizen input on Tucson’s climate preparedness policies, showcase the work a local community is doing towards proactive climate action, demonstrate how cities can host an effective public outreach event around local climate impacts and preparedness, and bring attention to WWF’s new initiative.

We are envisioning a four-hour Town Meeting for 200 citizens that occurs midday on Saturday March 31, 2012 and ends shortly before Earth Hour begins at 8:30pm. In order to generate a larger, sustained impact, the event will engage important community stakeholders from business organizations, faith groups, and neighborhoods groups.

The event will provide an example for other cities that wish to communicate to their public on climate vulnerability and solutions. Since a major goal of the Earth Hour City Challenge is to propel city governments to engage their public around climate impacts and preparedness, WWF plans to utilize the launch for generating a toolkit that guides cities in conducting a public outreach event on this issue. Cities interested in holding their own event will be able to download the toolkit from WWF’s website, as well as participate in Webinars featuring the experiences of other cities that have held such events.

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