The Kettering Foundation Selects the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement for New Learning Exchange

The Kettering Foundation selected the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement at The San Diego Foundation and a consortium of regional partners to join a learning exchange with the New Centers for Public Life.


Along with the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement, the San Diego collaborative includes the California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM); League of Women Voters (LWV); Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU); Restoring Respect at the University of San Diego (USD) and San Diego Community College District (SDCCD); San Diego City College (SDCC); and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). 


The Kettering Foundation’s New Centers for Public Life, an invite-only, joint learning exchange between a variety of civic entrepreneurs around the country, seeks to develop a fresh understanding of and activate the role of citizens as actors in democracy.


According to BongHwan "BH" Kim, Vice President and Executive Director, The Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement, the San Diego contingent strives to develop a regional hub model that strengthens civic engagement in the San Diego region and can be replicated across partner organizations.


“We’re extremely honored to receive this invitation,” said Kim.  “This is the largest contingent from any region that was invited by the Kettering Foundation and we are very excited to have the participation of so many academic partners committed to advancing the central role of citizens and residents in public life throughout the region”. 


The San Diego collaborative will work together to 1) educate students about deliberative democracy practices using a modified version of a Colorado State University curriculum developed by Dr. Martin Carcasson; 2) connect students with real community concerns to practice their learning and see the effects of deliberative democracy practices; 3) build and support the relationships between students-turned-civic facilitators and community groups, so communities view these facilitators as a local resource to help move civic deliberation and decision-making forward; and 4) duplicate this model around the region so multiple communities learn and use deliberative democracy practices to improve and strengthen their communities.

The Kettering Foundation, a research organization, uses cooperative research methods with national and international organizations that try to encourage a more democratic, public life; seek to understand the challenges and opportunities associated with the public engagement of pressing local or national issues; and aim to encourage public deliberation as one means of addressing these challenges. 


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