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Public Engagement and Participation Seminar

Event Date: 
January 13, 2021

Public Engagement and Participation Seminar

“Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times”

Offered by the American Planning Association’s Central Coast Section and facilitated by Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute, the two-session seminar will include instruction and discussion related to best practices and principles in boosting public participation and engagement with local communities, tactics for post-COVID community engagement, and strategies for increasing dialogue with hard to reach communities (vulnerable communities, communities of color, environmental justice communities, disadvantaged communities, non-English speaking community, etc.).

  • Date: Wednesday evenings January 13th and 20th, 2021
  • Time:  5:30 p.m. to 7:30 each evening.
  • Cost: APA Members (Free), Non-Members ($20), Students (Free)
  • CM Credits: Each of the two sessions provides 2 CM credits for a total of 4 credits. Details available at https://www.planning.org/events/eventmulti/9210697/.
  • RegistrationClick here to register
  • Questions? Contact Clay Downing, Ventura County Sub-Section Director for APA Central Coast


Course Description and Key Learning Outcomes:

Session 1: Public Engagement Basics

This introductory session offers an overview of the current state of public engagement factoring in the pandemic and providing a shared vocabulary and framework . It also invites participants to consider what level of engagement is appropriate to the issue at hand and to consider some common pitfalls to effective engagement.

    • Why Public Engagement and Why Now? exploring challenges to and opportunities for inclusive engagement in our current context of COVID 19 Social distancing as well as heightened polarization in our communities

    • The public engagement spectrum: from informing to empowering your residents.

    • How identifying a common purpose supports a cohesive strategy for public engagement within your department.

    • Key best practices at each point along the public engagement spectrum.

    • Distinctions between stakeholder engagement and broad public engagement

    • The difference between customer relations and public engagement and how they relate to each other.

Session 2: Public Engagement - Putting it Into Practice

    • Engagement tactics: Before, During, and After COVID

    • Key strategies that apply both online and offline

    • Considerations for engaging marginalized communities

    • Designing a good public process: thinking like a marketer, a facilitator, and a participant

    • Stories from the trenches - case stories of success (and a few of failure)

Davenport InstituteAbout the Davenport Institute Training Program: For over a decade, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy has trained local government staff and elected officials to authentically and inclusively engage residents in meaningful policy decisions. To date we have trained well over 2,000 local leaders across the state of California and around the country. Our primary offerings have been interactive half-day and full-day in-person training seminars designed to equip staff with the framework and tools necessary to develop robust public engagement in their communities. With the onset of COVID-19, we have added a variety of virtual training opportunities.. More information at https://publicpolicy.pepperdine.edu/davenport-institute/

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