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Spring 2023 Public Engagement Certificate Program A Success!

The Davenport Institute concluded its Spring 2023 Public Engagement Certificate Program in late March. The program takes place over the course of six weeks, and our curriculum prepares local government leaders with best practices to better engage with residents in their community. 

Davenport’s Executive Director Maureen Tobin led our first session to explain public engagement, its importance in local government spaces, the difference between public engagement and communication, and how to determine when you need to engage with the community versus simply informing. As everyone shifted to online spaces during the pandemic, our second session, led by Director and Professor of the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program at the University of Utah, Danya Rumore, expanded on the different methods to make virtual meetings more engaging. The third session navigated how to have difficult conversations with constituents and peers. The following week, participants heard about inclusivity and engaging marginalized communities from Western Riverside Council of Government’s Executive Director Kurt Wilson and Davenport’s Assistant Director Pooja Di Giovanna. Our final session was led by Matt Bronson, City Manager of Grover Beach, where he dove into various public engagement tactics that can be used in participants’ communities nationwide. Along with the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field, our participants created a personal public engagement strategy throughout the program and received feedback from their peers in our last session.  

We want to thank everyone who participated in our spring cohort and extend a special thank you to those who led the sessions. If you want to learn more about innovative and creative ways to engage community members, join us for our six-week virtual Public Engagement Certificate program this fall from October 12 to November 16!