Kentucky Engagement Conference

Kentucky Engagement Conference

The Kentucky Engagement Conference (KEC) was started in 2006 by the University of Kentucky as a way for Kentucky higher education faculty, staff, and administrators to build capacity for the practice and scholarship of engagement. Through the years many institutions have hosted the annual conference which is now sponsored by the Kentucky Campus Compact network. Beginning in 2018 the conference also has a new look. In the even years KEC will focus on a topic for skill building and in the odds years it will be a traditional style event with breakout sessions presented by faculty, staff, administrators and student leaders.

March 2, 2018

Civil Dialogue: Approaches and Application

Hosted by Spalding University, Louisville, KY


Who should attend?  
Faculty, staff, student leaders, and community partners who want to deepen their learning and skills about leading conversations on difficult topics – in the classroom, in the dorms, in clubs, on campus, and with the community.

Conference Goals
• Introduce tools, research, and practice for strengthening civil dialogue
• Strengthen the engagement network by helping participants connect with people from other institutions
• Renew commitment to building transformative campus-community partnerships
• Recognize the outstanding work being done at Kentucky colleges and universities through our new KyCC Engagement Spotlight Awards:  Campus-Community Partnership Award, Collaborator Award, and Excellence in Teaching with Service-Learning Award.

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown – rate $109/night. Book by February 16th to reserve your room!


March 2, 2018

(All times in Eastern Standard Time; Schedule subject to change)

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Registration and Breakfast

9:00 a.m.

9:10 a.m.

“Taking a Risk: Why Difficult Conversations Matter”
Tori Murden McClure
President of Spalding University

9:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Courageous Conversation; Talking Circles

12:15p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch, Table conversations, and Engagement Spotlight Awards

1:10 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
Market Place of Ideas

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Skills Building Sessions

4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

Registration fees for the Kentucky Engagement Conference are listed below.

Faculty / Staff / Community Partners

$100 – (Kentucky Campus Compact members)

$200 – (non-Kentucky Campus Compact members)


$25 – (Kentucky Campus Compact member institutions)

$50 – (non-Kentucky Campus Compact members institutions)

Moderator Training Sessions

  • Common Ground for Action (CGA)
    a simple but sophisticated platform for public deliberation online, based on the National Issues Forum issue guides (see NIF Moderator Training). CGA allows small groups to learn more about an issue, examine options for dealing with the issue, weigh tradeoffs, and find common ground, with beautiful visuals that let participants actually see their conversation evolve.
  • National Issues Forum 
    issue guides are designed to stimulate public deliberation, which is a way of making decisions together that is different from discussion or debate.  The purpose of deliberative forums is to inform collective action.  As citizens, we have to make decisions together before we can act together, whether with other citizens or through legislative bodies.  Acting together is essential for addressing problems that can’t be solved by one group of people or one institution.  These problems have more than one cause and therefore have to be met by a number of mutually reinforcing initiatives with broad public participation. 

Restorative Justice

an alternative form of justice where victims and offenders are brought together and a contract is created by all parties to the offense to repair harm caused and reintegrate individuals back into the community. This process holds offenders responsible for their actions, asking them to make a commitment to not reoffend in the future and focuses on repairing harm experienced by victims and community members through a commitment to fulfill all obligations (Zehr, 2002). Restorative Justice looks at offenses not as single events, but contextual consequences to deeper systemic issues that must be addressed in order to decrease the likelihood of re‐ offenses. Quote from: [RESTORATIVE JUSTICE IN HIGHER EDUCATION: A COMPILATION OF FORMATS AND BEST PRACTICES] Justine Darling, San Diego, 2011

Six Leadership Conversations

If you change the conversation, you will create a future distinct from the past. The six leadership conversations is a practice committed to the creation of a restorative and reconciled community. The strategy is to discover ways to engage the disengaged through working with existing associations and through direct invitation. Our work focuses on direct efforts to bring into conversation those groups of people who are not in relationship with each other. By this we mean to offer powerful tools and strategies of civic possibility, civic accountability and civic commitment. This work by Peter Block is based on the work of Robert Putnam and John McKnight: That healthy democratic communities grow out of high civic engagement, with a high focus on the gifts and strengths of the communities and its citizens. Our work is to create conversations among diverse groups that have the power to shift our stance in the areas of concern to civic life. This shift of high civic engagement eventually shifts the paradigm.

Talking Circles

If, in the face of some our most challenging human relations issues, you are looking for a proven way to increase understanding and facilitate difficult dialogues, this process may be your answer. Cultivated by indigenous communities, this respectful approach to facilitating tough and often problematic conversations helps participants to discover connections with one another despite serious differences by providing them means to: engage their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual resources; tap their core values as strengths; draw from their individual and collective gifts and wisdom; and lean into their true and best selves.

What's Next, Kentucky?

a series of conversations that will take place in colleges, universities and communities all over the state. These conversations are designed to encourage talking, thinking, and actions based on Kentuckians’ own ideas for building a more vibrant and diverse future. What’s Next, Kentucky? is designed to connect work that’s already happening and bring new people into the fold. It is based on the framework of three simple questions and depends upon local students, faculty and staff, and community members taking ownership of what they want for their community. This process can be used in a general meeting or focused in a specific field such as journalism.

If you have questions about the conference contact Marzieh Hatamazadeh at marzieh.hatamzadeh {at} kycompact(.)org, 859-572-7812.