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The Democracy Commitment

What is The Democracy Commitment?
The Democracy Commitment (TDC) is a national initiative that aims to develop and expand civic learning and engagement across America's community colleges. Each participating college should graduate students who are civically engaged and educated on the principles of democracy. TDC can include programs, projects, and curricula. Membership provides participants a wealth of resources related to civic education. TDC offices are housed at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' headquarters in Washington D.C.

Why is Wilbur Wright participating in The Democracy Commitment?
The Democracy Commitment allows the college to capitalize on existing efforts related to civic education, develop new democracy-themed programs and curricula, and help students become more civic-minded.

What are Wright College’s Democracy Commitment goals?
During the 2017-18 academic year, Wright College’s Democracy Commitment wants to:

  1. Increase the number of registered voters among the Wright College community
  2. Embed civic education into curriculum and teaching practices
  3. Engage civic leaders through community events and activities
  4. Increase participation in Student Government Association

How can you get involved in The Democracy Commitment at Wilbur Wright College?        

Attend one of the meetings. Our spring 2018 meetings are February 1, March 1, and April 5. We meet at 2 p.m. in the Dean of Instruction’s Conference Room in A113. If you cannot attend the meetings but still want to get involved, contact one of the college’s Democracy Commitment coordinators:       

  • Merry Mayer, Assistant Professor of Political Science,, (773) 481-8466
  • Gabe Estill, Associate Dean of Instruction,, (773) 481-8816​         

Democracy Commitment Events        

February 9, 2017 – Deliberative Dialogue Training 
9:00 am – 3:00 pm in S247    

Wilbur Wright College, along with other community colleges across the country, is participating in a study on deliberative dialogues. Deliberative Dialogues, according to Wake Forest’s homepage for Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, encourage speakers to “engage with multiple constituents in productive, respectful ways by developing the critical thinking skills needed to view a complex issue from diverse perspectives. In addition, the technique encourages students to practice citizenship by debating pressing issues and recognizing their role in creating change.” Deliberative dialogues help people have meaningful conversations about important, often contentious issues.       

The study, sponsored by The Kettering Foundation and The Center for the Study of Community Colleges, aims to document the expansion of deliberative dialogues at several community colleges. The first portion of the study concerns a training workshop scheduled for February 9. On February 9, Wilbur Wright College will welcome Dr. Alberto Olivas (Arizona State University) and Dr. John Theis (Lone Star College) to facilitate a training session on deliberative dialogues. During the workshop, attendees will learn how to lead deliberative dialogues that create meaningful conversations about difficult issues.      

Space is limited. Please register at Lunch will be provided. 

If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact The Democracy Commitment campus coordinators Merry Mayer ( or Gabe Estill ( ​