Using the NCI charrette process to build trust

NCI was awarded an opportunity to work with the National Recreation and Parks Association to develop curriculum for parks and recreation professionals that ties in elements of diversity, equity and inclusion, in part through building trust.

August 15, 2019 - Author:

Photo of group working together at Lansing placemaking and crime prevention charrette.

The Pew Research Center just released data about how the country views trust. While the data is disheartening, it is not surprising. Several of the key findings (listed below) have been echoed by National Charrette Institute training participants, and those conducting charrettes and engaging the public for years.

  • “Americans think the public’s trust has been declining in both the federal government and in their fellow citizens.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) say that low trust in the federal government makes it harder to solve many of the country’s problems.
  • Nonwhites, poorer and less-educated individuals, and younger adults have lower levels of personal trust than other Americans.”

However, “most think the decline in trust can be turned around,” and some of the solutions offered have a direct connection to how NCI conducts its work and are rooted in prioritizing trust-building activities.

“We spend a lot of time in our courses talking about ways to build trust and practice transparency in the charrette process to break through some of this distrust, and move communities toward cooperation and collaboration around solutions,” says Holly Madill, director of NCI. “Building trust through the charrette process is critical to not only a successful charrette, but also to implementing what is developed and setting a community on a positive course.”

The institute was recently awarded an opportunity to work with the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) to develop curriculum for parks and recreation professionals that ties in elements of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in part through building trust.

“This opportunity will help participants experience the importance of “doing their own work” on DEI issues through self-reflection and group sharing, while supporting trust building through moving from a conventional process (debate) to a deliberative process (dialogue) to deal with complex, layered issues,” explains Dionardo Pizaña, DEI  specialist with Michigan State University Extension.

The NCI will launch this curriculum with NRPA participants in advance of their national conference in September in Baltimore, Md.

We’ll be talking more about DEI with a special announcement in the coming months, so stay tuned.

Tags: benefits of charrettes, charrettes, diversity equity and inclusion, holly madill, msu extension, msu extension diversity, national charrette institute, outreach, parks and recreation, stakeholders, trust


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