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In Review: 66th Annual National Conference on Citizenship

September 15-23, 2011

October 7, 2011

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This year, for the first time, NCoC’s Annual Conference was held outside Washington DC. The 2011 Conference consisted of a series of events during Citizenship week; they began September 15 in Philadelphia and culminated September 22-23 in Arizona. NCoC was honored to work in collaboration with the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) as its 2011 Conference Host partner. NCoC issued an RFP for Conference partners, and CFA was chosen from a large pool of applicants from across the country.

By the Numbers
710: In-person participants in at least one Conference-associated event*
: Unique online viewers
: Tweets with #NCoC on Conference days
: Newly naturalized citizens

Program Overview
A full program agenda is available for download at right. Highlights include:

September 15: Civic Innovators Forum, convened by NCoC, the Case Foundation, and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, and hosted in partnership with the National Constitution Center. This event included presentation of the 2011 Joseph H. Kanter Citizen of the Year Award to Jean Case and Steve Case and the release of “Guardian of Democracy: The Civic Mission of Schools.”

Panelists in Forum discussions included Brian Brady of Mikva Challenge, John Bridgeland of Civic Enterprises, Donna Frisby-Greenwood of the Knight Foundation, Brian Fujito of Razoo, Christopher Gates of PACE, Gail Gershon of Gap Inc., Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, Peter Levine of CIRCLE, Eric Liu of Guiding Lights Network, Mabel McKinney-Browning of the ABA, Jen Pahlka of Code for America, Heather Peeler of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Sally Prouty of the Corps Network, Rashad Robinson of Color of Change, Michael D. Smith of the Case Foundation, Stephanie Strom of the New York Times, and Catie Wolfgang, Philadelphia’s Chief Service Officer.

September 16: Press Conference in partnership with the National Constitution Center to release our 2011 national civic health issue brief entitled “Civic Health and Unemployment: Can Engagement Strengthen the Economy?” Available for download at

September 17-21: The “Civic Connector,” a daily online forum featuring commentary from Judge Frank Damrell of California; Clay Johnson of Big Window Labs; Jim Newton, Editor of the Los Angeles Times; Bobbi Silten, Chief Foundation Officer of Gap; and Senator John McCain of Arizona.

September 22: NCoC Civic Health Index partners, Knight Foundation Soul of the Community directors and others met to discuss the state of our civic information infrastructure. Following that, NCoC and the Bipartisan Policy Center convened a Keynote Panel on Civility and Political Discourse featuring for a frank discussion about the rise of political incivility, the qualities of successful civic leadership, historical bipartisan accomplishments, and the solutions needed to improve a political environment widely seen as beset by gridlock. It featured Former Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT); Aaron Brown, PBS (formerly CNN and ABC); Sally Rider, National Institute for Civic Discourse; Ted Simons, KAET-TV’s HORIZON; Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ 15)

September 23: The day was opened with remarks from Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and a speech by NCoC’s David B. Smith.

The program brought together local, regional, and national leaders to talk about creation of civic strategies that help communities thrive. Panelists for these discussions were Lattie Coor, Center for the Future of Arizona; Paula Ellis, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Lucia Howard, O’Connor House; Valeriano Ramos, Everyday Democracy; Steve Seleznow, Arizona Community Foundation; Beth Shiroishi, AT&T Foundation; Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa; Michael Stout, Missouri State University; Trish Tchume, Building Movement Project; and Michael Weiser, NCoC.

Discussions on the meaning of being American were generated between Jose Antonio Vargas, Define American and Eric Liu of the Guiding Lights Network. A naturalization ceremony was conducted to welcome America’s 20 newest citizens and featured remarks from Holocaust Survivor, Citizenship Counts Founder, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Gerda Weissman Klein.

It also featured awards presentations, including CFA’s inaugural presentation of the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards, and NCoC’s presentation of the Franklin Award to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the Major George A. Smith HOOAH Award to Sgt. Eric Hilleman.

The programming also highlighted the release of the Arizona Civic Health Index, the Arizona Day of Action, and the Arizona Townhall Luncheon featuring Hugh Downs.

Photos Speakers at 66th Annual Conference
Albums of Conference photographs are available on our Facebook page:
September 15: Civic Innovators Forum Photos
September 22-23: Photos from Conference events at ASU, Sept. 22-23

Many Conference events were streamed online at All available video of Conference discussions is available via the links above.

The 66th Annual National Conference on Citizenship was made possible with generous support from the Case Foundation , the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Clearwire. The Conference also appreciates the generous venue support provided by Arizona State University.

Program Partners
In addition to NCoC’s collaboration with the Center for the Future of Arizona, several additional partners contributed to program development for sessions at the Conference. These include the Case Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,, Citizenship Counts, and St. Luke’s Health Initiatives. NCoC also appreciates the support of the organizers of the events held in conjunction with the Conference, including the “Arizona Day of Civic Action” partners: Arizona Town Hall, Flinn Foundation, Girl Scouts/Cactus Pine Council, Valley Leadership, and The O’Connor House.

Conference Advisory Council
NCoC is honored to be supported by a diverse team of civic sector leaders who offered strategic input on event development, including theme and program structure, identification of partners and speakers, and recruitment of participants.

*This number has been updated since original publication to include attendance at events surrounding the Conference planned by our partners. The original number we indicated for NCoC programming only was 439.

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By Christopher Gardner at 12:03 PM on Oct 12th, 2011
Great to see another successful NCoC Conference, and the video is a lovely encapsulation! Challenging Arizona's legislative & media responses over the previous few years to immigration simply by having the conference there is a masterstroke. Hopefully regional coverage encouraged people to reconsider their positons and attitudes about citizenship, its meanings, and its obligations.
By Onwuzuruike at 8:51 AM on Sep 1st, 2015
Da, ja zvonil. Menia instreeuet eto ucenie. Hotelosj by v nego uglubitjsia. U tebia estj literatura-ucenie Cerkvi Boga? Ty ne znaeš CCG ? Ih lider zajavil, cto oni budut poglošatj vseh ASD i Cerkvi Boga. Interesnoe i smeloe zajavlenie. Cem oni otlicajutsia?
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