Democracy Tables

The Greensboro History Museum has teamed up with the UNCG Department of Communication Studies to launch a series of Democracy Tables as part of the Project Democracy 20/20 initiative.

The Democracy Tables project seeks engagement from residents of Greensboro and the surrounding area to explore, question, and respond to community concerns in an intimate and informal group setting. We will talk, share experiences, and connect our fellow neighbors with answers, resources, and the government mechanisms that support change. This collaborative dialogue will deepen civic engagement and strengthen community leadership in our city.  

We welcome you to join one of our 75-minute conversation sessions. Come build democracy here in Greensboro!

Topics

Democracy Tables: Police, Community & Justice begins February 24.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 6 PM: Register

Monday, March 1, 2021 at 4 PM: Register

Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 11 AM: Register

Watch Democracy Tables: You Asked! live on Wednesday, March 10 at 7 PM on our Facebook page

Democracy Tables: Housing & Equity begins March 27.

Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11 AM: Register

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6 PM: Register

Monday, April 5, 2021 at 11 AM: Register

Watch Democracy Tables: You Asked! live on Saturday, April 10 at 3 PM on our Facebook page

FAQ

Why is the Greensboro History Museum hosting Democracy Tables?

Democracy Tables are designed to enhance community connections, increase civic engagement, support civil dialogue, and share fact-based information. These conversations reach into different parts of the city to invite residents to share experiences and concerns — and to discover ways to make change in their communities.

What will we talk about?

The first spring series for 2021 is Police, Community & Justice. Let’s discuss your experiences with law enforcement, and ways they can best serve our communities.

When do these conversation sessions take place?

  • Wednesday, February 24, 6-7:15 pm
  • Monday, March 1, 4-5:15 pm
  • Thursday, March 4, 11 am-12:15 pm
  • Wednesday, March 10, beginning at 7 pm, Democracy Tables: You Asked! Watch live at facebook.com/GHMuseum

How will I benefit as a  participant in the Democracy Tables?

You will learn about others in your community. In addition, you can expect to learn more about the topics at the Democracy Tables: You Asked! follow-up programs.

Where will Democracy Tables take place?

Spring 2021 Democracy Tables will predominantly take place online via Zoom. Depending on the weather and COVID-19 restrictions and safety protocols, some late spring sessions will be in person in an outside venue with notice given beforehand.

What happens after I sign up for a conversation session?

After you sign up for Democracy Tables, you will receive an email with the link to the conversation, the conversation guide for the session, and some resources about the topic that might be helpful.

What is a typical conversation session like?

The conversation starts with an introduction of our program partners, an overview of the conversation rules of respect, an hour of conversation with three rounds of questions to think about, and ends with everyone coming back to the main (Zoom) room to share final announcements and thank all for attending.

Can I participate in more than one Democracy Table?

Yes, we hope you will make sure to join Democracy Tables: You Asked! on Wednesday, March 10 beginning at 7 pm to hear answers to some of the questions that come up during the conversation sessions!

What is required to participate?

The great thing about Democracy Tables is that you do not need any advance training or preparation. All you need to do, with the help of your table host, is follow the guidelines in the handout provided to you. We think you’ll enjoy listening to others, sharing your experiences and stories, and finding connections and differences that define us and our democracy.

You will need to register in advance to join a Democracy Tables conversation session. Sign up above.

What happens to the information we discuss at our Democracy Tables?

Community experts will address questions and issues from the Democracy Tables conversations at Democracy Tables: You Asked! sessions.

What happens if I don’t want to speak or if I want to leave early?

We hope you’ll find Democracy Tables fun and engaging. However, if you’re not at ease or need to leave for any reason, please feel free to do so.

Support

Democracy Tables are made possible by the NCA Center for Communication, Community Collaboration and Change. The Center seeks to facilitate partnerships with community-based organizations that create sustainable change for underrepresented and/or vulnerable communities through the production and application of communication-related scholarship and practice that lead to measurable outcomes for its community partners.

Democracy Tables are also part of the museum’s continuing Project Democracy 20/20 initiative, exploring American democracy through exhibitions, public programs and innovative community connections. 


Democracy Tables Spring 2021: Police, Community & Justice

Learn more about different research and local, state and national perspectives on justice and police reform from the sources below.

Resources

Law Enforcement Reform at the National Level

Despite congressional limitations on local police reform, the federal government has many tools to collect data on police force, investigate misconduct, and use the influence of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ can create their own models for just policing and reform for federal organizations. Congress has many options including  placing conditions on federal funding to encourage state policy changes and require the DOJ to create best practices for police procedures.

What are your thoughts? Since the DOJ can create their own models for just policing and reform for federal organizations, do you think they have done a great job with this or do you believe there is a need for more reform? Find  out more on the federal government’s ability to reform law enforcement organizations in this Congressional Research Service report from June 2020 (PDF download): What Role Might the Federal Government Play in Law Enforcement Reform?

Reassessing Use of Force in North Carolina
State leadership has set up a task force to reassess the use of force policy with “community policing advocates, state and local law enforcement agencies, justice-involved individuals, representatives of the judicial branch, individuals from marginalized populations and more” (paragraph 2). In Governor Cooper’s executive order, he called for the task force to develop solutions to help eliminate deadly and unjust outcomes in the criminal justice system that significantly impact communities of color.

What type of solutions do you think the task force should implement? Learn more about  Governor Cooper and the state legislature’s plans for police reform in this June 2020 news broadcast from WXII TV: North Carolina police to reassess arrest, use-of-force policy

Mental Health Responders in Greensboro
Following the death of Marcus Smith after being taken into custody by the police, the Greensboro Police Department (GPD) changed its policies for restraint. The GPD also started a pilot program where mental health counselors assisted police in calls. After the program, 60% of involved officers saw the benefit of mental health professionals for crisis calls.

Have you seen a positive or negative impact in our community because of this pilot program? How do you feel the GPD can better serve the community? Read more in this Greensboro News & Record editorial from November 2020: Our Opinion: A police reform that is working  


Check out information about last fall’s Democracy Tables…

Democracy Tables Fall 2020 Session: Voting

Voting: You Asked!

On October 4, community experts Leila Lewis of You Can Vote, Danielle Pritchett from the Greensboro Public Library, and League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad co-president Ann Proescholdt-Shaw answered questions about voting in Greensboro in 2020. Featuring special musical guests Marianna Levithan and Gabe Parks.

 

Resources

Useful links for Guilford County and North Carolina voters

 

Important Dates for Election 2020:

  • Regular Voter Registration Deadline: Friday, October 9
  • Early Voting Period: Thursday, October 15 to Saturday, October 31
  • Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot: Tuesday, October 27
  • Deadline to Return an Absentee Ballot: Tuesday, November 3
  • General Election Day: Tuesday, November 3

Ways to Vote in NC in 2020

You Can Vote!: Ways to Vote, Absentee Ballots and More!

Are you overwhelmed with conflicting information out there about voting? Listen in as Danielle talks with Leila Lewis of You Can Vote about everything you need to vote. You Can Vote is a nonpartisan organization that specializes in voter education for Guilford County and surrounding area communities.

Posted by Greensboro Public Library on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Registering to Vote Online

Register to Vote Online

Danielle is here to show us step by step how to register to vote online in North Carolina.You can get started today: https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/default.aspx

Posted by Greensboro Public Library on Friday, July 31, 2020

Guilford County Board of Elections
This site includes links to check on your voter registration status, polling place, district, and candidates you’re eligible to vote for. It also has a link through which you can print out a voter registration form. The site also features information on applying for an absentee ballot, as well as election statistics.

North Carolina State Board of Elections
This site provides a link through which you may print out a voter registration form. It also provides links to state laws pertaining to elections, the agency’s publications, applying for absentee ballots, local boards of elections in the state, and other useful items. On this site there’s also a link through which you may check the status of your voter registration. The site provides election statistics statewide and at the local level, and some pages on the site may also be viewed in Spanish. 

United States Federal Election Commission
Information for residents, the media, and candidates and campaign committees.