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k-12 & youth

Nominations Open For Youth Community Service Awards    

High school seniors from the U.S. and U.S. territories are eligible to be nominated for the Yoshiyama Award for Exemplary Service to the Community presented by the Hitachi Foundation ( each year to ten recipients on the basis of their community service activities. Activities must foster longer-term community change and be focused in socially and/or economically isolated communities. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of $5,000 dispensed over two years. The foundation accepts nominations annually from people directly familiar with the nominee’s social contribution such as community leaders, service providers, teachers, school principals, or members of the clergy. More information can be found on the Yoshiyama Award website.

J-Lab Project to Fund 10 Community News Initiatives    

J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism ( has announced an invitation to U.S. nonprofit groups and education organizations to apply for funding to launch community news ventures in 2008 and to share best practices and lessons learned from their efforts. The New Voices Project will help fund the start-up of ten innovative local news initiatives next year. Each project may receive as much as $17,000 in grants over two years. Of the ten projects to be funded in 2008, at least three will target former Knight newspaper communities. Grant guidelines and an online application can be found at the project website. The deadline for proposals is February 20, 2008.

Southern Research Fellows Program Invites Applicants    

Here’s a grant opportunity for students who are interested in youth engagement – applications are due soon on January 11, 2008!

The Southern Growth Policies Board (, a nonpartisan public policy think tank, seeks student applicants for its new Southern Research Fellows Program, which promotes student research relating to economic development and quality of life in thirteen Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The focus of the 2008 Southern Research Fellows Program is the engagement, development, and leadership of youth between the ages of 14 and 24. Fellows will prepare an original report on an approved topic that will be incorporated into Southern Growth’s 2008 Report on the Future of the South and distributed at Southern Growth’s annual conference. Fellows will also receive a cash award of $1,000 each. Relevant report topics for 2008 include youth development, civic engagement, and strategies for building policies and partnerships that foster youth leadership skills, workforce preparedness, volunteerism, entrepreneurship, and the traits to become active, responsible citizens. (more…)

WJCF Seeking Director of Programs    

The Western Justice Center Foundation(, located in Pasadena CA, designs, implements, evaluates and promotes innovative methods of conflict prevention and resolution for children, communities and courts.They are currently looking for a Director of Programs. The ideal candidate would be someone with significant non profit management experience with at least 3 years of management level background. WJCF utilizes a team approach to management. The Director of Programs reports to the Executive Director and also works with the Director of Operations and Director of Development to oversee the long term strategic planning and program development of the organization. The Director of Programs will supervise the work of two Program Directors and carry a violence prevention portfolio which includes gang intervention and prevention, parenting education and civic engagement on issues of violence. They are looking to fill this position as soon as possible, so if you are interested, apply soon. For more details, visit:

USIP Opens National Peace Essay Contest    

The United States Institute of Peace ( is inviting high school students to enter a national essay contest. The topic for the 2007-08 competition is “Natural Resources and Conflict.” Participants are asked to write a 1,500-word essay stating what they believe are the necessary elements for the development of fair, peaceful, or effective use of natural
resources after a conflict. Students are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, or if they are U.S. citizens attending high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school, or participating in a high school correspondence program. Entries from home-schooled students are also accepted.

First-place state-level winners are awarded $1,000 each and compete for national awards. National awards include one first-place award of $10,000; one second-place award of $5,000; and one third-place award of $2,500. First-place state winners are also invited to Washington, D.C., for the awards program. The institute pays for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment. Visit the USIP Web site for complete program information and entry procedures. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2008.

Young Scholars Invited to Apply for Youth Purpose Research Awards    

Here’s another grant opportunity that aims to fund research on youth and “purpose,” which sounds a lot like civic engagement to me: The Stanford Center on Adolescence supports young scholars pursuing research related to youth purpose. The program defines “purpose” as “a stable and generalized intention to accomplish something that is at once meaningful to the self and of intended consequence beyond the self.” Up to four awards of no more than $10,000 each will be given in 2008 and 2009 for dissertation, postdoctoral, and early faculty career research that sheds light on adolescent intention, involvement with beyond-the-self causes, and topics that lead to the development of purpose, function of purpose in a youth’s life, and supports for and challenges to purpose.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., and must be affiliated with an accredited college or university in the United States. Applicants may be from any discipline that may inform youth purpose scholarship. Complete program information is available at the Stanford Center on Adolescence Website ( Deadline: January 17, 2008.

California Council for the Humanities Announces Guidelines for Story Fund    

Here’s a grant that aims to promote public storytelling and reflection – what a lovely idea!

The California Story Fund is an ongoing grant program of the California Council for the Humanities ( The council will award competitive grants to public humanities programs that bring to light compelling stories from California’s
diverse communities and provide opportunities for collective reflection and public discussion. The Story Fund is intended to encourage Californians from many communities to share their stories, thus promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the richness and complexity of the state. The council is especially interested in projects that will engage California youth in interpreting and reflecting on their experience through humanities-based programming. Organizations serving youth are strongly encouraged to apply. (more…)

Call for Papers on Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy    

NCDD member Jason Diceman sent us word that the Transformative Learning Centre (TLC) and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) are organizing a conference called “Learning Democracy by Doing: Alternative Practices in Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy” for next October 16-18 in Toronto. The conference organizers are calling for paper proposals on a variety of topics including: learning democracy in k-12 and higher education, learning democracy in non-formal education, learning democracy in civil society and government-sponsored initiatives, and learning democracy in transnational networks. Proposals are due December 31, 2007. For more information on the conference themes, cost of attending, and how to submit a proposal, read on. (more…)

The US and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives in the Classroom    

News about the U.S. relationship with Iran and Iran’s uranium enrichment program appears frequently in the headlines these days. There is much debate about how to respond to this issue. The U.S. and Iran: Confronting Policy Alternatives is an interactive lesson plan from the CHOICES program that engages students in deliberation about divergent policy alternatives concerning U.S. policy on Iran.

Visit the CHOICES website for this and other “Teaching with the News” online curriculum materials and ideas to connect the content of the classroom to the headlines in the news. Topics cover a range of foreign policy and international issues.

You can also order a free copy of The CHOICES Program’s 07-08 Resource Book, which provides a detailed description of all their curriculum units, online resources, and programs, by emailing .

Brick Awards to Honor Young People for Community Problem-Solving Projects    

The Brick Awards, an annual program of Do Something (, honor young people (age 25 and under) in the United States and Canada for their efforts to address problems in their local or global communities. Nine Brick Award winners will receive a minimum of $10,000 in community grants and scholarships (if applicable). Of those nine winners, one will be selected by a national online vote as a Golden Brick Award winner and will receive a total of $100,000 in community grants. The community grant money is paid directly to the not-for-profit of the winner’s choice.

Applicants must be permanent residents or citizens of the U.S. or Canada and must be born on or after June 30, 1982. Only winners who are age 18 and under are eligible for a scholarship of $5,000 and a $5,000 community grant. Winners between the ages of 19 and 25 receive their entire award in the form of a community grant Visit the Do Something Web site for complete program information, application procedures, and information on previous award winners. The deadline for applications is December 31, 2007.

Ashoka’s Changemakers Announces Competition to Help Young Men Succeed    

Those of you working with youth may be interested in this grant: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ( andAshoka’s Changemakers ( havelaunched a new global competition challenging organizations to submit their most innovative approaches to addressing the societal problems facing young men. Young Men at Risk: Transforming the Power of a Generation invites organizations working with 15- to 25-year-old males to submit their unique approaches to helping disadvantaged young men. The competition is aimed at identifying the most innovative approaches to helping a generation of young people around the world fulfill their potential and become healthy, successful adults. A major focus of the competition is reducing health disparities and improving the health of disadvantaged populations.

The competition will accept applications on Ashoka’s Changemakers Web site through January 16, 2008. During this time, applications will be available for review, comment, and discussion on the Web site. Once the competition has closed, a panel of judges will select approximately twelve finalists and three winners. The winners will each receive $5,000 in funding to pursue and expand their work. Select entries from organizations operating in the United States or its territories will be invited to submit proposals for a total of up to $1 million in grants to support the most promising innovations.

Competition details and application instructions are available at the Changemakers Web site. The deadline for applications is January 16, 2008.

Nominations Sought for James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards    

Those of you in California may be interested in the following award: The James Irvine Foundation ( ) is accepting nominations for the 2008 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards. The awards recognize individual leaders and leadership groups that are advancing innovative and effective solutions to some of the challenging issues facing California, as well as making a demonstrable difference to California’s future. Nominees may be working within any sector — nonprofit, public, or private — and within any field (e.g., education, health, housing, economic development, or the environment).

The foundation anticipates making four to six awards in 2008, the program’s third year. Award recipients will each receive $125,000 of flexible support for their work to benefit the people of California. At least $100,000 will be designated for core support of the leader’s project or organization and up to $25,000 for the leader’s own professional development, as determined by the recipient. The award also includes strategic communications activities, undertaken together by the award recipients and the foundation, to educate policy makers and practitioners about the effective solutions implemented by these leaders.

A nominee may be either an individual or a leadership group working in any sector or field. The nominee must be a resident of California. Nominations are welcome from people who are well-acquainted with the leader or leadership group and can attest to their qualifications. Self-nominations and nominations by family members are not eligible. Visit the Irvine Foundation Web site for complete program information. The deadline for nominations is January 18, 2008.

Peace Tiles Project Seeking Feedback and Collaboration    

Sandy blogged recently about the many activities that Lars Torres has organized with his Peace Tiles project ( For World Aids Day, coming up December 1st, Lars wrote to us to ask for help and feedback on three parts of the Peace Tiles project. Lars writes:

1) Would you have a look at our AIDS discussion guide, “A Triumph of the Spirit” and provide some feedback? The aim here is to use the Peace Tiles created by children as an entry-point into discussions that illuminate various dimensions of the pandemic. The guide is available online: (more…)

News from Lars and the Global Peace Tiles Project    

Lars and PeaceTilesLars Torres, a longtime NCDDer who recently switched from being a Researcher for AmericaSpeaks to independently running his own arts-based dialogue organization called the Global Peace Tiles Project (I know – takes some guts!), just added an update to Peace Tiles’ facebook group. I’m so happy for him; he’s accomplished so much already – that I thought I’d share the announcement on the NCDD blog…


Debate Association Launches    

The International Debate Education Association ( has just launched, a wiki with the ambitious mission of becoming the world’s “Wikipedia of debate and reason”. On Debatepedia, people can help edit and co-create an encyclopedia of debates by adding pro and con arguments and compiling bodies of supporting evidence within a unique pro/con “logic tree” structure. Debatepedia is also a place for documenting the positions of leaders and organizations. The potential range of debates on Debatepedia is limitless and includes topics that are international, national, and local in scope. It also intends to offer different language versions. Its ambitious mission will have a major impact on the way citizens engage in pressing debates, draw personal conclusions, and even influence their representatives and leaders. (more…)

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