IAP2 USA August 2023 Newsletter

From the Executive Manager  Erin Zimmermann

With back to school right around the corner, I’m filled with a familiar feeling. It’s that nervous anticipation for what will be. As my children pick out backpacks, get end of summer haircuts, and squeeze in a few more pool days, I realize the significance of this time of year. In many ways they are filled with excitement. They look forward to seeing their friends, meeting their teachers and being in their new classrooms. And, yet there’s an uneasiness with the newness and questions yet to be answered. 

I realize this familiar feeling in myself as we are less than a month out from our North American Conference. Maybe you get that feeling when working on a big engagement project, too. Will it go as well as you hope? Are all the details covered? 

The 2023 North American Conference is on pace to be our biggest conference yet. I’m amazed by the incredible program and thought-provoking sessions we have planned. And, of course, I can’t wait to be in person with many of you to experience and deepen our connections. I’m reminded of a conversation with Isabella GiaVulva who told me that one of the best things about IAP2 is that it encourages you to be your authentic self. I am so grateful for our incredible speakers who are showing up and partnering with us on all the possibilities to come. See you in Seattle!

Erin Zimmermann, 

Executive Manager


IAP2 North American Conference September 13 - 15 Seattle, WA

IAP2 North American Conference, September 13-15, 2023 at the Sheraton Grand, Seattle, Washington. 

We hope that you have your calendars marked, because we’re only weeks away from IAP2 NAC 2023,

This premier event is sure to be the go-to place to get inspired by the leaders in the P2 industry and gain valuable resources to enhance your practice.

With an exciting agenda with compelling speakers and entertaining networking opportunities, here’s the latest on what you can expect from our Keynote.

Be prepared to learn and laugh with Isabella GiaVulva – Playing with Possibility: A Creative Cabaret for Community Engagement.

Isabella is bringing a Keynote Cabaret to IAP2 NAC, for a hilarious educational experience. Serving up songs, satire and sass in Seattle, this Keynote Cabaret is more than just entertainment. It’s an unforgettable conference experience built on the foundations of IAP2 training.

In this session you'll see ways to better engage your stakeholders, to find that spark, and unlock creativity in your engagement practices to create better spaces for our communities to participate. You’ll learn how to create a unique space for practitioners to learn, have fun, and be empowered through humor, empathy, and heartfelt honesty.

This is shaping up to be our biggest conference yet, so join our waitlist as spots could open at any time. 

Join the waitlist Today

IAP2 USA DEI Committee Open Chair Meetings

Dear IAP2-USA Members,

We hope this message finds you well! We are delighted to extend a warm invitation to you from the IAP2 USA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee.

At the heart of our committee, we hold an "Open Chair" policy, welcoming any IAP2 USA member who has an interest in attending a meeting. Whether you are curious about getting involved or simply wish to gain insight into our committee's initiatives, we invite you to be part of a future meeting.

Meetings take place on the second Wednesday of the month at 11:30am PST via Zoom

This gathering serves as a perfect opportunity for you to explore and discover the incredible work our committee undertakes in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within IAP2-USA and in the practice of Public Participation across the USA. 

Joining us doesn't commit you to any specific role; it's an opportunity for you to experience the synergy of our passionate team and witness the positive impact we strive to make. Volunteer recruitment for Committees takes place annually in December.

To RSVP for an upcoming meeting or if you have any questions, please reach out to Craddock Stropes, IAP2 USA DEI Committee Chair, at Craddock.Stropes@carlsbadca.gov

Thank you for considering our invitation, and we sincerely hope to see you at the upcoming meeting. Together, let's build an inclusive and equitable future within IAP2 USA!

Warm regards,

IAP2 USA DEI Committee

Lessons from a five-year multi-author blog about community engagement

A team at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill created a blog to explore different experiences and views related to community engagement. 

The Community Engagement Learning Exchange was a unique blogging experiment from 2014–19. Drawing from the  perspectives of grassroots, government, and academic participants, the blog offered hundreds of posts by regular and guest contributors on a wide range of topics related to community engagement.

We offer lessons from this experiment to promote similar work by civic-life advocates who aim to democratize mutual learning on community engagement through online conversation. https://www.sog.unc.edu/publications/reports/lessons-team-bloggers-community-engagement

John B. Stephens and Nikki Abija – UNC at Chapel Hill  


To have your P2 research or other projects featured like this one email IAP2 USA with the subject line 'Newsletter Article'

IAP2 USA Chapter News

LogoThe Emerging IAP2 USA Lonestar Chapter is gaining traction with two events this summer. 

On June 22 they held a lunch and learn event at Meanwhile Brewing Co. in Austin. On August 8 they held a virtual lunch and learn on sharing resources like engagement plans, books, people, practices, and more. 

The Lonestar chapter is making connections across Texas and seeking opportunities to connect using virtual tools and in-person gatherings.

If you are interested in becoming an area leader for your neck of the woods, helping gather people in your area for in-person connections, or have ideas for the chapter, email Justin Schneider.

The Emerging IAP2 USA Sacramento Area Chapter has also been busy this summer hosting a series of summer ‘lunch and learn’ workshops.

These workshops, with rotating guest speakers, have been an opportunity for public engagement practitioners in the region to network and share best practices. These sessions have been covering topics such as how to conduct a successful hybrid engagement, overcoming challenges to build better public meetings, and engaging to build trust locally. 

Understanding hybrid meetings is key to being prepared for what may become a new normal, and IAP2 Sacramento reviewed a case study of the Department of Conservation's Multi-Benefit Land Repurposing Program as a success story for conducting a hybrid meeting. Official public meetings present many challenges, and attendees at this lunch and learn session learned about community building techniques that integrate diverse and marginalized perspectives.  The last session of the series explored strategies to foster trust among engagement participants and sustain engagement results for the long-term. Naturally, each session began with breakouts to support local practitioner networking.

To join the group of volunteers at the Sacramento Chapter contact IAP2 USA

Not in Texas or Northern California? Contact your Regional Chapter to get involved or email Angela at IAP2 USA to join others looking to form a chapter in your area.

IAP2's Fundamentals of Public Participation

First course to be taken before Designing Public Participation and Applying Methods

September 7 & 8, 2023     

1 PM – 5 PM Eastern

The Fundamentals of Public Participation (P2) course is a prerequisite to other courses in the Global Learning Pathway that sets out the underpinning models and frameworks of engagement practice as defined by the IAP2 community.

The focus of this course is on understanding and applying the practices of meaningful and effective P2 and what participants need to know to do this well. The training explores best practices, and how to design and apply this knowledge to your P2.

Course objectives

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Define P2 and related terms and what makes it unique
  • Identify what makes P2 meaningful, and reflect on the benefits, risks and myths related to P2
  • Identify the role that values play in P2 work, and the leadership attributes that will serve them in practice 
  • Reflect on and apply ethical leadership actions and abilities to P2 situations
  • Apply the Profiles of P2 model to P2, and explore organization- and community-led engagement and how that impacts the engagement process
  • Reflect on and apply the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion, and explore the roles and impacts of power and influence
  • Apply the IAP2 Spectrum to P2 situations and practice
  • Explore the Practice Framework as a tool for effective planning and process, and assess the quality of the process

          Webinar Recordings - Available to Members Free On Demand

          All of our past webinars are available to members who are logged into iap2usa.org. Just click here and you will be prompted to login to the Webinar Archives.

          August 15 (Learning Webinar) - Framing Equity, Inclusion and Social Responsibility in Challenging Times

          No matter where we live or where we work, we know that public participation in decision=making faces historic challenges that are threatening the future of all of our communities.

          In 2023 we find ourselves engaging with community members whose voice is being diminished or ignored when politics, economics and institutional racism intersect. We are also human and our work is personal. We feel these impacts too.

          What can we do as public participation and planning professionals to ensure that equity and inclusion are tangible and meaningful components of how major decisions are made in our local communities?

          Watch this thought-provoking discussion hosted by planning and communications professionals sharing how they are navigating structural barriers to equity-driven public participation during these challenging times.

          If you are seeking real-talk about a real-world topic, watch this session today.

          Presenters: Kendall Martin, Sara Dechter, Celeste Werner

          If our current courses don't meet your needs please fill out this quick survey so we can help you become the P2 practitioner your community needs.

          Member Spotlight

          If your organization has had any recent P2 successes or thought of creative solutions we want to hear about it! Please contact info@iap2usa.org to be featured on our website or newsletter.

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