Building Civic Strength: NH Community Conversations

What’s at the heart of civic strength? What can we do to best prepare ourselves and our youth to take on the responsibilities of participation in a democratic society? NH Civics and NHPR will hold a series of candid conversations on citizenship today. The program will be held in locations throughout New Hampshire with a rotating panel of guest speakers and hosted by former host of NHPR’s The Exchange Laura Knoy.  Join us for a live discussion about how New Hampshire's people and communities can act now to build back our civic strength.  

Past Events in this Series:

March 15, 6-7 pm ~ Franklin Opera House

Watch the livestream of this event.

Listen to the broadcast recording of this event. 


  • Pedro Altagracia, Civic Engagement Advocate
  • Jo Brown, Mayor of Franklin 
  • Kelsie Eckert, Coordinator of Social Studies Education, Plymouth State University, President of NH Council on the Social Studies  
  • Jonathan Weinberg, Concord School Board 


April 5, 6-7 pm ~ Franklin Pierce University, Rindge

Watch the livestream of this event. 


  • Dr. Dottie MorrisAssociate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity at Keene State College
  • John Greabe, Director, Warren B. Rudman Center For Justice, Leadership & Public Service at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
  • Hannah McCarthy, Civics 101 co-host
  • Alexis Messina, student, Franklin Pierce University


Topics for Franklin Pierce University Event:

  • How was the US Constitution created? What was its purpose at the time? What is its current purpose and why is it still important? 
  • What are the important things for all citizens to know about the US Constitution? Is the Constitution the thing that unites all Americans?


April 19, 6-7 pm ~  Nashua Public Library

Watch the replay video here. 

Listen to the broadcast recording here. 


  • Chris Brooks, Souhegan High School teacher of ethics/philosophy, advisor to HYPE (Hosting Young Philosophy Enthusiasts)  
  • Sudi Lett, Youth and Education Coordinator, Granite State Organizing Project-Young Organizers United (YOU), Central High School
  • Melanie Levesque, former Democratic State Senator, business owner
  • Dr. Betty Tamposi, former Assistant Secretary of State at the US Department of State in George HW Bush Administration, three term member of the NH House of Representatives

Topics for Nashua Event:

  • What virtues and values are needed for people to solve community problems together across difference? What role does civics education play in this? 
  • How can we teach young people to use their civic voices in a responsible and considered manner? (especially across difference)  
  • How have population and demographic changes affected civic life in New Hampshire? 

May 3, 6-7 pm ~ Rochester Opera House

Listen to the Broadcast recording. 

Watch the replay video. 

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  • Anna Brown, Director of Research & Analysis, Citizens Count
  • Lovey Roundtree Oliff, Exeter Select Board member, host of the PodCaste System podcast
  • Bruce Mallory, NH Listens Co-founder, Co-Author of the NH Civic Health Index
  • Aaron Blais, Exeter High School social studies teacher, veteran
  • Kaitlin Rocca, Exeter High School student, member of NH Civic Learning Coalition

Topics for Rochester Event:

  • How can a citizen ensure that sources of information are accurate and fair? 
  • What effects does misinformation have on community decision-making and debate? 
  • How can we express disagreement while keeping our ability to work with each other to respond to problems? Why is it important to deeply understand ideas and opinions different from your own? 


May 17, 6-7 pm ~ Berlin City Hall

Listen to the broadcast recording. 


  • Casey McDermott, NHPR investigative data reporter/editor
  • Mallory Langkau, Groveton Middle High School teacher, DAR NH History Teacher of the Year, Mikva Challenge teacher leader
  • Anthony Poore, Principal, AP Consulting Group
  • Coltrane Stagg, Empower Coos Youth, sophomore at White Mountains Community College


Topics for Berlin Event:

  • What elements must be present, to create civically strong communities? 
  • What role does civics education play in civic strength? Do our schools teach enough civics?
  • How can communities solve problems across difference? What civic knowledge or skills would help? 

This conversation is supported in part through New Hampshire Humanities and the Mellon Foundation.


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This civic engagement experience is brought to you by

 the Race & Equity in NH Series


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Contact: Amanda Pawlik -

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Building Civic Strength: NH Community Conversations

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Friendly and welcoming with great ideas to share and implement in our classrooms.
- Teacher, 2019
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