The hard work that ensures the people have a voice in things that affect them is often unsung. The Core Values Awards recognize the achievements of organizations through a particular year. Now comes the Greater Good Award, which recognizes bodies of work by individuals. Selected by the President after reviewing nominations from members, the first of these awards were announced at the North American Conference in Denver in September.
The first two honorees come from markedly different backgrounds: a pioneer of the practice — Dr James Creighton — and one who ensures P2 is at work daily in one of America’s largest, most diverse cities — Grayce Liu.
Jim Creighton told the Conference-goers how the idea for an International Association of Public Participation Professionals was cooked up during a taxi-ride in Cincinnati in the late 1980s, when he and some colleagues bemoaned a lack of standards and consistency in public participation. By then, Jim was already a veteran in working to make sure people have a voice in important decisions, having worked as an independent consultant in the field since 1972 and published The Public Participation Manual in 1981. Since then, he has published countless books and other resource material, and taught, mentored and collaborated many other professionals in the field.
His projects have taken him all over the world, and among his accomplishments was the establishment of Alternative Dispute Resolution principles with the US Army Corps of Engineers. ADR has helped the Corps avoid countless lawsuits, and earned the Corps the Vice-President’s Hammer Award for its support in reinventing government principles.
The nomination form states that “a large part of Creighton’s motivation was creating space to share experiences, practices, and ideas among the diaspora of public participation practitioners who were struggling to create a ‘legitimate’ field of practice.”
You can read a comprehensive overview of Jim Creighton’s contribution to P2 in the nomination form (with recommendations) here.
Watch Jim’s acceptance speech after the award was presented at the 2017 IAP2 North American Conference!
In the words of one of her co-nominators, Grayce Liu “seems to be everywhere when it comes to forwarding the goals of genuine participation.” As General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, Grayce is responsible for supporting the 97 Neighborhood Councils in the city. Among her duties is to streamline processes so these all-volunteer elected councils can better interact with City Hall. On her watch, staff have been trained in compassionate communication, she piloted online voting for Neighborhood Councils to increase inclusivity, co-chaired “Google Angeles Lab” — the Google Innovation Lab on Civic Engagement — and was part of a national working group on Inclusive Innovation for American Cities, creating a how-to booklet for cities on how to be inclusive while innovating. She is currently working on creating an Office of Civic Engagement, to educate City departments and create a culture of P2 with the City.
Grayce is also a co-founder of the emerging Southern California Chapter of IAP2 USA. You can read all about her qualifications for the Greater Good Award here.
Grayce was unable to come to Denver to accept the award in person, but you can watch this video with her acceptance message!