Publications

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Envisioning the Future of Downtown Jaffrey, New Hampshire
December 15, 2022
In this report, authors Mikayla Townsend, Steve Brown, and Carrie Portrie summarize the workshops held with community members to discuss how to make Jaffery, New Hampshire's downtown more welcoming, provide needed resources, and afford economic opportunities.
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Local Civic Health
March 14, 2023
This seven-part guide is designed to help people at the local level collect data to better understand what factors bring people together or push them apart. This information can help communities to thrive and strengthen democracy at the local level.
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A Community of Action for Lead Safety
April 20, 2020
In this report, author Carrie Portrie summarizes A Community of Action for Lead Safety, a year-long effort to build cross-sector, municipal coalitions to leverage New Hampshire’s new lead laws.
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Supporting Coös Youth on the Path to Adulthood:
May 13, 2019
The “Supporting Coös Youth on the Path to Adulthood” conference was held on October 26th, 2018, at the Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa in Whitefield, New Hampshire. This report describes the themes and priorities heard during the conference’s small and large group discussions.
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Facilitating Vulnerability and Power in New Hampshire Listen’s “Blue and You ”
December 14, 2018
This study examines the on-going work of New Hampshire Listens, a convener of deliberative conversations, specific to their work with police-community relationships. Attending particularly to the facilitators and planners of New Hampshire "Blue and You" in a small city, the study found systemic practices of early stakeholder involvement in the planning, holding space for disparate views…
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“Where do we go from here?” Identifying pathways toward inclusive community
May 3, 2018
This report presents results from a community conversation aimed at identifying pathways toward an inclusive and bias-free community. The conversation served as the closing community event of the Oyster River Community Read (ORCR) Program that ran from January to April 2018. The goal of this conversation was to increase understanding, generate ideas for change, and help participants get…
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Early Childhood Community Engagement: How can New Hampshire be the best place for all children and their families to play, learn, and grow?
February 1, 2017
In the first few years of a child’s life, hundreds of neural connections form in the brain. When children engage with and receive thoughtful responses from adults, they form strong relationships that bolster healthy growth. Creating conditions (in the home, at school/child care, and in the community) that promote robust brain development and reduce toxic stress early on is likely to be more…
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NH Blue and You: Dover Creating Community Change Through Connection
January 18, 2017
Over ninety people from the community squeezed into Flight Coffee for a conversation about community- police relations in Dover. Participants with a range of ages, races, and educational backgrounds were represented at this event. Attendees’ final recommendations and key areas of concern can be used by decision makers to inform next steps, as well as prioritize issues that were identified in a…
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Deerfield Safety Service Needs: Finding a Way Forward
January 13, 2017
Participants at the conversation on the future of safety services for Deerfield expressed a range of perspectives, all of which were recorded by facilitators. Over about two hours, seven small groups―each with a trained facilitator―identified the most important issues. The summary below and the small group notes reveal strong overall themes as well as a rich collection of specific ideas. Included…
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NH Beverage Alcohol Summit: July 2016, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
August 18, 2016
In July of 2016, over seventy-five people attended the NH Beverage Alcohol Summit at the Mt. Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Commercial stakeholders initiated the summit, but attendees included stakeholders across the industry including members of the NH State Legislature, the NH Liquor Commission, the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, the prevention and…
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We Are Concord: Building Trust ~ Strengthening Relationships ~ Increasing Understanding
March 16, 2016
In February 2016, over 250 people attended one of three We Are Concord conversations to share their concerns and priorities for promoting collaboration and healthy problem solving across differences. These conversations provided an opportunity for the Concord community to strengthen relationships in a changing economy and a changing community, build trust and positive places for learning and…
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Accomplishments, Challenges, and Lessons Learned: 2010 - 2015
June 1, 2015
This report summarizes the work of NH Listens since our inception over five years ago. The report is organized around the core elements of our three-part mission, which are to create engaged community conversations on local and statewide issues, to serve as a resource and support network for new Local Listens groups, and to cultivate a network of facilitators for public engagement and action.
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Good Neighbors: A Community Conversation to Strengthen City-College Connections and Relationships
April 14, 2015
During the winter and spring of 2015, the Keene College/City Commission worked with NH Listens to design a community conversation that would focus on one of the four priorities identified by the Commission in 2014— citizenship. As stated in its working charge, the Commission was established with, “the goal of improving the quality of life for residents, students, employers, and visitors while…
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When Opportunity Stops Knocking: New Hampshire’s Kids and the American Dream
May 1, 2015
The conversations that took place in early May 2015 were focused on informing and getting input from New Hampshire residents on the increasing opportunity gap in the United States and in New Hampshire. Does everyone in New Hampshire have similar opportunities to succeed economically and socially? Is it harder to get ahead now than it was in previous generations? How can we make sure that everyone…
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Building Trust, Increasing Safety: Assuring Mutual Understanding and Trust Between Community Members and Police Officers
May 1, 2015
Police and community members in the communities of Rochester, Durham, and Dover spent three hours in each location discussing how to encourage mutual understanding and trust between communities and police. Participants from law enforcement and individuals from local neighborhoods worked together to reframe community problems as social issues where both community members and police play a role in…
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What Do We Value?: The Future of Education in Newmarket
November 8, 2014
During the summer and fall of 2014, a group of volunteers comprised of Newmarket residents organized Newmarket Common Ground and worked with New Hampshire Listens to design a community conversation about the future of education for the town. The conversation was intended to help Newmarket residents to engage in respectful conversation so that the community could move forward in light of the…
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"Supporting Youth Supporting Community" A NH Listens Summary Report
February 11, 2015
The Milton School District, along with a group of community members, teachers, and local civic leaders, worked with New Hampshire Listens to design a community conversation on the best way to support the young people of Milton to grow, thrive, and succeed.
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Milton Youth Voice Day Summary
January 16, 2015
On December 16th, 2014, all Nute students and staff participated in small group conversations focused on giving input to the school and town about what it is like to live, learn, work, and play in Milton. The students learned that in the October conversation with parents, teachers, and community members, many of the adults talked about: Needing to communicate better among the town, schools, and…
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What Should Go Here?: A Community Conversation on the Future of the Marston Farm Property
December 2, 2014
The Marston Property Exploratory Committee worked with New Hampshire Listens to design a community conversation on the future use of the Marston Property. The property was recently acquired by the community, and the committee was formed to explore what uses the property would best serve the residents of Nottingham. Prior to the Community Conversation, Committee members hosted a table at…
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Is Granite State Government as Efficient, Transparent and Innovative as It Can Be?
September 25, 2014
The New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Innovation, Efficiency, and Transparency in State Government was established by Governor Hassan in 2013. In June of 2014, the Commission contracted with NH Listens to host conversations around the state with citizens, state employees, and vendors to gather information about ways to improve state government functions, with a particular focus on the…