Deep Canvassing as a Means of Community Engagement | eePRO @ NAAEE

The home of environmental education professional development

Deep Canvassing as a Means of Community Engagement

In 2021, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and its partners in the Kentucky Just Transition Coalition knocked on thousands of doors to talk with Kentuckians living in urban, small city, and rural communities about climate change and how they have been affected.

Deep canvasses are candid, two-way conversations where you ask people to share their relevant, emotionally significant experiences and reflect on them aloud. These conversations typically involve non-judgmentally soliciting views around an issue and asking follow-up questions to go deeper, and sharing narratives about personal experiences with the issue that reinforce values relevant to the issue.

Deep canvassing is posed as a way to move hearts and minds around divisive issues, and to be sure, it's used in social and environmental change campaigns. But to me, it's also a way to create openings and engagement. And I think that the climate stories featured on the Kentuckians for the Commonwealth page show some of the power of this approach.

Yes! I love reading about efforts to bridge understanding from conversations. It often feels daunting, but news like these are really encouraging.

Weave: The Social Fabric Project from the Aspen Institute is another organization that seeks to build social trust within neighborhoods, but I deeply appreciate Kentuckians for the Commonwealth's focus on climate change impacts.

I wonder if there's another model for deep canvassing virtually? I'll have to search, but thank you, Michele, for starting this thread.