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Carma Corcoran Selected for Fellowship to Advance Democratic Values

July 15, 2019

Carma Corcoran, Lewis & Clark Law School’s Indian Law Summer Program Coordinator, has received a two-year fellowship by the Kettering Foundation’s Deliberative Democracy Institute (DDI). The fellowship is aimed at improving civil society by fostering a learning exchange between people from diverse nations. 

DDI gathers community leaders, scholars, journalists, civil society practitioners, and others to discuss ideas and develop plans for making the opportunity to shape one’s future open to all members of society. Corcoran plans to concentrate on Native American students and academia as an institution.

“This fellowship will allow me to further my research of Gentle Action Theory in addressing barriers to participation for Native American people.” Corcoran said. “As a Native American person who works with and teaches students, my desired impact of this fellowship will be a deeper understanding of the barriers to education and civic involvement that Native students face and how I can address those issues as an academic and practitioner.”

Corcoran will travel to Dayton, Ohio for a week-long forum with fellow DDI recipients to examine issues, new research, and political action regarding the advancement of democratic values in the US.

“I am really looking forward to spending time with over 300 scholars from 150 countries, all of whom are interested in discussion about democratic practices with goals to improve public life at the individual and community level with enhancing citizen participation in addressing societal issues,” Corcoran said.

Director of Student Leadership and Service (SLS) at Lewis & Clark College Harold McNaron nominated Corcoran for this fellowship after coordinating with her to connect undergraduate SLS volunteers with tribal contacts in order to help work toward indigenous sovereignty.

“Carma represents a beautiful melding of community-based scholarship, service, instruction and life. I’ve felt her impact during the short time I’ve known her and I look forward to hearing how this new opportunity might expand that,” McNaron said. “Because of who Carma is, I’m certain the benefits will be spread wide across communities on and off campus.”

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