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How should the D&D community respond to the crisis in Newtown?

In collaboration with Newtown, Connecticut resident and NCDD member Ben Roberts, NCDD has created a space on Hackpad where we can talk about last Friday’s tragedy and how our community might respond.

Our community is buzzing with conversation (and opinion!) about what WE can do in light of this crisis…

  • Can we offer facilitation support to organizations in Newtown?
  • Can we organize a national dialogue on issues that have emerged from this crisis? — and what are the right issues to engage people around?  (Gun law? Mental health services? School safety? Reducing violence in our society?)
  • What do we already know about running national dialogues?
  • What resources already exist that people can put to use immediately?
  • What contributions are people willing to make now?

We’ve set up the workspace at www.bit.ly/natdial to encourage people in the NCDD community to discuss these questions and more in an open, organized format (that’s super-easy to use, I promise!).  Just login using your Facebook or Google account (or email), look over the directory page to see where you’d like to start, and begin adding your comments and responding to what others are saying.  We have quite a good discussion going already — so please join in!

I’m especially interested in using this moment to encourage us to think about how we can equip our community to respond quickly and effectively to crises like this in the future.  I hope we can think together about the infrastructure NCDD and others need to be building to enable us to respond together to future crises that cry out for dialogue in a timely, productive, and meaningful way.

The conversation our community needs to have is bigger than the listserv can handle smoothly, and I hope we can make the Hackpad work as an alternative space for our community to engage and, hopefully, find some ways to move forward.  All those involved in dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement (even those who aren’t NCDD members) are welcome to join us!

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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We always encourage a lively exchange of ideas, whether online or off. Questions? Please feel free to contact us directly.

  1. We know what to do as mediators to deal with mass shootings. We need to work each of our networks, convene the dialogues that we can from those networks and design the processes that make the sense given those people. They might be study circles, or regional vision conversations, or policy dialogues. If each of us works from our strength we can develop moral, health and education programs, and policy conssensus. See more at http://www.mediate.com/articles/Birkhoffreduceshootings.cfm

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