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Top Resources for Post-Election Dialogue Across Divides

Earlier this week, NCDD hosted a special post-election Confab Call during which over fifty of our members and affiliates had a rich, inspiring, and for some, therapeutic conversation about what kind of work people in the dialogue and deliberation field are doing to address this post-election moment.

XS Purple NCDD logoThe call was part of our ongoing #BridgingOurDivides campaign, during which we’ve been encouraging our members to share about the work happening in our field that’s aimed at fostering bridge building, and to share resources that can build capacity to move forward together despite differences. The Confab Call was its own kind of resource, and if you missed the call, you can hear about all the great projects, insights, and resources that were discussed during it by listening to the recording here or reading over the discussion and links from the call’s chat transcription here. But there are many more resources we want to share with you all today.

As we’ve mentioned before, there are important needs being felt in the wake of the election year’s end that dialogue and deliberation can address: D&D can help us process our feelings and what’s next, it can help promote and maintain civility, it can assist in bridging long-standing divides, and it can facilitate interactions that humanize people or groups who’ve been made into caricatured “others” and out groups. NCDD wanted to know how our field is responding to these needs, so we recently asked our D&D community to share their resources, tools, and projects that could help address post-election issues with us.

We received a wide variety of wonderful resources in response to that call, and in our continued efforts to help the field rise to the needs and opportunities presented in this challenging moment for our country, we’ve created a list of some of the best resources the NCDDers shared. We’ve linked to over two dozen resources below that we hope D&D practitioners will find useful as you engage with your communities over the coming weeks and months.

Please continue to add to this list in the comments section, as we’ll be continuing to archive the best of these and other tools in our Resource Center for future use. For now, take a look through the list below of valuable D&D resources.

Processing Emotions and What Happens Next

Much of what is needed across the country after the election is simply spaces and methods to process our thoughts and feelings about the election season, the outcome, and what they want to see happen next – together. There are tons of great resources in our field for doing that, and here are some of the good ones:

Promoting and Maintaining Civility

With the divisiveness and rancor of the election season’s rhetoric on all sides, a huge part of the need D&D can fill right now is to help build the capacity for civil conversations when we’re disagreeing – whether within families, in the media, or in the legislature. Below are some of the best resources for supporting civility after the election:

Bridging Our Dividesflag-cracked

The election both opened new divides and deepened old ones in our society, and helping individuals and communities bridge those divides need to be a special focus of D&D work today. We encourage you to learn more about how you can facilitate that bridging using the resources below:

Humanizing Groups Seen as “the Other”

One of the most troubling needs after the election, especially in light of the spike in hate crimes over the last month, is the need to develop and implement D&D methods that can help people see the humanity in those who they’ve written off as “other” or “less than” themselves. This need is one that our field urgently needs to develop more robust resources for addressing, but there are some good ones out there, which we’ve listed below:

  • NCDD member organization Not In Our Town has a treasure trove of resources for hosting conversations and taking action to oppose bullying and hate groups. Check out their huge catalogue of videos (most of which come with discussion guides) you can use to start conversations about addressing intolerance. You can also check out their guide on bringing stakeholders together, their Not In Our Schools guides for educators, and their quick start guide
  • NCDD recently launched our new Race, Police, & Reconciliation listserv to support collaboration and exchange among those working in racial dialogue, community-police relations, and truth-telling & reconciliation work – all of which help break down barriers between “us” and “them.” We encourage all involved in such work to join
  • We recommend reading and sharing about AllSides.com, a project that helps reduce the disconnection from other perspectives that the echo-chamber effect of social media fosters by providing comparisons of the same news stories from left-leaning, right-leaning, and center-based sources
  • If you want to get sense of how thick your “bubble” is or help your friends think about theirs, check out this quiz that purports to give a rating of how insulated you are or are not from the experiences of working class people
  • On the creative side, the US Department of Arts & Culture is inviting communities to participate in their annual People’s State of the Union between Jan. 27 – Feb. 5 by hosting story circles that encourage telling real stories of connection, disconnection, and breaking through barriers. Check out the downloadable toolkit for hosts
  • This illustrated video of a webinar on the power of storytelling to humanize “others” has important lessons on listening to people we’ve been taught to hate
  • For some reflection on how we make those we don’t know into “the other,” check out the classic TED talk from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about “the danger of a single story”

What Other Resources Are Out There?

This list features some incredible resources, but we know it’s just a taste of what’s out there in our field, so we encourage everyone to continue sharing your resources for addressing post-election needs in the comments section below! For now, we encourage you all to keep thinking about how our field can make its broadest impact possible in moving our communities and our nation beyond its deep divides and toward a positive future.

If you want to find even more amazing D&D tools, be sure to visit NCDD’s Resource Center.

Roshan Bliss on LinkedinRoshan Bliss on Twitter
Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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