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Help Students Attend NCDD 2018 – Scholarship Drive Launches Today!

The 2018 NCDD national conference is coming up this November, and as we share more and more details with you all, the interest in the conference continues to grow! Not everyone who wants to join us has the ability to cover all their expenses, however, and so today we are launching our NCDD 2018 Scholarship Fund Drive to help those who need some financial assistance in attending the conference, particularly students and young people.

Would you like to make a difference in sponsoring someone to be able to attend the conference?

Our amazing NCDD community has stepped up year after year to make sure that students, young people, and those who need a little support can join us for this exciting gathering. We are hoping to raise at least $10,000 for scholarships, if not more, and we can’t do it without you! Whether you can give $5, $500, or beyond – please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund today!

Scholarship applications have been coming in over the last several weeks, many from students looking to explore more deeply the field of dialogue and deliberation, and make those essential connections for growing their practice. As part of the theme for this conference, Connecting and Strengthening Civic Innovators, we will focus on how to bring D&D work into more widespread practice; a big part of which, is expanding the inclusivity of our field. We must consider who will continue to carry on this work and that contributing to the Scholarship Fund is a concrete way to support our fellow innovators and ultimately, the future of our field.

We’ve heard from 5 individual students who would love to attend NCDD, several for the first time – but are unable to get there without a little help. If you have resources to make a difference, even a little can go a long way for these students!

Student registration is $250. Our hotel room rate is $82.50/night for a shared room. Airfare costs $300 roundtrip on average. That means, for a student, young person, or someone with a limited income, the overall cost of $250-$1,000+ can make attending NCDD feel impossible. If we can raise $10,000, we will be able to help at least 25 people attend this conference who otherwise would not be able to afford it. The more we raise, the more people we can help attend NCDD 2018!

Who Your Donations Support

Please take a minute to read the 5 quick stories below, from some of the students seeking scholarships, who would otherwise be unable to afford to attend the conference. If you’d like to help support their attendance at NCDD 2018, please contribute to the scholarship fund here and enter “Scholarship Fund” in the “Donation Note” field!

Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to helping us provide travel reimbursements, shared hotel rooms, and registration for scholarship hopefuls. Plus, anyone who donates $50 or more will have their contribution acknowledged in the printed conference guidebook!

1. One senior at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Fletcher, hopes to attend as a co-presenter in a workshop called, Bridging Divides through Dialogue and Digital Narratives. As Fletcher put it, “I would like to attend the NCDD conference because I want to continue learning to communicate with people different than myself. I am particularly interested in the 2018 theme because… Although CU has slowly made progress in becoming more racially diverse, it is still very politically homogeneous. Although I tend to fit in with the majority opinion, it feels wrong to me that conservative or independent views are squashed on campus. Attending the NCDD conference would help me to foster an environment at CU in which all views are, at least, listened to and attempted to be understood.”

As a Colorado resident not far from Denver, Fletcher is only seeking support to cover the $250 conference registration fee for students, which they cannot afford at this time.

2. One woman named Brenda describes herself as an undocumented student, hoping to help share other stories from the undocu-community “in order to move the world in a productive direction.” She believes that “dialogue is the way we change the world”.  She recently accepted a student teaching job and as a Colorado resident not far from Denver, Brenda’s also only seeking support to cover the $250 conference registration fee for students, which she cannot afford at this time.

3. Fatima, a Pakistani immigrant, just completed an undergraduate degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo. She dreams one day of “launching an intra-faith dialogue program that allows the Muslim community to dialogue around polarizing topics.” Her positive experience at the last NCDD conference allowed her to “develop many connections and start making a lay-out of my envisioned dialogue program.” She hopes to attend this next conference as a way to “continue learning, continue making connections and continue working on my dialogue program.”

Fatima has a $100 voucher for her airfare and is hoping for some additional support to make the trip from Canada – as well as cover the $250 student registration and lodging.

4. Amanda is a full-time student at Portland State University conducting her dissertation on the educative potential of participatory democracy and dialogue. She’s hoping to attend NCDD for the first time to help present in the session, “The Art of Civic Engagement”. As a mother of two young children, however, she lacks the resources to attend this conference without it creating a financial hardship.

Amanda can contribute $50, but is hoping for help to cover the remaining $200 of student registration. She’s also hoping to find low-cost lodging, and potentially some travel support.

5. Sam is an Asian-American student getting his Master’s in Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver. He is hoping to attend NCDD for the first time. Sam’s introduction to dialogue began as an AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer (current role) for a conservation non-profit in Trinidad, Colorado – a rural city on the southern border with New Mexico. There he was tasked with developing collaborative projects to tackle environmental concerns in the local watershed. “To do this,” he writes, “I set up a committee that included city employees, recreation enthusiasts, conservationists, and ranchers and producers to look at resource issues on a 4.5 mile stretch of the river as it runs through town. Through this process, I learned about the importance of facilitating open dialogue and reaching consensus among a group of people with diverse interests to address environmental concerns.”

Sam can contribute $50, and is seeking an additional $200 to cover the student registration cost. As a Denver resident, the rest of his expenses are covered.

The individuals above are just a few select stories of many who have reached out and have requested support. Can you help these students and others like them join us for NCDD 2018? Contribute on our donation page today!

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Courtney Breese
Courtney Breese is the Managing Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). She has a B.A. in Social Work and Counseling from Franklin Pierce College.

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