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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Summer Peacebuilding Institute Scholarship Deadline: 1/31

Our friends at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) sent out a reminder yesterday via their newsletter that SPI 2020 scholarship deadlines are quickly approaching on January 31st! This phenomenal program offered by NCDD member org, the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, is an opportunity to learn from leaders in the D&D field about conflict transformation, restorative justice, and more. Courses can be taken to improve your skills or for academic credit (and they now offer an M.A. in Restorative Justice program).  Read more in the post below and on the Summer Peacebuilding Institute site here.

Summer Peacebuilding Institute – Dedicated Scholarship deadline January 31, 2020

To build a more peaceful and just world, we need to work effectively at community and local/regional levels in every country, starting with our own. SPI 2020 training courses offer the skills you need personally and professionally to make this happen.  Join us for an exciting time of shared learning across national boundaries. All courses are offered for training or academic credit.

This year we are offering a wide variety of courses on topics including, but not limited to: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

National Civic Review 2020 Winter Edition is Now Available!

Hot off the digital press! NCDD member org, The National Civic League, just announced the release of the 2020 Winter Edition of the National Civic Review. This esteemed quarterly journal offers insights and examples on civic engagement and deliberative governance from around the country. Friendly reminder that NCDD members receive the digital copy of the National Civic Review for free! (Find the access code below.) We strongly encourage our members to check out this great resource and there is an open invite for NCDD members to contribute to the NCR. You can read about NCR in the post below and find it on NCL’s site here.

National Civic Review: Winter 2020 – Code: NCDD19

The Winter 2020 issue of the National Civic Review is dedicated to journalist and author Neal R. Peirce, an indefatigable advocate for democratic governance, regionalism, civic engagement, and positive community change. A frequent contributor to this journal during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Neal served on the Board of Directors of the National Civic League from 1986 to 1995. He passed away on December 27, 2019.

To access this edition, go to the table of contents where you will be prompted to enter your unique access code: NCDD19

One of the Nation’s Oldest and Most Respected Journals of Civic Affairs
Its cases studies, reports, interviews and essays help communities learn about the latest developments in collaborative problem-solving, civic engagement, local government innovation and democratic governance. Some of the country’s leading doers and thinkers have contributed articles to this invaluable resource for elected officials, public managers, nonprofit leaders, grassroots activists, and public administration scholars seeking to make America’s communities more inclusive, participatory, innovative and successful.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Dynamic Line-Up of D&D Webinars – Happening TODAY!

Today has an exciting line-up of D&D webinars that we strongly encourage folks to sign up for ASAP! FOUR great webinars starting with NCDD sponsor org The Courageous Leadership Project and their “Brave, Honest Conversations” webinar at 9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern. There are two webinars after that at 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern, one from NCDD member org National Civic League webinar on “Collaborations to Address Mental Health” and the other from NCDD member org MetroQuest, “How SCDOT Engaged 13,000+ Residents on a Tiny Budget”. Last though certainly not least, Zehr Institute‘s “Beyond Circles and Conferences: Everyday Restorative Justice Practices in PK-12” at 1:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern.

Additional upcoming D&D online events from NCDD member orgs National Issues Forums Institute and Living Room Conversations, as well as, from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF), the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2), and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict.

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!

– Upcoming Online D&D Events –

From Our Sponsors & Partners

The Courageous Leadership Project webinar – Brave, Honest Conversations™

Wednesday, January 22nd
9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern

Some conversations are hard to have. Fear and discomfort build in your body and you avoid and procrastinate or pretend everything is fine. Sometimes you rush in with urgency, wanting to smooth things over, fix them, and make them better. Sometimes you go to battle stations, positioning the conversation so you have a higher chance of being on the “winning” side. NONE OF THIS WORKS. Instead, it usually makes a hard conversation harder; more divided, polarized, and disconnected from others. The more people involved, the harder the conversation can be. I believe that brave, honest conversations are how we solve the problems we face in our world – together.

In this webinar, we will cover: What is a Brave, Honest Conversation™? Why have one? What can change because of a brave, honest conversation? How do you have one? What do you need to think about and do? How do you prepare yourself for a brave, honest conversation?

REGISTER: www.bravelylead.com/shop/freewebinarbhc

National Civic League AAC Promising Practices Webinar – Collaborations to Address Mental Health

Wednesday, January 22nd
11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” This webinar will highlight two community programs that are addressing mental health issues through collaborations and unique partnerships. Registrants will hear about Somerville, MA’s Teen Empowerment Youth Mental Wellness Ambassador program and the Behavioral Health Consortium in El Paso, Texas.

REGISTER: www.nationalcivicleague.org/resource-center/promising-practices/

From Our Members

MetroQuest – click here

  • How SCDOT Engaged 13,000+ Residents on a Tiny Budget – Wednesday, January 22nd at 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern

Living Room Conversations – click here

  • 2020 Election: Concerns and Aspirations – Thursday, January 23rd  at 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern
  • Empathy – Tuesday, February 4th  at 1:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern
  • Fellowships and Friendships, the Rotary 4-Way-Test – Wednesday, February 12th  at 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern
  • Gender – Monday, February 17th  at 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern
  • Fake News – Thursday, February 27th  at 3 pm Pacific, 6 pm Eastern

National Issues Forums Institute – click here

  • Hidden Common Ground Initiative: Health Care – How Can We Bring Costs Down While Getting the Care We Need?
    • Thursday, February 6th at 5 pm Pacific, 8 pm Eastern
    • Saturday, February 8th at 11 am Pacific, 2 pm Eastern
    • Saturday, February 15th at 4 pm Pacific, 7 pm Eastern
    • Friday, March 13th at 1 pm Pacific, 4 pm Eastern

From the Network

Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice – click here

  • Beyond Circles and Conferences: Everyday Restorative Justice Practices in PK-12 – Wednesday, January 22nd at 1:30 pm Pacific, 4:30 pm Eastern

International Association for Facilitators – click here

  • Digital Tools to Spice Up Your Facilitation Session – Tuesday, January 28th at 8:30 am Pacific, 11:30 am Eastern

International Association for Public Participationclick here

  • IAP2 Taster Series: Embracing Emotion: Using The Socratic Circle© To Change The Conversation – Thursday, January 30th, time unlisted

Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) – click here

  • Violent Extremism and Terrorism: Exploring New Frontiers in West Africa – Friday, January 31st at 6 am Pacific, 9 am Eastern

From the CommunityFrom the Community

D&D Webinar Roundup Ft NCDD Sponsor, NCL, MetroQuest, and More!

Happy New Year to you all! Below is the first D&D webinar roundup of 2020 and we encourage you all to put these exciting opportunities on your calendars! NCDD sponsor org The Courageous Leadership Project will be holding their “Brave, Honest Conversations” webinar next Wednesday. On the same day, our friends at the National Civic League will be holding their webinar, “Collaborations to Address Mental Health” and NCDD member org MetroQuest’s webinar, “How SCDOT Engaged 13,000+ Residents on a Tiny Budget”.

Additional upcoming D&D online events from NCDD member orgs National Issues Forums Institute and Living Room Conversations, as well as, from the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice.

NCDD’s online D&D event roundup is a weekly compilation of the upcoming events happening in the digital world related to dialogue, deliberation, civic tech, engagement work, and more! Do you have a webinar or other digital event coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know in the comments section below or by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!

– Upcoming Online D&D Events –


From the CommunityFrom the Community

Discount on Davenport Local Gov’t Certificate – Apply ASAP

In case you missed it, NCDD member organization The Davenport Institute, in partnership with the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, is offering their next professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government [non-academic] from February 7-9 in Malibu, CA. Excellent for anyone involved or working with local government, or in graduate school for local government/public policy. NCDD members receive a 20% discount off the tuition if you sign by tomorrow, January 15th, so make sure you register ASAP to receive this great benefit. They are accepting applications until the class is full, so sign up while you still can! You can read the announcement below or on the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s website here.

Become a Certified Public Engagement Champion

The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy invite you to become part of the 6th cohort to receive your Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government on February 7-9, 2020 at the Pepperdine campus in Malibu, CA.

During this three-day intensive program, you will be prepared to lead a publicly-engaged organization by gaining a deep understanding of the context, purpose and best practices for engaging residents in the decisions that affect their lives and communities.  (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join Frontiers of Democracy Conference from June 18-20

Frontiers of Democracy is now accepting applications for its upcoming 2020 conference happening from June 18th until June 20th! The conference will be held at Tufts University in downtown Boston, following the American Political Science Association’s Institute for Civically Engaged Research, and preceding the Summer Institute of Civic Studies. Frontiers will be an opportunity to connect with members from these programs, as well as, practitioners and professionals working in democratic social movements, political reform, civic engagement, dialogue and deliberation, and more! Applications for sessions will be accepted until April 1st and we encourage members from the Coalition to submit an application and/or attend the conference. You can read the announcement below and find the original version on Peter Levine’s blog here.

Frontiers of Democracy: June 18-20, 2020

Frontiers of Democracy is an annual conference hosted by the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University since 2009.

In 2020, the conference will take place from June 18 (5 pm) until June 20 (noon) at the downtown Boston campus of Tufts University: Tufts Center for Medical Education, Room 114; 145 Harrison Avenue, Boston. You are invited!

You can register for Frontiers now.

You can propose a concurrent session for Frontiers using this form. Proposals will be accepted until April 1, 2020

The agenda is still in development but will include short plenary talks, concurrent sessions, and interactive activities for the large group. Among other whole-group activities, we will experience Pre-Texts (“pedagogical acupuncture”) and will use several new “teaching cases” to prompt intensive (more…)


A Big THANK YOU to our Contributors!

We’d love to start off the new year sharing our sincerest appreciation to everyone who supported NCDD during our End-of-Year Fund Drive, either by donating, renewing their memberships or by officially joining the Coalition for the first time as a dues-paying member!

With all of your support, we were able to raise nearly $4,500 to help support this amazing network of movers and shakers. We are only one week into 2020 and it is already shaping up to be a profound and pivotal year, for this country and the world. This powerful network has many tools, experiences, and connections, necessary to address the challenges of our era and positively impact the course of our future. We have a lot of exciting ideas in store that we hope to implement using these funds and continue to nourish this vital coalition. Thank you so much to all who contributed to making this possible!

Please join us in offering a deep and immensely grateful THANK YOU to our contributors!

Contributed $1,000:
Simone Talma Flowers

Contributed $500:
Ele Munjeli, Devopracy

Contributed $100 or more:
Cobie deLespinasse
Linda Ellinor, Sr. Partner & Founder, Action Dialogue Group; co-author of “Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation”
Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara
Betty Knighton

Contributed $75:
Carrie Bennett
Douglas Black
Jim Chamness
Russ Charvonia
Stan Deetz
Sara Drury
Kyla Epstein
Kelsey Foster
Richard Frieder
Seva Gandhi
Mary Gelinas
Diane Goodman
Jeff Hasenfratz
Peggy Holman
Kathleen Knight-Abowitz
Sharon Kniss
Joseph McIntyre
Premysl Pergler
Charles Pillsbury
Raquel Ramos
Dr. Sandor Schuman
Lori Shontz
Arjun Singh

Contributed $50:
Roshan Bliss, Organizing Director, Project VOYCE
Richard Burg
Elizabeth Traubman
April Struthers, Consultant, Wit Works Ltd, Canada

Contributed $25 or more:
Caroline Lee
Caroline Mellor
Ruthy Rosenberg
Dr. Carolyn Shadle, Owner, Interpersonal Communication Services, Inc.

Contributed up to $20:
Nicole Farkouh
Wade Hudson
Judith Mounty
Andrew Russell

Your contributions mean so much to NCDD and our staff! Thank you for your continued support of our network and its work!


Best Wishes for A Happy New Year!

NCDD’s Staff wish you all a joyous and happy New Year! We know 2020 will be a busy year for all of us in the coalition, but we also know the work will be as important as ever. We’re committed to continuing to work with all of you to help spread the stories of how dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement can help our communities, nation, and world connect across differences and make decisions together.

We know the work will be at times challenging, and so NCDD is committed to helping this coalition continue to raise the visibility of this work for the benefit of us all. We will also continue to help connect members of this network, provide opportunities for learning and reflection, and share the latest news and information. In order to continue this work together, we continue to need your support. Help us finish out the year and our yearly fundraiser by making a donation today! We’ve raised close to $5,000 this season through donations and membership enrollments and renewals. Any amount is appreciated and goes directly to assisting our staff with supporting this network.

Donate Button

Thank you for keeping NCDD vibrant for 17 years – we look forward to year 18!

With all our appreciation,

Courtney Breese – Executive Director
Keiva Hummel – Communications Coordinator
Joy Williams – Office Manager


Setting Our Sights on 2020

As 2019 draws to a close, the NCDD staff and board are setting our sights on the year ahead and making plans for what we would like to do together in 2020. Suffice it to say 2020 will be an important year for our country and our world. It will be a year where dialogue & deliberation are even more essential to helping people and communities build connections, increase understanding, and reach decisions together. This may feel like a real challenge for the public in the year ahead, but we all know the benefits of quality dialogue and NCDD will work hard to help share this message.

Keiva &Courtney believe what you do matters!

We will help spread the word about the work you all do every day, the impact that work has, and how more people can bring these tools to their communities. We will work with our network to teach more people to convene conversations. We will support our collective work through opportunities for shared learning and collaboration. And we will continue to look for the next steps we can take to advance our field together.

We, of course, can’t do this without all of you. NCDD is a coalition, and we are only as strong as our network. Our staff is made up of only three – myself, Joy, and Keiva, and we all work part-time. We continue to do this work because we are passionate about the potential that dialogue & deliberation offers our world, and know that this network harnesses the knowledge and skills to help see that potential achieved. With your help, we will get there.

Therefore, today we are launching our annual end-of-year fund drive. Our hope is to raise $10,000 before January 1 in order to support NCDD’s goals for 2020. On Giving Tuesday we were able to raise $1,400 to start this drive off, and we would love to raise double this amount in the next few days. Can you help us? If you believe in NCDD’s mission and find value in the resources, connections, and opportunities we provide, we urge you to show your support by making a donation. All contributions are welcome, whether they are $5 or $500. And your contributions are tax deductible! Please share the fund drive with your networks and consider asking your favorite angel donor to contribute as well. Help us reach our $10,000 goal, and thank you so much, in advance, for supporting NCDD!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

December Confab on Guns & Violence Now Available!

We hosted our December Confab last week with presenters from National Issues Forums, Living Room Conversations, and Essential Partners. Each shared their resources for talking about one of the toughest topics in our communities today: guns and violence. This post contains links to the resources as well as a link to the recording of this event.

Betty Knighton and Darla Minnich from the National Issues Forums Institute shared their Issue Advisory, How Should We Prevent Mass Shootings in Our Communities?   The issue advisory outlines three potential options for addressing this issue and encourages the public to deliberate on these and potentially other options.

Joan Blades of Living Room Conversations shared the Conversation Guide on Guns and Responsibility which seeks to help people come together across political or ideological differences to discuss this challenging topic. The guide offers a format for talking about guns in a way that helps community members hear one another’s experiences and how those impact their views about guns.

Katie Hyten from Essential Partners, the global leader in building trust and understanding across divisive differences, shared the story of how the organization convened participants in 2018 from across the United States for a two-day training in dialogue design and community building, followed by an experiment in digital peer dialogue facilitation. Watch the TIME Magazine video, read the media coverage, ​view resources, ​and find out more about Essential Partners’ approach to this issue on their website.

The Confab was a informative and full of resources and tips. It can be found at this link.

Our sincere thanks to Betty, Darla, Joan and Katie for sharing their resources with us and inspiring us to get our communities talking about this important topic.

Confab bubble imageTo learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs. We love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!