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Support Still Needed for NCDD2016 Youth Scholarship Fund!

As we announced recently, NCDD is in the midst of an effort to raise $10,000 for our Youth Scholarship Fund to bring as many young people as possible to the NCDD 2016 conference, and we need your help! We have raised just over $1,000 so far in generous donations from our incredible NCDD network, but we still have a lot to raise before our October 7th deadline. Will you consider making a tax-deductible donation today to support the involvement of young people in the D&D field? 

Involving young people and students in our conferences is a huge benefit to our field, the gathering itself, and of course, the young people! Youth and student attendees help bring new ideas and perspectives to our conversations, energize other participants, and having them with us also contributes to bridging the generational divide that so often impacts our country. But most of all, we need to involve the next generation of D&D leaders today to help us foster resilience and longevity for our field as many of leading pioneers of the field begin to exit the work. Won’t you help us develop the D&D leaders and practitioners of tomorrow?

Your donation will be tax-deductible, and it goes directly to helping us provide travel support, cover hotel rooms, and pay registration fees for young people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. Plus, anyone who donates $50 or more will have their contribution acknowledged in the printed conference guidebook!

We want to say a special “Thank You!” to some of champions of young people who have already donated! Thank you very much to:

  • The Network for Peace through Dialogue
  • Hawaii State Senator Les Ihara, Jr.
  • Chris Bui of The American Focus
  • Cynthia Kurtz
  • Bluebonnet Hills Christian Church, Austin, TX
  • Larry Schooler
  • and Bill Potapchuk of the Community Building Institute

These leaders have contributed to making it possible for more of our field’s young people to have the life-changing experience of attending an NCDD conference, and we encourage you to join them in investing in our emerging leaders to insure the bright future of our work! Learn more about other ways you can support young people coming to the conference in our earlier post here.

We need everyone to chip in to help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 for the NCDD 2016 Scholarship Fund before October 7th, so we urge you to make a contribution now!


Application Opens to Work with 2017 Nevins Fellows

NCDD was proud to host a special Confab Call this week with our partners at the McCourtney Institute for Democracy – an NCDD member organization and the host of the Nevins Democracy Leaders Program – who shared a presentation on the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. Nearly two dozen organizations participated in the call, which marked the launch of the 2016-17 application for organizations who want to host a bright, D&D-trained student who will work with their organization for two months of next summer at no cost. mccourtney-logo

We are encouraging all of our member organizations to apply today for the chance to host a Nevins Fellow next summer! Having a Nevins Fellow work with you is like bringing on a new full-time staffer, so it’s a great way for your organization to finally take on a special project you haven’t had time for, get extra help with your big summer engagements, or increase your organizational capacity overall – all while helping bring more young people into our field and growing the next generation of D&D leaders!

Opportunities like this don’t come often or last long, so we encourage you to make sure to apply for a Nevins Fellow before the October 21st deadline. You can find the application at bit.ly/nevinsapp.

If you haven’t heard of the Nevins program before or just want more information, there are tons of ways to learn more. You can start with the Frequently Asked Questions document that McCourtney created for potential applicants. We also had an informative discussion on the Confab Call with the McCourtney team, who covered lots of the important details about the program, and you can listen to the recording of that call by clicking here. You can also get a better sense of what the program experience is like from the student’s perspective by checking out this blog post from a 2016 Nevins Fellow about their summer fellowship with the Close-Up Foundation.

We can’t speak highly enough about the Nevins program’s students who applicants will have the chance to work with or about the value of this program’s contributions to the D&D field. We know that these young people will add enormously to the organizations they work with and that this program is helping secure the future of our field – a wonderful testament to vision of the program founder and NCDD member David Nevins. We encourage you to apply today!


NCDD Endorses NICD Standards of Conduct for Presidential Debates

NCDD is proud to announce that we are officially endorsing the set of standards of conduct for civility during the Presidential debates that our member organization the National Institute for Civil Discourse recently released. We are standing with NICD and other organizations in calling for civility during the debates because we believe that civility demonstrated in these events can be a step toward bridging our divides nationally. We encourage you to read NICD’s announcement about the standards of conduct below and to sign their petition for moderators to adopt them by clicking here.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse Calls on Presidential Debate Moderators to Enforce Civility, Releases Debate Standards for Upcoming Presidential Debatesrevive-civility-logo

We released a set of Debate Standards today that we are asking the presidential debate moderators to adopt in order to ensure that the debates are fair, informative, and civil. More than 60 organizations, including the AARP, have already signed on to the standards, which contain guidelines for moderators, the audience, and the candidates themselves.

In addition to AARP, a wide range of organizations endorsed the standards. Types of organizations include education institutions, such as the Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service, University of California Berkeley Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement and University of Virginia Center for Politics; forums, such as the City Club of Cleveland and City Club of Portland; and faith organizations, such as that Faith and Politics Institute and Interfaith Alliance. A complete list can be found on NICD’s website at: http://nicd.arizona.edu/standards-conduct-debates.

Join us in asking moderators, debaters and audience members to raise themselves to these standards and agree to use them in your own everyday interactions.

Sign our petition asking the Presidential debate moderators to adopt these standards for the upcoming debates

Revive Civility with us, our democracy depends on it.

Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer

Standards of Conduct for the Presidential Debates

I want debaters to: (more…)


NCDD 2016 Schedule & Workshop List Announced!

We at NCDD are thrilled to announce that we recently published the official schedule and list of conference sessions and workshops for the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation this Oct. 14-16 in Boston!ncdd2016-postcard

NCDD 2016 promises to be the most exciting NCDD conference to date! As always, we’ve planned the conference weekend to be full of activity, learning, and connecting. It includes rich pre-conference offerings, our famously engaging plenary sessions, experiential field trips, the D&D Showcase, and a new Open Space – there is going to be something for everyone! Be sure to have a look at the full NCDD 2016 conference schedule at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2016/schedule.

And of course, it wouldn’t be an NCDD conference without a smorgasbord of incredible workshops and sessions hosted by the brightest leaders and innovators in our field. NCDD 2016 will feature six concurrent workshop block with over 50 super diverse sessions that span the breadth and depth of the work being done by those in our field who are Bridging Our Divides, while also featuring some of the most exciting new initiatives and successful case studies in D&D. We encourage you to check out the full list of sessions and workshops at www.ncdd.org/ncdd2016/workshops.

If you’ve been waiting to register for NCDD 2016, wait no longer! This schedule and list of conference sessions is just more proof that this year’s gathering will be one of the most engaging, catalytic NCDD events yet, and you won’t want to miss out!

The conference is less than a month away now, and we can’t wait to be with 400 of the most engaged and innovative leaders in this work! We look forward to seeing you in October!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Learn How to Apply for a Nevins Fellow on 9/21 Confab Call

As we recently announced, NCDD is hosting a special Confab Call this Wednesday, September 21st from 12-1pm Eastern / 9-10am Pacific with the McCourtney Institute for Democracy. This call is the best place to learn how to apply for the amazing opportunity to have a D&D-trained student fellow come work with your organization at no cost and make sure your application is successful, so we strongly encourage our NCDD member organizations to register todayConfab bubble image

During the Confab, McCourtney’s Senior Scholar John Gastil and Managing Director Christopher Beem will provide an overview of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program, which ­trains college students in D&D and transpartisan leadership skills and then fast tracks them into related careers through placing them in Fellowship positions with leading organizations in the field. Becoming a Nevins host organization is the perfect way to cultivate and prepare the next generation of young D&D leaders while helping your organization build capacity, and this call will be the best place to learn how you can have the best shot at being matched with a Nevins Fellow through their competitive application process.

The call will be full of information and pointers about how to apply for a Fellow, plus it may even feature insights and reflections from past Nevins Fellows on what the experience was like for them. The application will open shortly after the call, but participants in this Confab will have the inside track, so don’t miss this great opportunity! We look forward to talking more with you on the call.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Looking for a Roommate at NCDD 2016? Find One Here!

Registration numbers are climbing, with nearly 200 attendees signed up so far for the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation! The conference is only a month away now, and we know many folks will want to cut down on lodging costs as they plan for the trip. If that’s you, we encourage you to use the comments section of this blog post to find people interested in splitting a room at the conference hotel.

The NCDD 2016 is taking place at the lovely Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center just outside of Boston, MA, and we encourage everyone coming in from out of town to stay there for your own comfort and convenience! We’ve negotiated a fantastic rate of $165/night (plus tax) for our conference attendees, but you need to take advantage soon – the deadline for securing our reduced rate is September 26th!

If you need to cut lodging costs while still staying at the hotel, drop a comment in the comment section below about your interest in finding a roommate. Here are some things you may want to include in your comment:

  1. Your name, gender, and any special requirements or considerations your potential roommate should know about you (for example, if you’re a smoker, night owl, snorer, etc.)
  2. When you’re arriving and departing and which nights you want to share a room
  3. Email or phone contact info in case people would like to connect with you directly

To get the NCDD room rate, make sure you use this link when you reserve your room:


We think you’ll be very glad you’re staying at the conference hotel. Staying at the Sheraton means you can take a break or nap whenever you need one, spend more time networking, and you won’t have to worry about transportation to and from the conference every day. Plus (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join EvDem’s Monthly Twitter Chat for Young Leaders

We encourage our younger members to join the Twitter chat that our NCDD member organization Everyday Democracy hosts every 2nd Tuesday. It’s a great way to connect and get new ideas out there, so we encourage you to learn more in EvDem’s post below and join them today using the hashtag #EvDemChat! Save the date for next month’s chat on October 11th!

EvDem LogoTwitter Chat for Young Leaders

Everyday Democracy hosts a Twitter chat the second Tuesday of every month at 2pm ET.

September’s Twitter chat will highlight the work of young leaders organizing and creating change in their communities. Join us this month for a great discussion!

We’ll talk about:

  • What inspires you to do community change work
  • Strategies you use to engage people
  • How you’ve overcome barriers you’ve faced as a young leader
  • How you talk about racism and racial equity in your work
  • How do you make sure young people’s voices are heard


Date: Tuesday, September 13
Time: 2-3pm ET
Hashtag: #EvDemChat
Host: Everyday Democracy (@EvDem)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

The Bridge Alliance Presents “Moving America Forward”

updraft_logo_borderThe Bridge Alliance, an NCDD 2016 All-Star Sponsor, is hosting a free event in Washington DC this Thursday, September 15th exploring many of the same issues we will tackle together in Boston this October.

Moving America Forward, co-sponsored by the Bridge Alliance and Updraft America (an art installation to be unveiled alongside the event featuring 10,718 paper airplanes symbolizing a desire to rise above partisan politics), will feature a panel discussion on How To Bridge the Partisan Divide. 

Moderated by author and journalist, Cokie Roberts, and featuring members of the Bridge Alliance, the panel will “present alternatives to the partisan narrative that permeates the political process and there will be presentations by organizations representing a cross-spectrum of civic engagement and collaborative problem-solving that is already present across America”.

The event is free but requires an RSVP and will be held at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center (4400 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC) beginning at 7:00 pm.  Visit the Updraft America Reception page on Eventbrite to learn more and sign up!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NICD Brings Civility to Nat’l Conf. of State Legislatures

In case you missed it, last month was a busy one for the Reviving Civility initiative from the National Institute for Civil Discourse – one of our NCDD organizations – and we wanted to share their update. NICD has been elevating the conversation about civility in politics to new levels and even awarded several elected officials for their work to revive civility this summer. We encourage you to read their August update below or learn more about the initiative here.

Reviving Civility at the National Conference of State Legislatures

This week, we were Reviving Civility at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 2016 Annual Legislative Summit in Chicago August 8-11th. On Tuesday, August 9th, NICD’s Ted Celeste hosted “Building Trust with Citizens: Text, Talk, Revive Civility, A National Conversation About Civility” with more than 100 participants.

This very diverse, highly engaged crowd worked in small groups of 4-8 people to discuss and brainstorm ideas about reviving civility in our nation while utilizing our innovative text-messaging platform. Many state legislators made commitments to take Text, Talk, Revive Civility back to their states.

NICD awarded Representative Stephanie Howse (D-OH), Representative Matt Pouliot (R-ME), and State Treasurer Terry Hayes (I-ME) with the NICD Award for Civility in State Governance at a reception on Tuesday, August 9th.

NICD also presented its inaugural Award for the State Most Committed to Civil Governance to the state of Maine this year. Representative Pouliot and State Treasurer Hayes, along with Maine State Representative Andrew McLean and Maine State Senators Andre Cushing, Rebecca Millette, and Roger Katz accepted the award on behalf of their state legislature.

The NICD’s National Network of State Legislators Committed to Civil Governance held it’s annual meeting on Tuesday, August 9th.

You can join in the conversation too. By texting CIVILITY to 89800 you can participate in Text, Talk, Revive Civility as well!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Join NCDD Confab Call on the Nevins Fellowship Program on Sept. 21st!

We encourage our NCDD member organizations to register to join us for a special Confab Call on Wednesday, September 21st from 12-1pm Eastern / 9-10am Pacific that can help your organization build capacity while helping the emerging student leaders of our field gain skills and experience in D&D work!mccourtney-logo

NCDD is hosting an exciting presentation and discussion with the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, who will be sharing about the incredible opportunity for organizations to host a D&D-trained student fellow at no cost next summer through their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program! You won’t want to miss it!

This is a rare and competitive opportunity for leading organizations in our field, and this Confab Call will be one of the best ways to find out more about how your group can take advantage of this program, so make sure to register today to save your spot on the call!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program was founded in 2014 after a gift from David Nevins, an NCDD Sustaining Member. The program provides Penn State students with education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing them to a variety of viewpoints and philosophies, as well as teaching critical thinking along with the tools of dialogue and deliberation.

But the flagship work of fostering the next generation of democracy leaders centers on the yearly initiative to place Nevins Program students in unique fellowship position with organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal – that means organizations like yours! Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program so that organizations can bring these bright, motivated students into their work for a summer at no cost to them. It’s an amazing opportunity for everyone involved! You can get a better sense of what the program experience is like by checking out this blog post from a 2016 Nevins Fellow about their summer fellowship with the Close-Up Foundation.

NCDD is proud to have partnered last year with the McCourtney Institute to help identify organizations in the field that can host Nevins fellows, and we’re continuing the partnership this year. This Confab Call is the best way to get your organization plugged into the process, so be sure to register today to learn more about the program and how to apply!

On this Confab, McCourtney’s Senior Scholar John Gastil and Managing Director Christopher Beem will provide an overview of the Nevins program and its aims, discuss the training that the future fellows are going through, and share more about how your organization can take advantage of this great chance to help cultivate the next generation of D&D leaders while getting more support for your work – all for FREE! We can’t wait to talk more with you on the call!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls…

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing, and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Register today if you’d like to join us.