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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Senator Ihara Announces Launch of Civic Square Initiative

National Issues Forums Institute, an NCDD member org and sponsor of NCDD2018, recently share this piece from Senator Les Ihara, a regular attendee of NCDD conferences, who just launched Civic Square (aka The Whole): A Sacred Civic Space to Live Aloha. Civic Square, is an initiative which seeks to provide a safe space for people to convene and collaborate civically to further citizen-centered democracy. You can read about Civic Square in the post below and find more information on NIFI’s site here.


From State Senator Les Ihara, Jr. in Hawaii – Announcing the Civic Square Initiative

On August 9, 2018, Hawaii state senator, Les Ihara, Jr., has announced the launch of the Civic Square (aka The Whole): A Sacred Civic Space to Live Aloha.

You can read more about the Civic Square in Civic Square Manifesto.

The following are excerpts from the three-page Civic Square Manifesto:

Civic Square is a sacred civic space in the public square. Civic Square is a safe space for people to share their civic aspirations, values, and practices with each other. Civic Square is a network of civic-minded people who practice a community ethic of living Aloha, as defined in Hawai’i law, §HRS 5-7.5. We are a learning community interested in civic acts of courage, community, collaboration, and networked markets… (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Donate to Scholarship Fund to Help Youth Attend NCDD2018

We recently announced the Scholarship Fund Drive, which is an effort to provide support to students, youth, and those who would otherwise be unable to attend the upcoming  2018 NCDD national conference. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to give financial assistance to the 30 applicants (and growing) and bring as many folks as possible to NCDD2018. Not only does contributing to the Fund help these individuals attend, but it’s mutually beneficial as it increases the opportunity for even more connections with fellow civic innovators and engagement enthusiasts, win-win!

Please help out if you can – no amount is too little, and every little bit helps! 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! We encourage you to read the letter from Jacob Hess on behalf of the NCDD and our board.

Dear NCDD Members,

Thank you for those who have made a contribution to helping people in need attending our upcoming conference. It will make a real difference for these people – and we’re extremely grateful.

Since our last note, we’re writing to share about five additional students who have reached out for support. We’re hoping that we can gather some more funds to support them – and others who are relying on financial assistance to be able to attend. As you can see, we’ve encouraged them to find ways to pay for whatever they can – and we’re trying to see if we can make up the difference from our membership.

Please take a minute to read below the stories from the students we’re seeking sponsorships and scholarships for. If you are willing to sponsor one of the students (partially or in full), we’d like to introduce you to them in Denver personally. Unless you’d prefer not to, we’d also like to recognize all our scholarship sponsors in our conference brochure for helping to make possible more students being able to attend.

If you have resources to make a difference, even a little can go a long way for these students! You can donate to the scholarship fund on our donation page – make a note that it is for the “Scholarship Fund.” If you would like to support a student in particular, you can note that there as well.

Thank you for your consideration!

Courtney, and Jacob, on behalf of NCDD Staff & the NCDD Board

Five More Students We Hope to Support:

1. Manu is an Indian American in his 3rd year year as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley – who helped found BridgeUSA, the leading national organization working to facilitate constructive dialogue and deliberation on America’s college campuses. Manu is currently helping to spearhead an effort to expand BridgeUSA chapters to more college campuses (with currently 25 colleges represented). As he said, “I would like to attend the NCDD conference because I want to know more professionals within the space and learn about other efforts with similar missions to NCDD. As one of the leading national advocates for millennial involvement in politics and constructive dialogue, I believe that my perspective would be important towards further advancing NCDD’s mission and goal for inclusion. I have the privilege of representing thousands of students across the country due to my involvement with BridgeUSA, and I hope to elevate their voices at the NCDD conference.”

Manu can pay $50 to his registration, and is splitting a room to cut costs – but could use help with the rest of registration, rooming and with airfare.

2. Saya is an international Ph.D. student in Leadership Communication at Kansas State University from Kazakhstan in Central Asia – and working in a position responsible for creating a supportive environment for students to have meaningful discussions about leadership and inclusion. Saya is planning to obtain Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement Graduate Certificate at K-State during the upcoming academic year – and would like to “gather new ideas and insights on how to facilitate and maintain dialogues in small diverse communities for collaborative decision-making, to address conflicts, and support inclusion.”
Saya can pay $50 toward registration – but needs help with lodging, and is happy to help out volunteering at the conference.

3. Blase is a full-time student overseeing a dialogue group on campus in Tampa Florida called “Spartan Sustained Dialogue” – with a mission to bring people together to better understanding diverse experiences through dialogue. He says, “I want to expand my knowledge on dialogue and deliberation because it has become a pivotal cornerstone for my university. We need dialogue now more than ever and I want to help my campus out as much as possible through the usage of dialogue.” Blaise aims to obtain his Masters in Higher Education and “help whatever institution I attend adapt a more prominent use of dialogue.”

Blaise does not need help with lodging or airfare, and can pay $100 to the registration fee. He’s looking for $150 to cover the additional student expense – and is willing to volunteer while he is there.

4. Mai-Anh is another student at The University of Tampa – and coordinator for a Spartans Sustained Dialogue at The University of Tampa (a program is to promote open dialogue about a variety of issues including socio-economic status, religion, political affiliation and gender identity). Mai-Anh stated, “I would like to attend NCDD to expand my skills and knowledge about dialogue through a community of experts in this field.

Mai-Anh says “I may able to cover the costs of food and other expenses while in Denver. However, I may still struggle to cover flights and transportation costs.”

5. Emily is a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Boulder Communication who uses dialogue and deliberation in her research, which centers around communication interventions for social change. This semester she is the research fellow at CU’s Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement (CDE), where she helps support their mission of encouraging, facilitating, networking, and studying public participation practices. She’s hoping to attend NCDD to support her colleague, Lydia Reinig, who is presenting on the CDE’s Building Bridges program “as well as to continue to expand my skillset as a facilitator and scholar engaged in democratic processes.” She mentions that sessions like “Addressing Coercive Power in Dialogue and Deliberation,” “Designing Community Deliberation in College Courses,” and “Difficult Facilitation Experiences” pertain directly to my research and pedagogical interests. Emily also adds, “a hugely enriching part of attending NCDD would be the ability to exchange ideas with deliberators from across sectors and geographies!

Emily can pay $100 toward registration, but is hoping for help to cover the remaining fee. She’s fine on lodging and travel – with plans to bus in from Boulder. She added, “For grad students on a limited budget the scholarship makes conference attendance feasible! Thank you!”

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!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Check out the Fifth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops!

In anticipation for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation, we are thrilled to announce another round of workshops! Check out the sessions we’ve announced so far and join us for this engaging conference happening Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver. We have several exciting pre-conference sessions on Thursday, November 1st – so register ASAP to attend. Take advantage of our discounted hotel room rate until 5:00pm MST on Wednesday, October 10th and/or coordinate here on the blog to find a roommate. If you are looking for a way to support this field, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund Drive! These contributions will help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will announce the final workshop sessions within the next few weeks!

Developing Materials, Identifying Challenges, and Embracing Opportunities for Dialogue and Deliberation in Rural America
This session will offer an exploration of an effort by the Interactivity Foundation to develop a discussion guide on the future of agriculture and rural communities regarding the effort to share strategies for organizing rural discussions and organizing discussions in urban communities on rural themes. This session will critically examine the so-called urban/rural divide. In addition to this particular resource, presenters will share stories of connecting into rural deliberative systems, highlighting challenges and opportunities for working in rural communities such as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona.

Sara Drury
Director, Wabash College Democracy and Public Discourse

Linda Ellinor
Founder and Senior Consultant, Action Dialogue Group

Sarah Giles
Project Manager, Oregon’s Kitchen Table
National Policy Consensus Center, Portland State University

Shannon Wheatley Hartman
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Timothy Shaffer
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Kansas State University

David Supp-Montgomerie
Director and Lecturer, Iowa Program for Public Life

Don’t Engage the Public… Before You’ve Answered These Six Questions
Public participation is increasingly becoming the norm for government decision-making. More engagement, however, doesn’t necessarily mean higher satisfaction with the process and outcomes among communities and decision-makers. Using case studies and scenario exercises the session will provide an opportunity to road-test six strategic questions that help set dialogue and deliberation practitioners up for success, by clarifying key elements of an engagement process, including the topic, desired outcomes, impact on communities, depth and reach of engagement, as well as plans for follow-through.

Hassan Hussein
Assistant Professor, St. John’s University

Robin Prest
Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Elevating Voices and Building Bridges: Community Trust and Police Relations
It is important to build relationships between the community and police to improve public safety and increase community trust. We will present specific dialogue methods used to engage the community and police and that has created value and impact for multiple demographics affected by law enforcement in the Chicago and Denver regions. Our methods will also illustrate how to support and amplify community voices and ideas.

Joe Hoereth, PhD
Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gianina Irlando
Community Relations Ombudsman, Office of the Independent Monitor

Paul Pazen
Chief of Police, Denver Police Department

Norma E. Ramos
Director of Engagement and Partnerships, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bria Scudder
Senior Government and Community Liaison, Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Enriching Journalism and D&D through Collaboration
This interactive session highlights multiple approaches to collaboration between journalists and D&D. The presenters will draw on their experience leading efforts connecting journalists and the communities they serve through dialogue and deliberation-based engagement efforts. We’ll highlight three of our projects, and reference others, to surface best practices for building D&D approaches into journalism and ensuring D&D efforts resonate with media organizations to support meaningful community change. We’ll then move into interactive, small group discussions to identify and critique ideas for incorporating these practices into the efforts and projects of session attendees, developing ideas from the perspectives of both D&D practitioners and journalists.

Elizabeth Dunbar
Reporter, Minnesota Public Radio

Leslie Graves
President & CEO, Ballotpedia

Adolf Gundersen
Research Director, Interactivity Foundation

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

Growing the Next Generation of D&D Leaders through Campus Dialogues
How might we grow the next generation of D&D leaders? In this session, we’ll share different co-curricular approaches to student-facilitated campus dialogues that could play a role. We represent 5 different schools of various sizes (UC Davis, Oklahoma State, Emory, University of Tampa, and Wesleyan College) and different non-profits (Sustained Dialogue Institute and the Interactivity Foundation). Together with workshop attendees, we’ll explore what it takes to create and sustain the ecosystem for co-curricular D&D programs, the challenges and promises for this work, and lessons learned so far.

Melanie Doherty
Associate Professor of English and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison, Wesleyan College

Ed Lee
Senior Director, Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, & Dialogue
Emory University

Tami Moore
Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Oklahoma State University

Tonya Parker
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Wesleyan College

Carolyn Penny
Director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, University of California Davis

Jeff Prudhomme
Vice President, Interactivity Foundation

Mike Stout
Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Family and Community Policy

Elizabeth Wuerz
Program Consultant, Sustained Dialogue Institute

Measuring Civic Infrastructure and Building A Culture of Engagement
How do communities move from occasional public participation to a robust culture of engagement? Participants will learn about the National Civic League’s Civic Index and engage in small group activities using the index. The Civic Index is a tool for measuring the capacity of a community for effective decision-making and problem-solving. Doug Linkhart, President of the National Civic League, will present the newest version of the index, a tool originally created in 1987. Carla Kimbrough, Racial Equity Director for the League, will present examples of how cities achieve the equity and inclusiveness aspects of the index. Carmen Ramirez, Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager for the City of Longmont, Colorado, will talk about the benefits to her city of a cultural of engagement.

Carla Kimbrough
Racial Equity Director, National Civic League

Doug Linkhart
President, National Civic League

Carmen Ramirez
Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager, City of Longmont

Talking about Guns in America: Two Approaches for Shifting the Conversation
Americans are sharply divided over how to deal with gun violence. Many gun-owning Americans strongly oppose new gun regulations, and some want to expand gun rights with a national “right to carry” reciprocity law. Meanwhile, gun control advocates are ramping up campaigns for laws such as a federal ban on the popular AR15 and other assault-style weapons. How can civil dialogue build bridges of understanding between people on both sides of this highly charged debate? Two models will be discussed: a national effort in collaboration with TIME and the Advance Local family of community media groups; and a grassroots project from rural California. This workshop will emphasize problem-solving and creative thinking about how to moderate face-to-face and online discussions of this controversial subject.

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners

Eve Pearlman
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Spaceship Media

Jim Hight
Independent journalist and facilitator

Final round to be announced soon!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Dispute Resolution Grant Opportunity, Applications Due 10/5

Our theme for NCDD2018 is about how to bring the D&D field into more widespread practice and a big part of that is funding, so folks can continue doing this work. Which is why we’re thrilled to find this grant opportunity to forward to the NCDD network from the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation. Applications are due Friday, October 5th, and there is an informative call for prospective applicants on Tuesday, September 18th. Several NCDD organizations have been awarded in the past, like Essential Partners, Consensus Building Institute, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Divided Community Project – and we hope another NCDDer will be granted this year! You can read about it in the post below and find more information on AAA-ICDR Foundation’s site here.


Grant Opportunity –  American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation

The AAA-ICDR Foundation is now accepting Initial Descriptions of Grant Requests for its fourth funding cycle. In its review the Foundation will be focusing on innovative and replicable proposals that provide:

  • ADR for vulnerable and underserved populations
  • ADR for community-focused dispute resolution.

The Foundation remains committed to funding high-quality innovative programs in furtherance of its broader mission dedicated to mediation/other non-binding ADR process and arbitration/other binding ADR processes, and beyond.

Interested organizations or individuals should submit an Initial Description of Grant Request no later than October 5, 2018. The Foundation is launching (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Member Discount on Future Search Workshops

Did you know?? NCDD member org Future Search is offering NCDD members a 30% discount on their upcoming workshops if you register by October 15th. Make sure you register ASAP to get this great offer and experience these workshops led by fellow NCDD member Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord. This announcement was shared with us via the Main NCDD Discussion listserv [and you can learn how to join this list if you aren’t already by clicking here]. Read the announcement below and find more information on FSN’s site here.


Sign Up for Future Search Workshops

We believe positive change takes the most powerful hold when it’s done in a participative, whole-systems way. Join us at a workshop in December to learn the skills – based on almost 40 years of experience – that make Future Search so effective.

Future Search Network is offering 2 Workshops in Philadelphia, PA December 10-12 and 13-14. We are offering a special  30% Tuition Discount for Members of NCDD if you register by October 15, 2018. If you need more help with tuition, please let us know!

Register Today! Come to one or both events with (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

MetroQuest Online Public Engagement Playbook Webinar

Next week, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, Online Public Engagement Playbook; co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). The free webinar on Wednesday, September 19th will discuss the successful online engagement strategy which engaged over 5100+ Austin residents and led to the development of the city’s first comprehensive transportation plan. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


MetroQuest Webinar: Online Public Engagement Playbook

How is America’s #1 boom town planning for the city’s transportation future?

Wednesday, September 19th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

On September 19th, find out how Austin engaged 5,100+ citizens online to help inform and shape the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, its first locally-focused comprehensive transportation plan.

Join Liane Miller, AICP and Senior Business Process Consultant with Austin’s Transportation Department, as she shares the winning elements of her team’s online public engagement playbook. Learn how they combined a great online engagement experience with the right promotional strategy to involve thousands of people, including communities that have been underrepresented in past processes. Discover (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Democratic Learning Exchanges with NCL and Kettering

NCDD member and partner – the National Civic League has been working with the Kettering Foundation on “learning exchanges” with city managers. The two organizations have a long working history over the last several decades, which has sought to explore how to further democratic practices, particularly within local government. This is the most recent effort in this work to continue to shift deeper government collaboration with the community. You can read the article in the post below or find the original on NCL’s site here.


Learning About Democratic Practices with City Managers

The National Civic League is working with the Charles F. Kettering Foundation to organize “learning exchanges” to explore the ways professional city managers engage with members of the public to foster democratic practices in communities.

These twice-a-year exchanges, which have been held at the foundation’s campus in Dayton, Ohio, have facilitated wide-ranging conversations about civic engagement efforts and examples of complementary public action—everything from an experiment in participatory budgeting in Chicago’s 49th ward to dialogues about community-police relations in a small southern city.

The participants have also explored issues such as assets-based community development, relational organizing, social media and technology and the role of public deliberation in addressing “wicked problems,” that is, persistent problems for which there are no (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Our Responsibility to Safeguard Our Democracy

NCDD member org, the Bridge Alliance, recently shared this article on their blog from Dr. Thom Little of the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF). In the article, he speaks on the tenets at the core of our democracy and the need for the people and the representatives to protect and uphold these principles if this nation is to be able to continue. You can read the article below and find the original on the Bridge Alliance site here.


Protecting Our Democracy: The Obligation of Leadership

More than two centuries ago, fifty-five men from across thirteen American colonies established a government like none other before, a government where power was bestowed not by birth right or by armed might, but by consent. A democracy. The governed had, by the power of their voice and their vote, the right to determine who would govern them and accordingly, the right to remove them as necessary. Thus began what Alexis de Tocqueville described as “the great experiment” to see if man was truly capable of self government.

With a lot of hard work, good leadership and not a little bit of luck, this government has endured- it has survived some less than competent and noble leaders and irrational decisions made out of fear, racism, sexism, partisanship and just plain ignorance. It has survived wars internal and external. It has, although not without pain, hardship and some serious missteps, integrated peoples of different races, ethnicities, identities and philosophies. The nation has moved forward in fits and starts, but it has (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

The Modern Revival of Democracy in Municipalities

While democracy on the national level has gone through some serious upheaval in the last years, it’s inspiring to see many cities across the country come together and nurture localized democracy. NCDD member org, Public Agenda, shared this article on how cities are returning to being spaces of civic engagement for the community and some cities have even adopted deliberative democratic practices. We encourage you to read this piece that elevates the work of several NCDD member organizations in the post below (thanks for mentioning us too!) and find the original on Public Agenda’s site here.


Cities as Centers for Deliberative Democracy

Whether dealing with climate change, immigration or even trade, cities and metropolitan areas have for some time now taken initiatives and formed networks to address pressing social and economic issues.

The New Role for Cities

The late Benjamin Barber, a political theorist, wrote that the dysfunction of democracy that we see at the national, and even state level, has caused us to return to the origins of democracy in metropolitan areas because it is in cities that we can get things done on a manageable scale. Consequently, cities are taking on a role once played by states. Barber’s book, “If Mayors Ruled the World,” has turned out to be prescient, especially in light of our federal government’s withdrawal from the Paris Accord.

Whether dealing with climate change, immigration or even trade, cities and metropolitan areas have for some time now taken initiatives and formed networks to address pressing social and economic issues. In light of the prevailing headwinds democracy itself faces today it is (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Essential Partners Fall Workshops & NCDD Member Disc

If you are looking to strengthen your dialogue skills, make sure you check out the workshops this coming fall from Essential Partners, an NCDD member and a sponsor of NCDD2018. They will be offering: Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences, The Power of Dialogue: Constructive Conversations on Divisive Issues, and The Power of Stories: Moving Beyond “Them” and “Us”. Learn more about the discount available to NCDD members! You can more information about these workshops on Essential Partners’ site here.


Our Workshops

Introduction to Dialogue Across Differences
September 20, 2018

This one-day workshop uses real-world case studies to introduce participants to the theory and practice of EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue framework. For three decades, our unique approach has transformed conflicts across the country and the world—but the basic principles of EP’s framework are applicable to local community issues, organizational development, congregations, and everyday conversations.

Intentional communication helps individuals, organizations, and communities build trust, enhance resilience, and engage in constructive conversations despite deeply-held differences of value, belief, opinion, or identity. This workshop provides (more…)

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