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Join Confab Call with Not In Our Town on Responses to Hate

We are pleased to announce that NCDD is hosting our next Confab Call with Not In Our Town, an NCDD member organization that uses film and dialogue to help regular people respond to hate in their communities. This hour-long webinar will take place Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 from 1-2pm Eastern/10-11am Pacific, and we encourage everyone to register today for a truly inspiring call!

Not In Our Town is both an organization and a movement dedicated to stopping hate, addressing bullying, and building safe, inclusive communities for all. Not In Our Town (NIOT) was launched as an organization in 1995 with a landmark PBS film that documented the efforts of everyday people in Billings, Montana who stood up together after a series of hate crimes targeting their Native American, Black, and Jewish neighbors.

The story and the film went on to inspire many other communities in the US and around the world to form their own responses to hate crimes and hate groups cropping up in their locales, and the NIOT team continued to make inspirational short films documenting their stories as they unfolded. NIOT has since made over 100 of these films and created discussion guides that accompany them. The films and discussion guides cover dozens of subject areas and topics, and they are compiled into an online hub that is designed to support towns, schools, campuses, faith communities, or any other kind of group in launching dialogues on how they can address issues of hate and bullying that are impacting them.

This call is part of NCDD’s ongoing #BridgingOurDivides campaign that seeks to heal the damage done in the divisive 2016 election while also addressing the longer-standing divisions in our country. As many communities where NCDD members live and work in struggle with how to deal with the rise in hate crimes and assaults that we’ve seen since the election, and as we prepare for the possibility that this trend might not go away, NIOT’s dialogue resources and model for supporting action can be critical tools for the D&D community to tap into. Be sure to join us on this Confab to find out how!

This Confab Call will feature a discussion with NCDD supporting member Patrice O’Neill, who serves as the CEO and Executive Producer of Not In Our Town. Patrice will share an overview of NIOT’s work and the approach that they use their films to launch community-wide dialogues and guide people from discussion into taking action against hate.

The call will also be an exclusive opportunity to discuss how the D&D field can support the growing need for conversation on addressing hate and violence in our communities. As you can imagine, NIOT has seen a surge in requests for its services lately, which presents a unique opportunity for D&D practitioners to connect with and support NIOT’s work while also possibly cross-pollinating our methods and models, and call participants will have the chance to think together with Patrice about what that could look like.

You won’t want to miss this exciting conversation on NIOT’s model and resources and how the NCDD network can better interface with the NIOT network. We highly encourage everyone to register today for this great 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. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Addressing Power in Dialogue Across Difference

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we thought we would share the piece below from Katie Hyten of NCDD member organization Essential Partners. In it, Katie reflects on the reality and impact of power differences in dialogue, pointing out that even if we don’t acknowledge it, power is there in our conversations. Especially if we’re to effectively bridge divides and cross lines of race, class, gender, and so on, we cannot ignore the fact that power dynamics will need to be managed. We encourage you to read the piece below or find the original here.

How Does Power Affect Our Conversations?

Essential PartnersIn a recent conversation with activists on a college campus, student leaders informed our practitioners that student protesters showed little interest in dialogue because they assumed that “dialogue” was an attempt to placate them by the administration. The power of the administration carried both weight and assumptions.

In another of our dialogues, a participant assumed he would have to begin speaking with an apology for his privilege before even participating in the conversation. In both of these instances (and in so many more), real and perceived power differences created profound barriers to meaningful conversation. Perhaps nowhere has that felt truer than following the results of the 2016 election.

When we create spaces for groups to communicate across differences, we run head first into questions of power. Indeed, it is impossible to have effective conversations around differences without first having often clumsy conversations about power – conversations where we step on toes and say the wrong thing because we want to do better. And because we know that having diverse, cohesive, engaged members of a community or institution is not only the right thing to do – it also increases innovation, profit, and community safety.

So here’s what we know (more…)


NCDD’s Year in Numbers: 2016

2016 was an important year for the dialogue & deliberation community, and a very active one for NCDD!

The following end-of-year infographic highlights NCDD’s impact and activity during the past twelve months, including activity at our national conference, on our website, listservs, events, and new and exciting efforts. Our sincere thanks to NCDD co-founder Andy Fluke for his fabulous design work!

Thanks to our fabulous community for engaging with us in so many ways in 2016! We look forward to continuing this important work with you all in 2017.

Please share this post with others you think should know there’s an amazing community of innovators in public engagement and group process work they can tap into or join!

In addition to sharing this post and/or just the image above, feel free to download the print-quality PDF.


Moving Forward with NCDD’s Emerging Leaders Initiative

During our NCDD 2016 conference, we were proud to officially announce that NCDD would be launching our new Emerging Leaders Initiative – a new effort to support and engage the next generation of D&D leaders and practitioners that NCDD has been developing since our 2014 conference on Democracy for the Next Generation. Today, we’re happy to share more details el_badge_web_01on the next steps in developing the initiative’s offerings!

What is the Emerging Leaders Initiative?

The Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI) emerged from the NCDD members’ recognition of our need to foster long-term resilience for the field of dialogue & deliberation and that we can do that best by intentionally cultivating D&D’s next generation of leadership – that is, the younger folks in our ranks as well as those who are newer to the field.

To that end, the ELI will seek to provide extra resources and support to rising leaders in our field and to create more “on ramps” into the dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement field, especially for young people 35 and under, but also for newcomers to the field of any age. We want to offer these emerging leaders a means to become more involved in the world of D&D, connecting them with opportunities to build their capacity as practitioners, scholars, and professionals while lifting up the contributions, innovation, and leadership of young and new people in our field.

To accomplish these goals, NCDD has already created several tools that will be cornerstones of the Emerging Leaders Initiative – including the Emerging Leaders Discussion Listserv, social media forums, and a compilation of introductory D&D resources – and we are currently working on building a robust mentorship program, youth-focused webinars, and other capacity-building efforts for emerging leaders. We encourage our NCDD members, especially our younger and newer ones, to learn more about what the ELI by visiting its the brand new web page at www.ncdd.org/youth – the hub for all things related to the initiative.

Have Your Say in How the ELI Develops!

In addition to the new page, we are also launching the Emerging Leaders Survey – a short questionnaire that we’re using to better understand how we can support and collaborate with our emerging leaders. We are asking anyone in NCDD’s network or the broader field who is 35 and under, relatively new to D&D, and/or a current student to fill out the survey by Friday, February 10th.

Our field is already full of promising young folks and newcomers, and we want to hear from you! This survey is your chance to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

2017 Frontiers of Democracy Conference Call for Proposals

We are happy to announce that once again, the Frontiers of Democracy conference organizers at Tufts University are accepting session proposals for their annual gathering. The 2017 conference will take place, as always, at the Tufts University downtown campus in Boston, this time from June 22nd – 24th.

The annual Frontiers of Democracy conference is a key gathering for our field that brings together leading deliberative democracy thinkers, public participation practitioners, and civic educators to explore ideas at the forefront of advancing democracy. NCDD’s leadership attends almost every year, and many of our members are staples of the conference, so mark you calendars to join us!

This year, the Frontiers gathering’s framing statement highlights the global rise in authoritarianism and the challenge it poses for continuing to expand democracy: (more…)


Conversation Café Training Webinar Published Online

NCDD was pleased to host a training webinar for those wanting to learn to host the Conversation Café (CC) process earlier this week, but we were even more pleased by the great turnout we had! We were joined by 45 participants, who spent 90 minutes learning about the ins and outs of hosting Conversation Cafés from Susan Partnow, one of the CC co-founders. It was a great training!

If you missed the training, don’t worry – we recorded the whole thing! You can find the whole training webinar recording by clicking here. For additional tips, we also encourage you to click here to read the chat transcript from the call, where there were a number of resources, links, and answers to questions shared.

With this new round of trained hosts, we’re excited to see the Conversation Café community continue to grow! We encourage everyone to check out the Conversation Café website at www.conversationcafe.org, especially if you are looking for more resources. We recommend checking out the “Resources for Hosts” page here and printing out some of the CC how-to cards here to help you be as prepared as possible to host your first Café.

We also highly recommend that new Conversation Café hosts consider joining the CC updates and announcements list and the CC hosts email discussion list so that you can stay informed and connected to the broader CC network. Let’s all stay in touch!


NCDD Podcast Episode 3: Opportunities for D&D in Congress is Now Live

Yesterday a new Congress was sworn in, including many newly elected members, eager to get to work. In light of this new year and the new opportunities and challenges it presents, we are releasing our next podcast episode which focuses on the possibilities for connecting Congress men and women with dialogue and deliberation for better constituent engagement.

You can find this, our third episode, on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play!

In this episode, I, Courtney Breese, NCDD’s Managing Director, speak with Brad Fitch of the Congressional Management Foundation. The Foundation works with Members of Congress and staff to enhance their operations and interactions with constituents. Brad and I discussed the work of the Foundation, as well as his reflections from NCDD 2016 and the possibilities he sees for bringing dialogue and deliberation practices to Members of Congress. It’s an enlightening conversation and good food for thought for this field as we consider efforts to bridge divides in our nation.

This first series of episodes in the NCDD Podcast were recorded at the NCDD 2016 Conference, where we asked leaders and practitioners from the D&D field to share their stories and ideas, as well as discuss opportunities and challenges in our audio room. These episodes are being released as we continue our conversation from the conference about #BridgingOurDivides.

We invite you to listen to this episode and share your thoughts here, particularly about the opportunities and challenges for incorporating dialogue and deliberation into constituent engagement: What opportunities do you see for dialogue and deliberation practices to be used by Congress men and women in engaging those they represent? How might we overcome some of the challenges, particularly the systemic challenges outlined in the podcast? We look forward to your ideas!

Again, our thanks to Ryan Spenser for recording and editing these podcast episodes, to Barb Simonetti for her financial support of this initial series, and to everyone who participated in the episode recording sessions at the conference!

Please continue to tune in and share the podcast with your networks!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New IAP2 Trainings Schedule for 2017 from TCP

If you are looking for D&D trainings to kick off your year, we encourage you to check out the new calendar of trainings offered by NCDD member organization The Participation Company. TCP offers certification in the International Association for Public Participation‘s model, and dues-paying NCDD members get a discount on registration! We encourage you to to read more about the trainings in the TCP announcement below or learn more here.

The Participation Company’s 2017 Training Events

If you work in communications, public relations, public affairs, planning, public outreach and understanding, community development, advocacy, or lobbying, this training will help you to increase your skills and to be of even greater value to your employer.

This is your chance to join the many thousands of practitioners worldwide who have completed the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) certificate training.

Foundations in Public Participation (5-Day) Certificate Program:

Planning for Effective Public Participation (3-Days) and/or *Techniques for Effective Public Participation (2-Days)

  • Jan. 23-27 in Phoenix, AZ
  • Feb. 6-10 in Arlington, VA
  • Mar. 27-31 in Austin, TX
  • Apr. 24-28 in Oakland, CA (more…)


NCDD Launches D&D Training Partnership with Am. Library Association

As we begin the new year, NCDD is excited to announce we are launching a two-year partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) that will train library staff across the country to use methods and processes from the dialogue and deliberation field to support their communities. Our Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change partnership will take the form of both online and in-person trainings that we hope will help strengthen the capacity for libraries to serve not only as places of learning and research, but also as hubs for dialogue, engagement, and healing our divides.Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change

We see this partnership as a chance to broaden the reach and the impact of our field’s work, as well as an opportunity to create new audiences and collaborative potentials for D&D practitioners in the future. We’ll be sharing more info on the partnership soon, but for now, we encourage you to read more about the upcoming trainings in the ALA announcement below or to find the original here.

Facing a Divided Nation, ALA Offers Free Training for Libraries

The ALA Public Programs Office and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) invite library professionals to attend a free learning series to explore various dialogue facilitation approaches and position themselves to foster conversation and lead change in their communities.

“As our nation becomes increasingly divided, ALA sees tremendous opportunity for libraries to be a leading force for reconciliation, progress, and common ground,” said ALA President Julie Todaro. “We are proud to make community engagement resources available to all libraries, free of charge, through this initiative.”

Through Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change, a two-year project, ALA and NCDD will produce ten webinars and three in-person workshops. Change-making leaders, such as Everyday Democracy, National Issues Forum, and World Café, will develop and lead the trainings, which will be customized to meet the needs of various library types and sizes: large public library systems; small, medium-sized, and rural public libraries; and academic libraries.

First four sessions announced

Registration is currently open for (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NCDD Members to Lead Deliberative Democracy Consortium

We are so pleased to share that three of our great NCDD members – Wendy Willis (who is also an incoming NCDD Board member), Bruce Mallory, and Kyle Bozentko – have been named as the new leadership of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium starting in 2017. The DDC has been a key organization in the D&D field for years, and we are excited for these three heavyweights to revitalize it. You can read more about the change in DDC’s announcement below or on their Facebook page here (while their website revamp is in the works).

The Deliberative Democracy Consortium’s New Leadership

DDC logoDear Friends of the DDC:

We are pleased and proud to announce that DDC has new leadership! Starting January 1, Wendy Willis will become DDC’s Executive Director, while Bruce Mallory and Kyle Bozenkto will begin their terms as co-chairs of the Executive Committee.

Wendy succeeds long-time director Matt Leighninger, who will continue to serve on the Executive Committee and assist Wendy with the transition. Wendy will attend to immediate tasks such as restoring the DDC web presence, communicating with Committee members and institutional partners, and reaching out to potential sponsors interested in advancing our mission. Her appointment comes at a critical moment for deliberative, participatory democracy in the US and around the world. DDC is honored to have Wendy help us set our course in these rough seas.

Wendy Willis joins DDC from Kitchen Table Democracy, where she has served as Executive Director for the past five years. Wendy will also continue as Director of Oregon’s Kitchen Table in the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University. Prior to joining Kitchen Table Democracy and the National Policy Consensus Center, Wendy served (more…)