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Celebrating Women Who Are Making Democracy Stronger

This week marks the close of March and Women’s History Month, which is an intentional time to lift up the vital contributions women have given to history and society. It is in this spirit of celebration and honor, we share this piece from the Democracy Fund, Celebrating Women Who Are Making Democracy Stronger, written by Anne Gleich, Jessica Harris, and Jessica Mahone. The article offers an incredible list of phenomenal women across the nation working to improve our election systems, political representation, journalism, and who are leading efforts to build bridges across divisions and combat hate. Shout out to Shari Davis of NCDD member org The Participatory Budgeting Project who was mentioned for her work! We highly encourage folks to learn more about the work of these powerful women and to join us in congratulating them on their hard work and impactful accomplishments! Read the article below and find the original on Democracy Fund’s blog here.


Celebrating Women Who Are Making Democracy Stronger

In the first presidential proclamation celebrating women’s contributions to United States history, President Reagan observed: “American women of every race, creed and ethnic background helped found and build our Nation in countless recorded and unrecorded ways … Their diverse service is among America’s most precious gifts.”

As pioneers, teachers, mothers, soldiers, journalists, inventors, lawmakers, laborers and so many other roles, women have and continue to make vital contributions to American economic, political, and social life. Throughout our history, women have not only advocated to secure their own rights of suffrage and equal opportunity, but were also early leaders in the abolitionist, temperance, mental health, labor, and social reform movements, as well as the modern civil rights movement. It is not hyperbole to say that the United States has been transformed by these generations of women, and our democracy has been strengthened through their courage, creativity, and persistence. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Recognizing Silence for Deeper Engagement

Some of the most challenging aspects of being in dialogue with someone is the ability to hold space for silence, yet not all silence means the same thing or has the same impact. Katie Hyten of NCDD sponsoring member org Essential Partners, recently wrote the piece, Positive and Negative Silence: Notes from the Field, which offers some distinguishing examples. We encourage you to check out the upcoming trainings on their website and remember that NCDD members receive special discounts on these workshops listed here. You can read the article below and find the original version on Essential Partners’ blog here.


Positive and Negative Silence: Notes from the Field

When I first trained as a mediator, I was awed by a demonstration from one of my early instructors: he would listen to people argue, he would ask a question or reflect something back in fewer than five words—and then he … waited. And waited. He waited until the people in conflict felt they could respond to the question.

Embracing silence lets people take ownership of the conversation, gives them time to think before speaking, and helps them be more intentional. It’s also one of the hardest things (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Check out the Digital Events Happening This Week in D&D

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! This week’s roundup features webinars from NCDD member orgs Living Room Conversations and National Issues Forums Institute, and from The International Association of Facilitators (IAF), Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE)Zehr Institute for Restorative JusticeGlobal Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), and the new webinar series #ThisIsGovtech by CivicMakers and GovTech Fund.

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!


Online Roundup: IAF, PACE, Zehr, GPPAC, #ThisIsGovtech, NIFI, LRC

International Association of Facilitators webinar – Becoming a CPF with the IAF

Wednesday, March 20th
9:30 am Pacific, 1:30 pm Eastern

Making the decision to seek the IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator (CPF) accreditation can be hard. Common questions people ask are What’s involved? How much time will it take? Will I meet the requirements? and What if I don’t pass? In response to strong interest from members we will be exploring these questions at a webinar with hosts that have years of experience as professional facilitators and as IAF Assessors.

REGISTER: www.iaf-world.org/site/events/webinar-becoming-cpf-iaf-6

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement Webinar – Health Equity & Community Safety: How Funders Can Embrace the Power of Youth Civic Engagement

Wednesday, March 20th
10 am Pacific, 1 pm Eastern

Foundations and funders committed to building healthier, safer, and more equitable communities may be overlooking or undervaluing a key strategy: youth civic engagement. In light of recent findings from PACE’s Health & Safety working group, this webinar will highlight why and how investments in youth civic engagement can be key to improving community health and safety. The event will illustrate specific ways funders can support youth civic engagement, share stories and case studies of successful health and safety initiatives involving youth, and explore how incorporating youth into health and safety strategies can have an impact on equity in community outcomes.

REGISTER: www.pacefunders.org/webinar-health-equity-community-safety-how-funders-can-embrace-the-power-of-youth-civic-engagement/

Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice – Restorative Circles for Health: RJ as an Approach to Health Justice (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

What You Missed on the March Confab Call – Listen Now!

NCDD was thrilled to co-host our March Confab call last week with the National Conversation Project, featuring Net Impact and The National Issues Forums Institute! We were joined by 40 participants for this dynamic call to learn more about Net Impact’s youth engagement programs and their recent work with NIFI on a newly-revised national debt issue guide, the paid opportunity to host forums on this guide and how this can be part of the upcoming National Week of Conversation happening April 5-13.

Confab bubble imageOn the call, we were joined by Net Impact’s Program Manager Christy Stanker who gave us an overview of Net Impact’s work and how the nonprofit works to inspire and equip emerging leaders to build a more just and sustainable world. Net Impact’s programs help new leaders broaden their thinking, build their networks, and scale their impact beyond just individual actions. Christy highlighted one of their particularly stand-out programs, Up to Usa partnership between Net Impact, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and the Clinton Global Initiative University. Up to Us, is a rapidly growing, nonpartisan movement of young people who recognize that when it comes to securing their future opportunities, they have no better advocates than themselves. Amid high-profile debates over jobs and the economy, social mobility, healthcare, and tax reform, Up to Us is the only nationwide, campus-based campaign focused on building a sustainable economic and fiscal future for America’s next generation. 

Christy shared more about the funding opportunity to host forums on the “A Nation in Debt” issue guide that Net Impact recently co-produced with NIFI. If you are a student, faculty, or administrator at an accredited U.S.-based college or university, then you are eligible to receive a $150 microgrant for hosting a deliberative dialogue forum using this newly updated national debt issue guide. All you have to do to receive the funding and free guide is fill out this form by May 15, 2019 and host a forum using the “A Nation in Debt” issue guide before June 31, 2019. Once you fill out the form, staff at Net Impact will follow-up with resources including a moderating training and the moderator “cheat sheet.” Don’t miss out on the opportunity to contribute to this meaningful dialogue! Reach out to Christy at cstanker[at]netimpact[dot]org with any questions. Apply for the microgrant here!

Pearce Godwin, Executive Director of our Confab co-hosting organization, The National Conversation Project, discussed the exciting application of this opportunity during the second annual National Week of Conversation (NWOC) happening Friday, April 5th to Saturday, April 13th. NWOC will be a week of intentional conversation, where folks around the country will be hosting or joining conversations, in hopes to better address the intense divisions in our society through dialogue, deepening understanding, and building relationships. Learn more here!

Here are some of our favorite snippets from the Confab:

  • On hosting NIFI forums “maybe you start with people with different opinions but through structured conversation can find common ground” – Christy Stanker
  • “The feedback we get from teachers who use NIFI forums ID 3 benefits: helps students develop critical thinking skills, communication skills, & collaboration skills.” – Bill Muse
  • Resources available to support moderating forums on NIFI’s National Debt issue guide at https://www.nifi.org/en/announcing-micro-grant-program-nation-debt-how-can-we-pay-bills
  • “Everyone has an opportunity to intentional convene and host or join a conversation from April 5-13 during the National Week of Conversation” – Pearce Godwin

We recorded the whole presentation in case you weren’t able to join us, which you can access on the archives page by clicking here. Access to the archives is a benefit of being an NCDD member, so make sure your membership is up-to-date (or click here to join). We saved the transcript of the chat discussion and it can be found here.

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We want to thank Christy, Darla and Bill at NIFI, and Pearce and Jaclyn at NCP, for making this call happen! And an equally large thank you to all the Confab participants for contributing to this conversation! To learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs.

Finally, 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!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Democracy Works Podcast Celebrates First Anniversary

We want to wish our friends at the Democracy Works Podcast a happy birthday as they ring in their one year anniversary! If you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, a great place to start is the much-anticipated episode released today: Jonathan Haidt on the psychology of democracy – click here to listenDemocracy Works is produced by NCDD member organization The McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State and the podcast examines all things related to making a healthy democracy work. We encourage you to read the announcement below, shared with us by McCourtney Institute’s Communications Specialist Jenna Spinelle, and to listen to the Democracy Works podcast here.


One Year of the Democracy Works Podcast: Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead

by Jenna Spinelle

This time last year, my colleagues and I in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State launched our podcast, Democracy Works. We wanted to take a minute to thank the NCDD community for all of your help spreading the word about the podcast. We are honored to be included among shows like Find the Outside and Dialogue Lab.

As we enter year two, we also want to know who we should be talking to and what we should be talking about. Over the past year, we’ve talked with all types of thinkers and doers, from The Atlantic’s David Frum to Healthy Democracy Executive Director Robin Teater. We’ve covered civics education, economic inequality, and criminal justice — just to name a few.

Along the way, we’ve been surprised to see how much of a desire there is for political content that’s nonpartisan and educational. Reading comments from our listeners around the world makes me feel hopeful about the work that NCDD is doing to bring people from across the political spectrum together to tackle some of our most pressing issues through conversation. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Knight Public Spaces Fellowship Open Until March 22nd

We wanted to make sure folks in the network were informed about the Knight Foundation offering their Knight Public Spaces Fellowship and that submissions are being accepted until next Friday, March 22nd. From the site, “The fellowship recognizes leading civic innovators who have created or influenced great public spaces in U.S. communities, creating more opportunities for connection and civic engagement. Chosen fellows will share up to $1 million in grants to continue their work”. We know there are a lot of fantastic candidates in the Coalition and we encourage you to apply for a portion of that significant support. You can find more information in the post below and find the original information on the Knight Foundation’s site here.


Knight Public Space Fellows: Leading Change, Connecting People to place

Knight Foundation is inviting nominations for its inaugural Knight Public Spaces Fellowship.

The fellowship recognizes leading civic innovators who have created or influenced great public spaces in U.S. communities, creating more opportunities for connection and civic engagement. Chosen fellows will share up to $1 million in grants to continue their work.

From Feb. 21 to March 22 at 11:59 p.m. ET, we are inviting people to nominate their candidate of choice. Individuals can also nominate themselves. Those who choose to (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Submit Nominations for Leadership in Democracy Award

In case you missed it, NCDD member org Everyday Democracy, recently announced they are accepting nominations for the third annual Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy award! The $10K award will be granted to those 16 and older who embody the values of Paul and Joyce Aicher. Nominations deadline has been extended to April 22nd, so make sure you get yours in ASAP! We encourage you to learn more about the award criteria and how to submit a nomination in the announcement below and on the Everyday Democracy site here.


Nominations Open for the 2019 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award Now

EvDem LogoEvery year, Everyday Democracy recognizes a standout community change agent —a person or organization whose work in their community exemplifies the values on which we were founded – voice for all, connection across difference, racial equity, and community change.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award provides recognition and a $10,000 award to an individual or organization in the U.S. whose achievements inspire us and can be lifted up for many others to aspire to.

Who comes to the top of your mind when you think about exceptional people or local organizations that create opportunities for people to talk to and listen to each other, work together for equitable communities, and help create vibrant communities that work for everyone? Show how much you (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Online D&D Event Weekly Roundup & NCDD Confab TODAY

We’re excited for our March Confab call TODAY from 3-4 pm Eastern, 12-1 pm Pacific, in collaboration with Net Impact, National Issues Forums Institute, and the National Conversation Project! This free 1-hour webinar will be an opportunity to learn more about Net Impact’s youth engagement work, the new national debt issue guide they created with NIFI, information on a paid opportunity to host forums, and more about the upcoming National Week of Conversation. Register ASAP to save your spot on this dynamic and informational call here.

Please also check out the webinars below from NCDD partner org National Civic League, NCDD member orgs Living Room Conversations, Bridge Alliance, and National Issues Forums Institute, and from Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), and the new webinar series #ThisIsGovtech by CivicMakers and GovTech Fund.

Do you have a webinar or other 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!


Online Roundup: NCDD March Confab, Living Room Conversations, Bridge Alliance, NIFI, PACE, Zehr, GPPAC, and #ThisIsGovtech

NCDD March Confab with Net Impact, NIFI, and National Conversation Project

Confab bubble image

Wednesday, March 13th
12 pm Pacific, 3 pm Eastern

This free one-hour webinar will be a great opportunity for anyone passionate about cultivating the next generation of leaders, those interested in learning how to apply for the microgrant to host forums, more about the new national debt issue guide, and/or hosting a conversation during the upcoming National Week of Conversation. You won’t want to miss out on this discussion – register today!

REGISTER: http://ncdd.org/29225

Living Room Conversations webinar – Tribalism 101: Next Door Strangers

Wednesday, March 13th
12:30 pm Pacific, 3:30 pm Eastern

Join us for a free online (using Zoom) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Tribalism. Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include: Name one or more groups you feel at home or strongly identify with (where you find a sense of belonging and/or feel stronger together)What generalizations do you make about other groups? How do you evaluate or check the validity of your generalizations, if at all? How important is it to you that your generalizations are accurate? Some groups come together based on sharing a common culture, vision, or enemy. What is the commonality for your group? What need does your group fulfill in your life?

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-tribalism-101-next-door-strangers-4/

Living Room Conversations Training (free): The Nuts & Bolts of Living Room Conversations (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

NCDD March Confab This Weds Featuring Net Impact, NIFI, and Nat’l Conversation Project!

In case you missed our announcement last week, we have an exciting March Confab call happening tomorrow Wednesday, March 13th, in coordination with Net Impact, National Issues Forums Institute, and the National Conversation Project! On the call, we will learn more about Net Impact’s youth engagement work, their collaboration with NIFI on a new National Debt issue guide, a paid opportunity to host forums with the guide, and how this all plays into the upcoming National Week of Conversation (NWOC). Join us for this dynamic call tomorrow from 3-4 pm Eastern, 12-1 pm Pacific.

This free one-hour webinar will be a great opportunity for anyone passionate about cultivating the next generation of leaders, those interested in learning how to apply for the microgrant, and/or hosting a conversation during NWOC. You won’t want to miss out on this discussion – register today!

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On this call, we will be joined by Net Impact’s Program Manager Christy Stanker who will share about Net Impact’s work to nurture youth into emerging leaders, their stand-out program Up to Us, and how to apply for the microgrant to host forums on the national debt.

The issue guide, A Nation in Debt: How Can We Pay the Bills? was published by the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) in partnership with Up to UsUp to Us, an initiative of Net Impact and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, is a rapidly growing, nonpartisan movement of young people who recognize that when it comes to securing their economic and fiscal future, they have no better advocates than themselves.

Amid high-profile debates over jobs and the economy, social mobility, healthcare, and tax reform, Up to Us is the only nationwide, campus-based campaign focused on building a sustainable economic and fiscal future for America’s next generation. Net Impact’s programs help new leaders broaden their thinking, build their networks, and scale their impact beyond just individual actions. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

National Week of Conversation Happening April 5th-13th

The next National Week of Conversation (NWOC) is April 5th – 13th! For the second year in a row, NWOC will be a week of intentional conversation, where folks around the country will be hosting or joining conversations, in hopes to better address the intense divisions in our society through dialogue, deepening understanding, and building relationships. We have a special Confab call happening this Weds where you can learn more about NWOC, how to join a conversation already going on and/or start your own. This free call will be on Wednesday, March 13th from 3-4 pm Eastern, 12-1 pm Pacific and we encourage you to register ASAP to save your spot on the call. (Spoiler: we will also be sharing about a paid opportunity to host discussions around the new national debt issue guide, so you won’t want to miss out!) You can read more about NWOC in the post below and on the NCP site here.


National Week of Conversation: April 5th – 13th

Today, seemingly more than ever before, it is important that we as American citizens of all stripes, take a step back followed by a step forward. Step back from our comfort zone and routine, step away from our smartphone screens and social media scrolling and step forward towards someone new, engaging and connecting with genuine curiosity. This is how we grow both as individuals and as a society. This is how we better understand the hurt we might actually be able to help heal. This is how we understand American struggles beyond simply those we experience within invisible border walls of our own communities or those we learn about in the echo chambers of our like-minded social media connections. This is the only way (more…)

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