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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Count Me In! – Backyard Ballot Bash & Ballot Speed Dating

We always love hearing about cool, fun engagement efforts going on, which is why we’re excited to share with you an effort happening in Colorado called, Count Me In! It’s a collaborative civic engagement effort that educates voters on what’s on their ballot in a transpartisan way, bringing in all sides of the initiatives. CMI seeks to empower voters to know what they are voting on and vote on the whole ballot, with fun events like Ballot Speed Dating and Backyard Ballot Bashes. If you are in Colorado, check out the events that are lined up or contact CMI to plan your own! For those not in the state, we encourage you to check it out and see if you can bring something similar to your communities! You can learn more about CMI in the post below and on their site here.


Learn about what’s on your ballot with Count Me In!

There are going to be 13 initiatives for Coloradans to vote on this year, and that’s just the statewide ones. Even the most well-informed among us will need some help figuring out how they’re going to vote on all of these issues. That’s why Count Me In! is here. Once again, Count Me In! is partnering with community organizations around the state to make sure voters get all the information they need to make informed decisions about these critical policies affecting our state. Count Me In! is nonpartisan and provides information that is objective. There is still time to bring Count Me In! to your community, connect with us and we will plan an event that works for your community. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

National Week of Conversation from October 5th – 13th

The next National Week of Conversation (NWOC) is October 5th – 13th! During NWOC, folks around the country will be joining conversations, in hopes to better address the intense divisions in our society through dialogue, deepening understanding, and building relationships. We encourage you to join a conversation already going on and/or start your own here! To help support these conversations, resources like conversations guides and helpful background information are provided on the National Conversation Project (NCP) site here, many from the NCDD coalition! And don’t forget to check out the 3k+ resources on the NCDD Resource Center too! You can read more in the post below and on the NCP site here.


National Week of Conversation: October 5-13

Americans of all stripes are stepping up to address the growing cultural crisis of hyper-polarization and animosity across divides. Together we can turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division with widespread conversations in which we #ListenFirst to understand. Supported by 100+ organizations, National Conversation Project promotes monthly conversation opportunities as well as National Weeks of Conversation.

In April of this year, thousands of Americans took part in the first National Week of Conversation (NWOC). More than 130 schools, libraries, faith communities, activist groups and nonprofits hosted conversations coast to coast in 32 states. These conversations were (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join National Conversation on Civility Live Stream Tonight

In case you missed it, you are invited to join the livestream for a National Conversation on Civility tonight from 7-9 pm Eastern, hosted by NCDD member org National Institute for Civil Discourse and the American Psychological Association. The conversation moderated by Scott Simon of NPR, will feature a panel with Dr. Johnathan Haidt, Sally Kohn, Dr. Arthur Evans, and Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, as they explore the importance of civility in our society and how to repair it moving forward. They will be answering questions via the live stream and for folks in the DC area you can attend the event in person, see the details below.


Revive Civility: Our Democracy Depends on It

From the Brett M. Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearing to people burning their Nike products, as the country approaches the 2018 midterm elections, our national rhetoric is more polarized than ever. Rudeness, name-calling, bullying and insults have become so commonplace that many Americans have tuned out. Can these behaviors be curbed, and can we learn to disagree civilly? To address these and other questions, the American Psychological Association and the National Institute for Civil Discourse have partnered to present “A National Conversation on Civility.”

Please join us for a National Conversation on Civility via live stream on September 26th from 7-9 PM (Eastern) on Civility and our Democracy in the run up to the 2018 elections with Scott Simon, (NPR) moderating a panel that includes authors Jonathan Haidt and Sally Kohn Dr. Arthur C. Evans and Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer .  We’ll be (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Participatory Budgeting Joins NCDD2018 Pre-conf Line-up!

We have an exciting addition to the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st, the day before the 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation officially begins. Get an early start on the NCDD2018 fun with this new session, What is Participatory Budgeting and How Can it Work for Me?, happening from 12 – 4 pm at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Interested to learn more about participatory budgeting and this exciting democratic process sweeping the world?  Join this interactive and engaging training with The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) and explore the possibilities of PB in Denver and beyond. Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director of PBP, will be joined by several local leaders of the Denver area PB processes, including Roshan Bliss, previous NCDD staffer and now Student Organizer for Project VOYCE/Auraria PB, Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director of Project VOYCE, Candace Johnson, Community Partner for The Colorado Trust and Project Belay Team Member, and Evan Weismann, Executive Director for Warm Cookies of the Revolution.

Registration for general admission is $45, with sliding scale available for youth ($5) and local participants ($20) – contact courtney@ncdd.org for sliding scale tickets. Register for this workshop and/or check out the other five pre-conference sessions at ncdd2018-precon.eventbrite.com!

It’s almost five weeks until NCDD2018 kicks off! Click here to check out the conference schedule, over 60 sessions announced, how to use the discounted room block (that’s available until 5pm MST, Weds., October 10th), where to find a roomie, and more!

What is Participatory Budgeting and how can it work for me?

Join community members, organizers, agency staff and government staff for an interactive training to explore and plan out the possibilities of participatory budgeting (PB) in Denver and beyond. This session will review a model that promotes authentic democracy while centering equity and redistributing power to community members to make effective spending decisions with public funds. The Participatory Budgeting Project will lead a training that will simulate a PB experience, while PB pioneers from Colorado and members of Denver’s THIS MACHINE HAS A SOUL project will reflect on their local experience with PB.

Hours: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Registration: sliding scale available (youth $5, local $20, general admission $45)

Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director – Participatory Budgeting Project

Roshan Bliss, Student Organizer – Project VOYCE / Auraria PB

Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director – Project VOYCE

Candace Johnson, Community Partner – The Colorado TrustProject Belay Team member

Evan Weissman, Executive Director – Warm Cookies of the Revolution

Watch the highlights video below for THIS MACHINE HAS A SOUL and learn more at www.thismachinehasasoul.com.

(more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Apply by October 15th to Host Nevins Fellow (for free!)

NCDD Member Organization the McCourtney Institute for Democracy is again offering the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. The 2018-19 application is open now through Monday, October 15th, for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student at no-cost!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program was founded in 2014 after a gift from David Nevins, President and Co-Director of the Bridge Alliance, an NCDD Member Org. 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. The McCourtney Institute provides $5,000 toward the cost of hosting a Nevins Fellow for a summer internship. Students come to their internship sites well prepared and ready to get to work.

Fellows have interned at the following organizations, just to name a few: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Public Square Academy Seeking Program Collaborators

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is looking to develop educational and civic online programs. NCDD member Michael Freedman shared the announcement that they are looking for those with civic and educational expertise to develop programs across broad topics areas of education, community engagement, government, and more. There is an opportunity for free 4-weeks training while developing the program, which you can learn more about in the post below and find the original on PSA’s site here.


The Public Square Academy Program Designers

The Public Square Academy (PSA) is building a catalog of civic and consumer education programs. These programs differ from typical online programs in that they will emphasize student interaction, cohesive group learning, and active mentoring. This model results in deeper learning and a more rewarding experience for the participants.

We are looking for designers, teachers, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and influencers who have civic or consumer education expertise and passion, to develop programs for the Academy. These will be narrow topics in a broad area of programs: from policy and advocacy to government structure and operations, personal and community development, school and workplace engagement, consumer training in financial literacy, healthcare, and consumer rights.  Come on. Rise up! (more…)

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…)

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