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Notes from Conference Call on Bias and Inclusion at NCDD Conferences

Here is a summary of ideas generated on our 5/12/08 call on inclusion and bias at NCDD conferences, and what we may do differently this year. Our thanks to Judith Mowry for putting these notes together!

On the call: Steven Fearing, Deborah Goldblatt, Rogier Gregoire, Sandy Heierbacher, Jacob Hess, Dave Joseph, Erin Kreeger, Lauren Kucera, Windy Lawrence, PJ Longoni, Diane Miller, Judith Mowry, Leanne Nurse, Catherine Orland, Nancy Polk, Polly Riddims, Landon Shultz, John Spady, Carrie Stewart, Brian Sullivan, Mary Thompson, Madeleine van Hecke

Not on the call, but want to be involved: Barbara Heffernan, J. Allen Johnson, Avril Orloff

Addressing issues of inclusion, bias, racism, social justice, etc. at NCDD conferences happens on three main levels…

  1. Interpersonal: Creating a safe space at the conference for everyone (People of Color, white folks, conservatives, young people, etc.) by balancing opportunities to be heard and to speak up with a sense that you won’t be attacked for saying the wrong thing
  2. Field/Community/NCDD: Walking our talk when it comes to issues of inclusion, through recruitment of underrepresented groups, diverse speakers and facilitators, and workshops on these issues
  3. Societal Level: Addressing issues of bias and inclusion in society by using dialogue and deliberation, through workshops, best practices, networking, etc. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

$125,000 Grant Program for Citizen Engagement in California

CSC LogoHere’s some great news for D&Ders in California…

Common Sense California is offering $125,000 total to municipalities, school districts, and non-profits that wish to engage the public in policy decisions through their new “Citizen Engagement Grant Program.” The grants are divided into two levels and will be awarded in two timeframes. CSC is offering four “Common Sense Grants” up to $25,000.00 each for use in developing campaigns that involve the public around issues pertaining to city/regional and/or K12 policy. Applications for these grants will be received through September 12, 2008, with recipients notified in early October. “Catalyst Grants” in amounts up to $7,500.00 will be awarded on a rolling basis, beginning in late June. Click on “more” for the full press release. (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Registration Opens for the August 2008 IAP2 Conference


As previously covered here, this summer’s IAP2 conference in Glascow, UK will be held from August 27th to 29th. Registration is now open, and their early bird rate will be available until May 29th. More details on registration can be found online here.

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) conference will be held in partnership with the Scottish Centre for Sustainable Development (SCSCD) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

Keynote Speakers will address topics such as community empowerment and what it means to government; international law and CSR; oil-peak and community survival; new business models and CSR and ISO 26000. Delegates from 25 different countries will offer 70 presentations on a range of topics associated with CSR, community development, new business models, stakeholder engagement techniques, the very latest research into public engagement, CSR and the UN compact, cyber polling, participation in planning – and many, many more.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Catalogue of Approaches to Peacebuilding Now Online

Global Peacebuilders

Global Peacebuilders (globalpeacebuilders.org), an international network of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding initiatives, has recently made their Peacebuilding Approaches Catalogue freely available to visitors to their website. The catalogue is “a brief glimpse of the peacebuilding activity currently taking place, and offers an insight into just some of the many important approaches to peacebuilding currently being implemented locally and worldwide, at a grassroots, community, national or international level”. Also available as a full-colour glossy publication (to order email sarah@globalpeacebuilders.org), the catalogue describes 18 approaches from the fields of conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peacebuilding around the world.

from their website

In late 2007, we made an open call to individuals and organisations involved in creating the conditions for sustainable peace in their communities to tell us of their approaches to peacebuilding. We wanted to create a publication that might offer peacebuilders working in areas of conflict across the world an opportunity to learn and inform their own work, building up their international networks along the way. We brought together a selection panel of experienced peacebuilders working in Northern Ireland to consider each of the submissions we received, and to select 18 for publication.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Upcoming Events of the Compassionate Listening Project

The Compassionate Listening Project

Along with several trainings this summer, the Compassionate Listening Project (compassionatelistening.org) has announced their 5th Annual Summer Gathering at Camp Brotherhood, a beautiful 200-acre retreat center one hour north of Seattle, Washington, August 1-3, 2008 beginning Friday at noon and ending Sunday at 3:00. Day rates are available for one or more days for those who cannot attend the whole Gathering or do not need on-site sleeping accommodations. No prior experience with the Compassionate Listening Project is necessary; this is an opportunity to come together, drink from the well of spirit and community, and deepen our practices to cultivate compassion in our daily lives. For more information about the Gathering, please visit the event’s webpage.

The Compassionate Listening Project will also be hosting several trainings over the next few months, including programs in Seattle, Washington, Abiquiu, New Mexico and Ashland, Oregon. Specific details can be found on the Compassionate Listening Project website.

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Call for Artists for NCDD 2008

Art can be a powerful catalyst for and component of dialogue. Visual and performing arts can bring meaning or elicit feeling that can’t always be easily expressed in words, bringing us to a deeper level more quickly than discussion alone. Since our first conference in 2002, NCDD has experimented with the arts at our events, and our attendees have thanked us for the experiences and new ideas they have gained because of it.

NCDD is now looking for artists, arts groups, and arts organizations who may be interested in playing a role at our next conference. The 4th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation will take place October 3-5, 2008 in Austin, Texas, and we are primarily looking for artists whose work involves or stimulates dialogue or engagement in innovative ways.

We are open to many different types of arts, in different venues at the conference (plenary session performances, art activity stations, art displays, concurrent workshops, etc.). And although our funds are tight as this is a nonprofit conference, we will work with artists to cover expenses and make sure they benefit from the exposure they receive from playing a role at the conference. And for special circumstances, we will consider providing a stipend to the artist or group.

This is a great opportunity for artists who want their work to be exposed to over 400 community leaders, activists and thought leaders in communication and collaboration, and who want to learn more about this field.

Here are some examples of things we’ve experimented with in the past:

  • graphic recording (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • workshops on digital storytelling, dialogue and dance, using film as a stimulus for dialogue, using the arts to promote youth dialogue, etc. (2002, 2004 and 2006)
  • spoken word poetry (2006)
  • drumming (2006)
  • Unconditional Theatre (2006) and playback theatre (2004)

You can read more specifics about how we’ve utilized the arts at NCDD conferences at www.ncdd.org/events/arts.

If you are an artist interested in pursuing the possibility of performing or playing a role at NCDD Austin – or if you want to suggest an artist you know about – please contact NCDD Director Sandy Heierbacher at sandy@thataway.org. And you can learn more about the upcoming National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation at www.ncdd.org/events if you’re interested.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Mobilize.org Reaches Out to Millennial Generation Entrepreneurs


from a recent Mobilize.org press release…

National youth civic engagement organization Mobilize.org released the first report in its series of Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Issue Briefs, Money in Politics. The organization, dedicated to Millennial-generated ideas and projects to tackle critical national issues, has adopted a unique strategy to getting Millennial plans into action: give them the information and the financial support necessary to make their ideas a reality.

Mobilize.org is focusing its efforts on empowering members of the Millennial Generation to develop innovative clean election practices, emphasizing the exploration of public finance reforms at the local and state level. While clean election reform benefits our democracy and society as a whole, the Millennial Generation in particular stands to gain considerably from such reform. By changing the system, not only does society have a better ability to reengage young people in politics, but also stands to find solutions to many issues affecting the Millennial Generation that are being inhibited by the current system.

The brief serves as a precursor to the Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Money in Politics Grant Summit, which will take place July 18-21, 2008, in Denver, Colorado, focusing upon the impact of special interest-funded campaigns on citizen-centered democracy. Emphasizing the problem at the national level, Mobilize.org, Sunlight Foundation, and Common Cause will challenge Millennials from across the nation to compete for grant monies to support projects working to promote clean elections practices. The call for projects will address campaign finance reform, focusing particular on clean election practices like the public financing of elections, targeting the eighteen states that Common Cause is currently working on public financing within.

Ellen Miller, Executive Director and co-founder of the Sunlight Foundation, commented on the change potential of the Democracy 2.0 Entrepreneur Initiative:

Mobilize.org is involved with the most Internet-savvy, network generation of our time. We cannot wait to learn how these young entrepreneurs use the new technologies, the trillions of bytes of information about lobbying, political contributions, and the spending of our tax dollars, and social networks to confront the power of big money in our democracy.”

Application materials for the Money in Politics Summit were also released today and are available on the Mobilize.org website.

For questions or to request copies of the issue brief, please contact Christina Gagnier, Mobilize.org’s Senior Vice President of Policy & Strategic Communications, via phone at (510) 717-3022 or via email at christina@mobilize.org.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

A "National Peace Academy" In The Works

A consortium comprised of Case Western Reserve University, Peace Partnership International and The Biosophical Institute convened a Vision Meeting, held April 22-23, 2008, at Case, at which a process was launched to design and found a National Peace Academy. Vision Meeting attendees included educators, business leaders, armed services personnel, journalists, community representatives and policy-makers from around the world. A Global Stakeholder Summit is planned for early 2009 as part of an inclusive process to design the National Peace Academy.

The objective of the National Peace Academy is to advance and support: 1. existing peace education and peacebuilding efforts; 2. the study of the phenomena of peace; 3. research, program development, training, and education for professional and citizen practice of peace and peacebuilding; 4. a worldwide network of peace academies; 5. structures and programs in government, military, business, and civil society for a culture of peace. Along with the initial meeting, a website was launched to help further the effort. You can visit it at www.nationalpeaceacademy.us to learn more about future plans.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

May Issue of AI Practitioner Now Available

NCDD member, Loretta Donovan, is acting as one of the guest editors of the latest AI Practitioner (www.aipractitioner.com), and just sent me an email letting me know that her issue, May 2008 AI Practitioner: Wired Discovery, New Conversations and Deeper Connections, is now available. From her email…

In this issue we “venture into the domain of technology … the variations of online tools, the ways in which practitioners are using them, and how they are adding rich texture to the experiences and insights gleaned about the best of what is.” Is there a comfortable, authentic fit for online technology for beneficiaries of AI (our clients) and for the AI thought leaders and caretakers (the scholars and practitioners)? The answer is a confident ‘YES’.

Articles explore what new models frame AI in the digital age, how stories and themes were collected online for a research study, how highly energizing provocative propositions were created using web conferencing technology and where online collaboration connects and sustains a community of AI practitioners.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Shades of Youth, A Documentary about Youth and Racism

NCDD member, Lauren Parker Kucera, director of the Soquel, CA based coAction Connection (antracism.com) recently sent us an announcement about their soon to be released film, Shades of Youth.

From their press release: “This remarkable film captures the wisdom of youth as they address issues of race and discrimination. Shades of Youth was filmed at The White Privilege Conference Youth Institute where 100 high school students gathered from across the United States to seriously engage in issues of race, power, identity, oppression and social change. The film offers multiple views and experiences around race and privilege, giving youth and adults entry points to discuss and better understand how institutional racism affects all of our lives. Ideal for use in high school classrooms, teacher education, community and faith-based youth groups.”

NCDD 2008 Note: Lauren will be co-presenting a pre-conference workshop on white privilege with Catherine Orland at the NCDD conference in Austin this October.