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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Listening to the City Special Issue Now Available in Print

The special issue of IAF’s Group Facilitation journal entitled “Listening to the City: Public Participation and Group Facilitation in Redeveloping the WTC” is now available in print for $14.95 at Amazon.com and virtualbookworm.com. The size and visibility of “Listening to the City,” the largest face-to-face public participation event ever held, and the political, social, and emotional needs that it responded to, provide an attractive opportunity to draw attention to broader issues regarding public engagement, group facilitation, and the future of democracy. This issue provides an in-depth case study of “Listening to the City” and uses it as a departure point for broader discussions of the practice of public participation. Reflecting the diverse backgrounds and experience of the 25 contributing authors, which include both academics and practitioners, the content is descriptive, evaluative, and speculative. Click below for more details.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

SF Listens Engages Hundreds of San Francisco Residents on Budget Priorities

We just receieved a report from AmericaSpeaks about its recent project “San Francisco Listens.” In April 2005 AmericaSpeaks assisted Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco to hold three meetings around the city that engaged 500 residents in discussions on budget priorities. The meetings addressed the current San Francisco budget crisis and offered participants the opprtunity to prioritize key issues, provide feedback on strategies to address these issues, and suggest additional strategies. The prioritization of policy issues varied by community, but several emerged as issues of common concern across the meetings, including: public safety; accountable and responsive government; jobs and economic development; homelessness; and housing. Mayor Newsom, who kicked off all of the meetings, acknowledged that the longer he is in office, the more difficult it is to stay in touch with residents, and made a commitment to continue to use innovative mechanisms to connect with constituents on shaping policy decisions. Mayor Newsom plans to submit the Final Report from SF Listens along with his budget to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in June.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Fielding Announces 2nd "Dialogue, Deliberation & Public Engagement" Course

Fielding Graduate University just announced its second certificate course in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement. Several NCDD members participated last year, and I heard some great things about the course. I’m hoping to participate this year myself, since this is a non-conference year. There is an information conference call about the course scheduled for May 11, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. This 16-week primarily online course begins on August 29. Click below for the full announcement.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Shambhala Institute Newsletter Available Online

The Shambhala Institute is now posting its newsletter Fieldnotes online. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Shambhala Institute is dedicated to promoting positive change through leadership courses, partnerships and community-building, using principles of the Shambhala wisdom tradition. Check out their most recent newsletters at www.shambhalainstitute.org/Fieldnotes.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Severn School Receives Creative Thinking in Management Award for their Dialogue Work

Judy O’Brien of RIVERSPEAK Dialogues emailed me today to let me know that one of her clients recently won an award from Independent School Management, Inc. for their dialogue work. Severn School received the “ISM Creative Thinking in Management award,” which is awarded to schools for their innovative management ideas.

In an article about the Severn School’s dialogue work, Laura Kang (Head of the Middle School) says “Once I was introduced to the process, I realized that Dialogue, more than any other tool I had encountered, had the power to help me gather multiple perspectives and ideas for better decision-making.” Click here for the full article, in which Kang describes the various ways that dialogue has been used at the school.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Ford Foundation Announces Difficult Dialogues Initiative

Great news from the Ford Foundation! They will be funding approximately 25 projects at colleges and universities for up to $100,000 each – projects that promote greater dialogue around the sensitive and sometimes controversial questions that arise due to increasing religious and cultural diversity on campus. Click below for more details about this important opportunity.
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Call for Applications for NMCI's Nonprofit Diversity Leader Awards

The National MultiCultural Institute wishes to recognize the achievements of four distinguished nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC Metro area for their role as leaders in community diversity and multicultural inclusion. NMCI will honor those organizations that have implemented innovative outreach initiatives that serve as models for enhancing diversity and encouraging respect and inclusion in the communities they serve. NMCI will present four awards, each focusing on a specific area of the nonprofit sector (education, health care, social services, and the arts).

NMCI will be presenting the awards at its Spring Conference on May 19th, 2005. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 29, 2005. For application info, go to www.nmci.org or contact Maria Morukian at mmorukian@nmci.org or (202) 483-0700 x228.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Update from the OrangeBand Initiative

NCDD recently learned about the James Madison University-based OrangeBand Initiative, and we’re really excited to spread the word about this brilliantly simple idea. Kai Degner started the OrangeBand Initiative with a group of friends at JMU in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Their goal was simple: getting people talking about issues they care about. They began handing out orange strips of fabric that could be decorated to represent an issue important to whoever decides to wear one. The bands can be put on a bag or somewhere else and, when someone asks “What’s your OrangeBand?”, a conversation can ensue about that issue and others.

In two years, over 6,000 people have voluntarily decided to take a band and the Initiative has coordinated over 50 nonpartisan, discussion-based forums. According to director Kai Degner, “We have learned we are tapping into something much bigger than anything we could have created ourselves: a broad desire for a space for open, civil discourse about meaningful contemporary issues.” Click below for the OrangeBand Initiative’s latest
update (which happily includes an announcement about thataway.org!).
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Angus Reid Consultants Launches "Dialogue Networks" Division

I received a packet in the mail the other day from Angus Reid, who I was privileged to meet in November at the North American Summit on Citizen Engagement. Reid, a famous Canadian pollster, is launching a new division of Angus Reid Consultants called “Dialogue Networks.” Headed by Dr. Alexandra Samuel, an expert on electronic engagement, Dialogue Networks will offer software and services in support of publication and dialogue. In his letter, Angus said “organizations are hungry for new tools and approaches to public dialogue, both on and offline,” and Dialogue Networks will focus on internet solutions and other technology-enabled tools. Go to www.dialoguenetworks.com to learn more.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Joint Center Releases New Guide for Race Relations

The Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies recently published “Cultivating Interdependence: A Guide for Race Relations and Racial Justice Organizations.” Maggie Potapchuk authored the guide, which is based on work in four communities and shares insights on ways race relations and racial justice organizations from across the spectrum of approaches can collaborate to address community issues of common concern. The publication includes workshop design and handouts, replication tips and lessons learned, and identifies stages of readiness for organizations to work together interdependently. Click here to purchase the book for $15 (or download it for free). You can also email Maggie Potapchuk at mpotapchuk@comcast.net for more info.

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