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Update on Let's Talk America

Click below to read over today’s Let’s Talk America e-newsletter. The newsletter provides a great “Hip-pocket question of the week” (What’s the number one thing you consider when picking who you vote for?). It also urges you to sign the “We the People Declaration”, a breakthrough declaration calling for greater dialogue across political differences.
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New Study About E-Participation in German Cities

I received an email from Hans Hagedorn today announcing the publication of an interesting new study about e-participation in German cities. The study is the collaborative work of the new “Initiative eParticipation”, a community of German service providers, think tanks and research institutes in this field. Click below for the rest of Hans’ message, or go to www.zebralog.de/en/000079.html for the complete press release.
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New CPRN Papers Show that Arts and Culture are the Keys to Creative Cities

Our friends at CPRN (Canadian Policy Research Networks) just released four new papers that underline the key role of the arts and culture in the creation of “creative cities,” especially in today’s knowledge economy. According to CPRN, “Creative cities are vital to meeting our community and national economic and social goals. By happy coincidence, the conditions that foster creative cities also foster economic innovation, social inclusion, democratic engagement and environmental sustainability.”…
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New Report on Evaluating Collaborative Policymaking Processes

I received an email today from my friend Tonya Gonzalez, Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, announcing that the Center for Collaborative Policy just released a Hewlett-funded report called “Is Devolution Democratic? Assessing Collaborative Environmental Management.” The report proposes a normative framework for evaluating the democratic merits of collaborative policymaking processes in terms of six criteria: inclusiveness, representativeness, procedural fairness, lawfulness, deliberativeness, and empowerment. The framework is then applied to random sample of 76 watershed-based stakeholder partnerships in California and Washington State. You can download the report at www.csus.edu/ccp/publications.htm.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Global Kids, Inc. and NewsHour Extra Capture Teen Opinion in New Report

What do teenagers think about the U.S. presence in Iraq? About a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage? About America’s expanding waistline? A new report, “What Were They Thinking? Today’s Youth On Yesterday’s News,” published by Global Kids and NewsHour Extra, shows how teens across the nation tackled these questions and responded to other important current events. Their answers came from online dialogues conducted on Newz Crew, a website run by and for teens to discuss the news that affects their lives. More than 300 teenagers participated in the dialogues, launched March 1, 2004, which were monitored by students at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. The full report can be downloaded from www.NewzCrew.org/wwtt. Or click below for more info.
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Hope in the Cities' First Fellowship Program a Success

I received an email today from Rob Corcoran, National Director of Hope in the Cities, announcing HITC’s new Connecting Communities Fellowship Program, which graduated its first class this year. This five-part residential program grew out of HITC’s experience with racial reconciliation in Richmond and in their consultations with communities throughout the U.S. over the past ten years. The next class in Richmond begins in January 2005, and the application deadline is October 1. Click below to read the full announcement.
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220 Israeli and Palestinian Educators Are Preparing a Revolution in the Education System

Leah Green of the Compassionate Listening Project forwarded this July 23 message to her Reconciliation List, and I thought I’d share it with you folks. The message begins…

In a demonstration of strength in the belief that “there is someone on the other side to talk to” more than 220 teachers and educators from Israel and from Palestine met this past week for an encounter and teacher training seminar. These teachers are taking part in the Peace Education Program of IPCRI – the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information – which is being run in more than 50 high schools in Israel and more than 30 in the West Bank….
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Peter Levine Comments on "Deliberation When the Stakes are High"

Peter Levine of CIRCLE (the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) posted an interesting piece on his blog on Friday that I thought some of you might want to check out. Peter says “I’ve been thinking about the future of this movement and the challenges it will face if it really gains traction. To date, most public deliberation in the US has low stakes. In some cases, there is no serious effort to change public policy to match the results of the public conversation.” And Later, he adds “Today’s public deliberations are likely to be more equitable than juries or teams of college students, because moderators are trained and focused on equality. But what about tomorrow’s deliberations? When the stakes go up, individuals with more status or skill will fight back against efforts to support less advantaged participants. They will depict such efforts as “politically correct” or otherwise biased, and they will use their status, confidence, and rhetorical fluency to win the point.” Curious? Go directly to the post.

Interested in checking out more D&D-related blogs? Check out the list of blogs we recently added to the left column of this page.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Funding for Community-Based Research Projects and Watershed Protection and Restoration Efforts

The Sociological Initiatives Foundation provides grants of $5,000 to $15,000 to support community-based research projects in the U.S. Areas of interest include social justice, social welfare, human rights, and others. The foundation is also interested in supporting research projects by sociologists and linguists that provide a direct benefit to communities. Grants are restricted to tax-exempt organizations, including academic institutions. More info can be found at http://grantsmanagement.com/sifguide.html. Deadline for proposals is August 16, 2004.

Grants are also available for community-based approaches to protect and restore the nation’s watersheds. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Mike Leavitt announced 14 watersheds (representing 17 states) are eligible for $15 million from EPA?s Targeted Watersheds Grant Program. The selected areas represent more than 20,000 square miles of rivers, lakes and streams across the United States. More details can be found at www.lgean.org/html/whatsnew.cfm?id=783

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Message from AmericaSpeaks on the 2-Year Anniversary of Listening to the City

Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Director of AmericaSpeaks, sent a special message to the AmericaSpeaks network on July 20 – the two year anniversary of Listening to the City, the largest town meeting ever held. This edition of AmericaSpeaks Network News shares the stories, perspectives and impact of the facilitators who came from all across the country to help people deliberate about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site after the September 11th attacks. Click below to read this amazing message.
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