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White Privilege Conference Coming Up in Missouri

The Conference on White Privilege serves as a yearly opportunity to examine and explore issues of white privilege, diversity, multicultural education, multicultural leadership, social justice, race/racism, sexual orientation, gender relations, and other systems of privilege/oppression. It provides participants the opportunity to get honest about the type of society in which we live, and the advantages that accrue to some but not others. The conference offers a means to develop and sustain ongoing work to dismantle this system of white privilege, white supremacy, and oppression. The title of this year’s conference is Understanding, Respecting and Connecting. The dates are April 26-29, 2006, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO. Check out the conference website (www.whiteprivilegeconference.com) for updated information about the keynote speakers, agenda and events for this conference.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Particpatory Budgeting Event Coming Up in NY

Participatory budgeting (PB) is a year-long process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, in which ordinary city residents decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget. PB first emerged in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre where it has over the last two decades increased political participation, decreased economic inequality and corruption and developed citizen capacities that have spurred further organizing and activism. Since then PB has spread to hundreds of cities in Latin America and other continents. A panel will discuss Participatory Budgeting in North America and NYC Saturday, March 11th, 2:00-4:00 pm. Topics include How can PB be applied in North America, and New York more specifically? The workshop will discuss the potential for PB in North America, existing PB processes in Canada, and what PB might mean for New York. Visit www.leftforum.org for more information.
The moderator for the event will be Mike Menser, Brooklyn College and NYC Social Forum and panelists include Josh Lerner, New School; Jennifer Flynn, NYC AIDS Housing Network and Still We Rise; and Gianpaolo Baoicchi, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Mini C2D2 Event Coming Up In Toronto

The organizers of the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) are holding an event March 2 in Toronto at Metro Hall from 3PM to 8:30PM. The format is set up so you can attend all or part, depending on your schedule. For more information, contact: Melissa Abramowitz, melissa.abramovitz@utoronto.ca, Charlotte Young, c2d2@envision-synergy.net or Miriam Wyman, miriam.wyman@utoronto.ca. To see the agenda for this mini conference, click on the link below.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Discussion Guide on End-Of-Life Decisions Published by NIF

National Issues Forums (NIF) has just published a new discussion guide about end-of-life decisions. The discussion guide, titled Life and Death Decisions: Who Decides? presents information about aspects of end-of-life decisions that are currently at issue in the country, and three possible approaches for consideration. The approaches are “Preserving Life,” which states that as long as there is the ability to maintain life, our skills should be employed in sustaining it; “Maintaning Quality of Life” which states that sometimes withdrawing life support is appropriate even when further treatment would help the patient live longer; and “My Choice, My Right” which states that People should all have the right to decide whether they want to live or die. To download or order the guide, visit www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/guides.aspx?catID=12.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Midwest Social Forum Calls for Session Proposals

The Midwest Social Forum (www.mwsocialforum.org) is an annual gathering of grassroots organizations, community activists, workers, educators, students, and others committed to making a better, more just world possible. It will be held this July 2-6 in Milwaukee, WI. The MWSF provides an open space for exchanging experiences and information, strengthening alliances and networks, and developing effective strategies for progressive social, economic, and political change. Formerly known as Radfest, the MWSF has been inspired by the World Social Forum and the similar principles on which it was established, most importantly its commitment to diversity, democracy, and politically non-sectarian dialogue and debate (See principles of the World Social Forum here). The MWSF is currently calling for session proposals and activities. Activities can include workshops, panels, training sessions, round tables, retreats, caucuses, films, and other cultural events. For information on how to get involved, visit www.mwsocialforum.org/get_involved/index.htm. Proposals are due by April 15, 2006.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Perspectives Group to Offer IAP2 Certified Training

The Perspectives Group will offer a five-day IAP2 Certificate Program in Public Participation six times in 2006. This training is designed for professionals working in the fields of community development, nonprofit and government public services, and public understanding and outreach. It is also designed for industry communications and public affairs or public relations, advocacy and lobbying organizations, private and government groups, and any individual/organization required to deal with the public about complex or potentially contentious issues. Upon completion of the full week of training, participants will receive a certificate from IAP2, the world’s leading association for public participation. Dates and locations are: Alexandria, VA April 3 – 7; July 10 – 14; September 18 – 22; December 4 – 8 and East Lansing, MI March 20-21 (Planning only). The full week of training is $1,475, or $295 per day. The Course is broken up into 3 sections: Planning for Effective Public Participation (two days), Effective Communication for Public Participation (one day), and Techniques for Public Participation (two days). Please note that the Planning course is a prerequisite to the Communications and Techniques courses. For additional information go to www.theperspectivesgroup.com/resource/trainingpro.html or feel free to contact Crystal Sarno or Kristie Bergeron-Hale at The Perspectives Group 703-837-1197 or training@theperspectivesgroup.com.

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IAP2 Seeks Editor for Online Journal

The International Association for Public Participation is re-launching its journal in 2006. The journal will be an online, partially-peer reviewed, multi-disciplinary forum for the exchange of information among researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and citizens about the impact and practice of public participation around the world. They are currently seeking an Editor-n-Chief who will be responsible for the management, production, and editing of this online journal. A statement of wor (including pay) is posted at www.iap2.org/associations/4748/files/JournalEditorSOW.pdf.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

AmericaSpeaks Seeking Facilitators and Participants for California Dialogues

NCDD member Lars Torres sent the following message to the NCDD discussion list asking for volunteers. AmericaSpeaks is organizing and facilitating a series of meetings this spring on health care policy for the Citizens’ Health Care Working Group (www.citizenshealthcare.gov). The recommendations that result from the citizen engagement process will be presented to Congress and the President, whose response is required by law. For more information on this initiative and AmericaSpeaks’ role, please visit www.americaspeaks.org/spotlight/?p=28

The first community meeting will take place in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, March 4. With less than 2 weeks to go, AmericaSpeaks are in urgent need of more facilitators and participants. If you can, please take a few minutes to encourage anyone you know in the Los Angeles area who may be interested in participating or facilitating to register as facilitators or participants for this meeting. Registering for the meeting is pretty easy and can be done on-line at
www.citizenshealthcare.gov/register or by phone at 1-800-679-3684. If you have questions, would like more information, or would like to sign up, please contact Surjeet Ahluwalia at AmericaSpeaks: (t) 202-775-3939, x1006 (f)202-775-0404; email sahluwalia@americaspeaks.org or visit the AmericaSpeaks website above.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Update on SFU's Dialogue Activities

Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue has announced a new training session and a video. First, the workshop Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach is an intensive, interactive four-day workshop that will transform your approach to teaching. The goal of the workshop is to learn a structured and accountable method of organizing, designing and facilitating and to create engaging and participatory learning events. Opportunities to design and teach short lessons and receive feedback and coaching will unlock the power of dialogue in educating adult learners. The workshop takes place from Monday, May 1 – Thursday, May 4, 2006, 9-5 pm. The fee is $1400 for the four-day program (text, course materials and refreshments provided), and the workshop will be held at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC (entrance on Seymour St). For more information or to register, email dialogue-info@sfu.ca, see www.sfu.ca/dialogue/Learning_to_Listen_flyer.pdf or call 604.268.7925

Second, SFU has also put together a video of their Dialogue Maker’s Network activities. SFU’s Dialogue Maker’s Network began in 2003 as a space for those interested in the creative potential of dialogue to learn about shared values and pre-conceived understandings in a spirit of non-judgmental curiosity. Monthly gatherings give participants the opportunity to cultivate the core capacities of dialogue: listening to understand, suspending judgment, surfacing assumptions, and demonstrating empathy and respect. Watch the Quicktime video as some of the participants comment on the Dialogue Maker’s Network here: www.sfu.ca/dialogue/previous.htm#network

From the CommunityFrom the Community

One World Training in Deliberative Dialogue Coming Up

On March 20 and 21, 2006, One World Inc. (OWI) will offer a training workshop on Deliberative Dialogue in Ottawa, Canada. The Deliberative Dialogue methodology is an innovative, proven approach to engage citizens and stakeholders in productive discussions on public policy. It delves into the core of key social issues by accessing people’s wisdom and expertise through a facilitation technique that helps people thoughtfully examine various realistic but often divergent perspectives. These discussions are values-based dialogues as opposed to agenda-driven debates. During this two-day workshop, participants will learn the key elements of this methodology. The training will be practical, focusing on the skills needed to facilitate and/or note take for a Deliberative Dialogue session. It will be a “hands-on” workshop where participants will practice the approach and receive feedback from other participants and the trainer. Documentation will be provided as a reference manual for the participants. Cost for voluntary sector participants is $450 and the cost is $750 for Government and private sector participants. The registration deadline is March 14, and space is limited to fifteen participants. For more information, contact Colleen Murdoch by phone at 562-4073, ext. 310 or email info@owi.org.