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From the CommunityFrom the Community

League of Women Voters Launches a Public Dialogue About Civil Liberties

The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) recently launched “Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities,” an eight-month initiative that will foster public dialogue about the balance between civil liberties and homeland security. The League will develop materials, train local facilitators, and encourage citizen participation in large League-led conversations about this topic. Click below for the full press release for this exciting project.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Report on Engaging Armed Groups in Peace Processes Available Online

Conciliation Resources’ Accord (www.c-r.org/accord) programme has just published a report
of the 2004 joint analysis workshop: Engaging Armed Groups in Peace Processes. The report presents some of the challenges presented by engaging armed groups, and a series of recommendations for future work,
including the need to: better understand armed groups and how they make choices; improve how we articulate the case for engagement; consider engagement within the wider context of peace and conflict; counter the state-actor bias of the international system in peace processes; and improve the track one / track two relationship in the process of engaging armed groups.
The full text is available free online at www.c-r.org/accord/ansa/index.shtml or can be ordered in print online.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Purple America Poster & Products

I just stumbled upon something online that I fear everyone else may already have seen, but it struck me as such an important image that I had to post something about it. Professor Robert Venderbei at Princeton created a map of the U.S. depicting the 2004 presidential election results in shades of red and blue – not by state – but by county. And the result is a strikingly purple map.

This is a red/blue map that is not so black and white (aren’t I clever?) – and a more realistic, truthful image for people to see during these polarizing times. You can buy all kinds of products with the purple map on it (I like the tote bag and the Ringer T-shirts), which I think is a good thing. The more people who can replace the red/blue state map in their mind with this purple map, the better. You can view the map at www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

OpEd by John Gastil and Ned Crosby Shares Lessons from Canada's Citizens' Assembly

NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee sent an email to his popular e-mailing list today that I wanted to share with all of you. Tom forwarded an op-ed written by John Gastil and Ned Crosby about the remarkable Citizens’ Assembly that has been breaking ground in British Columbia, Canada.

Tom considers the Citizens’ Assembly to be the most empowered version of citizen deliberative councils that he has seen anywhere in the world so far, and he hopes it is only the first of many such innovations.

Tom points out that the short article below, which is targetted at residents of Washington State in the US, is a model for similar op-ed pieces that could be written for virtually any state in the US — or for provinces, districts and nations around the world. Click below for the article.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

AmericaSpeaks Releases Blueprint for Engaging the Public in National Policy-Making

AmericaSpeaks recently released Millions of Voices: A Blueprint for Engaging the American Public in National Policy-Making, a detailed report outlining a comprehensive strategy to engage millions of Americans in solving the nation’s most critical problems.

The report reflects the collaborative thinking of 12 leaders in the citizen engagement field, convened by AmericaSpeaks over nine months. Millions of Voices is based on the premise that if we are to reinvigorate American democratic institutions, new structures and processes are needed to engage citizens in the nation’s policy-making process. The report offers a plan for National Discussions that will engage at least one million Americans in substantive deliberations about public issues designed to inform and influence decision-making in Washington.

The report recommends National Discussions be convened regularly to address the most pressing national issues facing the country such as health care, foreign policy, and the economy. Development and production of the report were funded by The Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Click here for a free PDF version of this excellent report.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

IAF to Publish Book Next Month on Best Practices in Facilitation

Next month, the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) will be publishing an exciting (to us, anyway!) book edited by Sandy Schuman titled “The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation.” Published by Jossey-Bass, the 720-page book will be available in February for $75 for non-members of IAF and $52.50 for IAF members. This will be quite the resource!

The book covers a range of viewpoints on methods and techniques, issues, competencies, and resources. It includes a CD featuring the complete collection of articles published in the first five issues of Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal. This collection will serve as an introduction to the field for the new practitioner and as a reference for experienced group facilitators who encounter new situations. Click below for the full table of contents (you may recognize some of the authors!), or go to IAF’s online store to purchase the book.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Public Agenda's Issue Guide on Social Security Available for Your Use

Today’s Public Agenda Alert announced that President Bush “ruled out increating Social Security payroll taxes to bail our the program and repeated his call to create private retirement accounts instead.” Public Agenda reminds us about their issue guide on Social Security, stating that their ‘Choicework’ discussion guides lay out the different alternatives to reform.

“With Choicework, we’re not claiming to have the “correct” solution to a problem. What you’ll find are four different points of view about how to address the issue. The broad choices we present are designed to be discussion starters, not a political program. Each point of view comes with the arguments for and against, along with some potential costs and tradeoffs, because choosing a course of action should include honestly facing its drawbacks.”

From the CommunityFrom the Community

HIV/AIDS Deliberation in Nigeria

Since September 2004, Civic Life International, a Nigerian organization, in collaboration with the Center for Public Policy Education (CPPE), has been running an innovative project which uses radio programming to create a space for Nigerians to talk deliberatively about HIV/AIDS. The project, which brings students to several radio studios for live forums on HIV/AIDS using a citizen-framed issue book, is coordinated by Tokunbo Awoshakin, a Kettering Foundation Fanning Fellow (awoshakin@yahoo.com).

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Why I Wish I Lived in Vancouver (Or, an Update from the Wosk Center)

If any of you in the Northwest or in Western Canada haven’t yet heard of the Wosk Center for Dialogue in Vancouver, you’re in for a treat. The Wosk Center makes me wish I lived on the other side of the country.

I just received an update from Nicole Mah of the Wosk Center, outlining some of their upcoming activities and programs. A Dialogue Network meets each month to dialogue about dialogue, which is cool enough – but also their 2004 Dialogue Maker’s Series is launching on Sept. 10 with a dialogue inspired by the Dalai Lama’s visit to Vancouver. Click below for the full announcement.
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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Leah Lamb's "Engage" Program Featured in Richmond Times

NCDD member Leah Lamb’s innovative theatre/dialogue program was featured on Monday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. An article by Michael Paul Williams called “Theater as an Agent of Change” outlined Leah’s hopes to inspire civic engagement and community building among youth through her “Engage” program – a blend of theatrical performances and documentary footage conveying the civic and political experiences of Richmond residents. Engage will open September 16 through 18 at Virginia Commonwealth University. Click below for the full article.
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