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Ploughshares Fund Offers Support for Projects to Prevent Spread of Weapons

The Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org), a public grantmaking foundation, makes grants to support initiatives aimed at preventing the spread and use of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and other weapons of war, and to prevent conflicts that could lead to the use of weapons of mass destruction. The fund invests in a wide range of innovative and practical programs, from scientific research, to media, to behind-the-scenes dialogue, to grassroots organizing and even lobbying. Ploughshares supports both organizations and individuals working to stop the spread of weapons and build regional security. The fund can make grants for direct lobbying programs, and there are no geographical restrictions on grants. Requests for two-year grants will be considered. The fund does not finance the production of films, video-tapes, or books. It also does not fund the research and writing of academic dissertations. Visit the Ploughshares Web site for complete grant program guidelines and information on funded projects. Deadlines for applications are February 15 and July 15, 2006.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

EPA Announces Air Innovations Grant

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just posted a series of Air Innovations Grant announcements on their website at epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html. In particular, the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) is seeking applications from states, territories, Indian Tribes, and possessions of the U.S., including the District of Columbia, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions, which propose projects with significant technical merit and relevance to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation’s mission. For certain competitive funding opportunities, the Agency may limit eligibility to a particular subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency’s competition policy. Applicants have until 5:00pm January 6, 2006 to submit applications/proposals. Visit the weblink above for details.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Udall Foundation Invites Applications for Environmental Public Policy and Conflict Resolution Dissertation Fellowship

The Morris K. Udall Foundation (www.udall.gov) annually awards two one-year fellowships of up to $24,000 to doctoral candidates in the U.S. whose research concerns environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution and who are entering their final year of writing their dissertation. Dissertation fellowships are open to scholars in all fields of study whose dissertation topic has significant relevance to U.S. national environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution. Previous fellows’ fields of study include political science; economics; government; environmental science, policy, and management; ecology; environmental justice; regional planning; geography; natural resource policy; and environmental analysis and design. Cross or inter-disciplinary projects are particularly welcome. Each applicant must have completed all coursework and passed all preliminary exams; have approval for the dissertation research proposal by February 3, 2006; be entering the final year of writing the dissertation; and be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or U.S. national. Ph.D. candidates who hold a fellowship for the purpose of writing the dissertation during the year preceding or coinciding with the Udall Fellowship are not eligible. Fellowships are intended to cover both academic and living expenses from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007. Visit the Udall Foundation Web site for complete program information and application procedures. The deadline for this fellowship application is February 3, 2006.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

News from the Arab-American-European Dialogue

The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (www.sustaineddialogue.org) recently held the sixth meeting of its Arab-American-European Dialogue since early 2004. This Dialogue was conceived and planned by IISD Vice President Randa Slim as an exchange with the democratic reformers of the Muslim Arab heartland — Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and now Iraq. It reflects the judgment that there will be no democracy in the Middle East unless moderate Islamists play a significant role, and unless the West needs to develop a relationship with them. “This was one of our toughest meetings,” reports Hal Saunders, IISD President and the Kettering Foundation’s Director of International Affairs. “We focused on the issues surrounding occupation, resistance and terrorism. The two leading cases were Iraq and Palestine. All agreed that the suicide attacks in New York, Washington, Madrid, London and Jordan are ‘crimes against Islam.’ But our Arab colleagues’ experience of occupation has left them convinced not only that resistance is legitimate but also that it can be effective. They believe, for instance, that the U.S. failure in recent years to make a significant effort to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories has left them no recourse.” After the meeting, European participants from Italy and the UK arranged meetings with public and governmental groups with several of the Arab dialogue participants. As a British colleague has written, Hal reports, “If we are to avoid a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West or within Islam in the West, it is with the political Islamists that the West must do business.”

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Corporation for Positive Change Announces 2006 Training Schedule

The Corporation for Positive Change (www.positivechange.org) is a premier consulting firm using Appreciative Inquiry for transformation and innovation in business, government, and nonprofit organizations around the world, with proven results in change management, leadership development, team building and culture transformation For detailed brochures on each workshop, please e-mail office@positivechange.org, or phone 505.751.1232 (x2). To see a list of the upcoming workshop dates and locations, click on the link below.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Opportunity to Particpate in the Citizens Health Care Working Group

The Citizens’ Health Care Working Group recently announced the start of a
nationwide discussion on health care to find solutions that will lead to health care that works for all Americans. This exciting endeavor is a direct result of the Health Care that Works for All Americans law (Public Law 108-173, section 1014) proposed by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden and passed by the U.S. Congress. The law mandates the creation of the Working Group and tasks it with organizing a national public debate on ways to improve the health care system so every American has the ability to obtain quality and affordable health care coverage. The feedback generated from this process will be used to develop a citizens’ road map of recommendations which the President is required to respond to and upon which Congress will hold hearings.

The Working Group invites all organizations to participate in this incredible citizen engagement effort by helping to extend its reach to as many Americans as possible. Potential ways to help include hosting community meetings, driving traffic to the website; and highlighting this opportunity in your newsletters and networks. If your organization is interested in helping to spread the word about this unprecedented effort, and especially if you are interested in hosting a community meeting, the Working Group wants to hear from you! Please contact Jessica Federer at 301-443-1521 or jfederer@ahrq.gov

AmericaSpeaks (www.americaspeaks.org) will be partnering with the Working Group to engage thousands of Americans through small and large scale face-to-face meetings, self-initiated community meetings, and web-casts. For more information on this exciting initiative and to download the recently released Health Report to the American People, which provides a
basic set of information to help start a national discussion on health care, visit the Health Care That Works for All Americans website: www.citizenshealthcare.gov

From the CommunityFrom the Community

African Coalition for D&D Launched at C2D2

Tokunbo Awoshakin, NCDD member, former Kettering Foundation Fellow and founder and convenor of the new African Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation (www.africancdd.org), has just formally announced the birth of ACDD. Here is Tokunbo’s report:

On October 30, 2005, at the end of the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) in Ottawa, Canada, the African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (ACDD) was formed. The formation of this coalition was inspired by participation in an open space forum, convened to explore the possibility of convening dialogue and deliberation practitioners in a summit in Africa while focus on uniting and growing this community of practice. African participants were from Rwanda, Zambia, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt. Other participants were from Canada and USA. The African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation was subsequently formed.

The African Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation brings together people and groups who actively practice, promote and study inclusive conversations. Collectively, we seek to nurture justice, innovation and democracy throughout society through the widespread use of transformational communication methods such as dialogue and deliberation. Convinced that dialogue and deliberation are powerful group processes that help people bridge gaps, make better decisions, take collective non-violent action, resolve conflict and become more active citizens, ACDD will provide resources, networking opportunities and programs for a growing African community of practice dedicated to solving group and societal problems through honest talk, quality thinking and collaborative actions.

Energized by a growing network of African D&D practitioners, the important work of National Coalition of Dialogue and Deliberation and the success of convening a dialogue and deliberation summit in Africa might provide an opportunity for dialogue and deliberation practitioners to meet together with one another and with decision makers, policy developers, and researchers from the public, voluntary and private sectors including practitioners and researchers from Western countries to learn and share information and skills as well as develop capacity for this practice and contribute to the growth of D&D work in Africa. Opportunities to submit concerns and information on how to complete a “needs assessment” will soon be circulated among D&D networks and also made available online.

To continue this initiative, a database of dialogue and deliberation Practitioners living and/or working in Africa, is now being compiled. If you or your organization is based in an African country or works at least in part in Africa, please send your contact info to Programs@civiclifeint.org

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Report on the First Annual American Democracy Conference

Margaret Holt, Georgia-based D&D practitioner, covered last week’s First Annual American Democracy Conference in Atlanta for the Kettering Foundation’s Friday Letter. Click on the link below to read the full report.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Update from the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue

The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (www.sustaineddialogue.org) is directed by NCDD Board member Hal Saunders. Recently we got a report from Randa Slim, IISD vice president, on two exciting IISD initiatives in the Middle East. Click on the link below to read about the Arab-American-European Dialogue and the Arab Democracy Barometer Project, both sponsored by IISD.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

World Citizens To Debate Urban Sustainability Online, Dec. 1-3, 2005

Habitat JAM, an unprecedented online global dialogue on urban sustainability, will be held for 72 hours from 1-3 December, 2005. Sponsored by the Government of Canada, in partnership with UN-HABITAT and IBM, the Habitat JAM promises to engage, empower and stimulate tens of thousands of global citizens, rich and less fortunate alike, with the ultimate goal of turning ideas into action on critical issues related to urban sustainability. The Habitat JAM is a preparatory event to the third session of the World Urban Forum being held in Vancouver in June 2006. The World Urban Forum is an initiative of the United Nations Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) held every two years to debate ideas and issues about sustainable development in today’s context of rapid urbanization. Topics for discussion will include improving the lives of people living in slums, access to water, environmental sustainability, safety and security, finance and governance, and the future of our cities. The Habitat JAM will bring together academics and students, planners and builders, politicians, governments, the private sector and ordinary citizens from across the globe in real time, all contributing ideas and expertise during the 72-hour global problem-solving session. Moderators will include government leaders, renowned experts, and key thinkers. To ensure the most inclusive event possible, grass root organizations, institutions, women, youth groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are helping to bring people to the technology who might otherwise not have access or opportunity to share their experiences and ideas with others around the world. To name just a few examples, the Habitat JAM is teaming with the:

* World Bank Institute to offer access to many of their satellite-based Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) to enable people living in regions with inadequate or no Internet access to participate in the Habitat JAM.
* Huairou Commission and GROOTS Canada to bring the voice of non-English speaking women into the Habitat JAM.
* World Urban Forum and Youth Organizing Committee (WUFY) who will hold over a dozen World Urban Cafe JAM Sessions to engage communities in slums and impoverished human settlements in Asia, Africa, India and Latin America.

For additional information on Habitat JAM and to register for the event, visit www.habitatjam.com.