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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Leading Civic Organizations (Including NCDD!) To Present Workshops at SCRC's National Conference

SCRC has just announced that it will hold a series of pre-conference workshops at its “Telling the Story of Democracy” national conference on Oct.7 in Northbrook, Ill. The workshops will offer introductions to the work of AmericaSpeaks, The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, The Aspen Roundtable Project on Race and Community Revitalization, The Deliberative Democracy Consortium and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, National Issues Forums, and NeighborWorks America®. To learn more about the workshops, or to register for the conference, visit www.studycircles.org/scrcconference/.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Funding Opportunity for Consensus-Based Environmental Decision-Making in Rural Areas

The Laura Jane Musser Fund (www.musserfund.org/) is seeking to assist public or not-for-profit entities in initiating or implementing projects in rural areas to undertake consensus-based activities in environmental stewardship or dispute resolution. The program is most interested in new programs; they’re willing to fund the planning or implementation phase; and are willing to fund projects already in progress if the proposal is compelling. Grants for this program may be made to any eligible applicants based in the United States. Most grants are made for domestic projects, but occasionally grants are made to U.S. agencies or organizations for environmental work elsewhere. The application deadline is October 1, 2005. For full details, visit www.musserfund.org/rural_initiative.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Conflict Resolution Day Announced for October 20, 2005

The Association for Conflict Resolution has just announced it will be organizing a Conflict Resolution Day for October 20, 2005. ACR aims to raise public awareness about the benefits of conflict resolution by organizing events and activities across the nation. They invite anyone with an interest in this issue to take action by organizing a community presentation, talking to a reporter or contacting a policy maker about conflict resolution. For more ideas about how to participate, visit www.ACRnet.org/crday or email acr@ACRnet.org.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Report on Peace Camps Available Online

We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman about a new report about Middle-East Peace Camps that is now available online. In January 2005 26 camp leaders — Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Canadians — met in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the first time as guests of the Fetzer Institute. Their shared experiences were distilled into a report that will hopefully improve peace camps and energize relationship-building activities everywhere. To learn more about the meeting, and to download the report visit traubman.igc.org/campconf.htm

From the CommunityFrom the Community

The People Speak Launches Third Nationwide Discussion This Fall

This Fall, The People Speak convenes a third nationwide discussion on America’s role in the world. From September 1- November 30, 2005, the People Speak invites everyone to connect with their communities and develop a deeper understanding of international affairs by organizing their own The People Speak discussion. The official theme of The People Speak 2005 is Building a Safer World: Defining the U.S.-U.N. Relationship for the 21st Century. Participants will address this question in the topic areas of Poverty, Hunger, and Health; War and Conflict; Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism; or the Environment. For discussion resources or to register to host a discussion visit www.thepeoplespeak.org. Email any questions to info@thepeoplespeak.org or call (202) 887-9040.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Resource for Encouraging ESL Students to Participate in Study Circles

We just heard from the Study Circle Resources Center about a new resource for recruiting ESL students into Study Circle programs. To prepare adult students in the English as a Second Language program for a study circle summit on education, the communications department of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in Hamilton, Ontario, developed a curriculum titled “Prepare to Participate.” The curriculum package includes a series of classroom activities to help students increase their self-confidence, group discussion experience, and decision-making skills. With minimal adaptation, this curriculum can be used in any community. Download it from SCRC’s web site: www.studycircles.org/pages/hap.html#esl

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Book on Complex Problem Solving Available

NCDD member Adam Kahane has recently published a book entitled Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities, published by Berrett-Koehler. Based on Adam’s extensive experience solving complex problems in conflictual and changing environments all over the world, he offers a “simple but not easy” approach to problem-solving. Using examples from families, corporations, governments, and nonprofits, Kahane explores the connection between individual and systemic transformation, and shows how to move beyond politeness and formal statements, beyond routine debate and defensiveness, towards deeper and more productive dialogue and action. To contact Adam, visit his website: www.generonconsulting.com email: kahane@generonconsulting.com or call (978) 232-3500 ext. 30.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Citizen Recommendations on Nanotechnology and Society Available Online

Patricia Bonner just informed us about the Initiative on Nanotechnology and Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which conducted a citizens’ consensus conference during April 2005 and has just posted a report online with citizen recommendations. Writes Patricia, “I read the report over the weekend and felt pretty darn good about the recommendations “ordinary citizens” developed with help from UWI staff.” To check out the Initiative’s work, visit their website: www.lafollette.wisc.edu/research/Nano/forumrelease. From there, follow the links to the full report with citizen recommendations. To read media coverage of the consensus conference go to www.madison.com/tct/mad/business//index.php?ntid=38025

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Deliberative Democracy Consortium Launches Handbook Website

The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (www.deliberative-democracy.net) has recently launched a website for the new Deliberative Democracy Handbook. The Handbook is the first volume to bring together the best practices and thinking on citizen participation processes. It aims to help readers figure out which method of engagement is right for them and guides them through using the appropriate method. A top flight collection of experts critiques a wide range of deliberative practices to improve readers understanding of the best ways to bring citizens together to engage in thoughtful, respectful discussion of complex public issues. To read excerpts from the book, learn about the contributors, or connect with other deliberative democrats, visit www.deliberative-democracy.net/handbook/. To order a copy of the book online, visit the publisher’s website: http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-078797661X.html

From the CommunityFrom the Community

New Study Assesses Impact of Service Learning on Civic Engagement

We just heard about a new CIRCLE (www.civicyouth.org) Working Paper by Shelley Billig, Sue Root, and Dan Jesse of RMC Research Corporation that examines the impact of service-learning on civic engagement. The study compared more than 1,000 high school students who participated in service-learning programs with those who did not participate in schools matched for similar demographics and student achievement profiles. It found that service-learning students were significantly more likely to say they intended to vote and that they enjoyed school. Importantly, the study suggests that the way service learning is implemented matters: students who were involved for at least a semester in a program that was linked to standards, involved more direct contact with service recipients, and had cognitively challenging reflection activities were more likely to be civically engaged than those in other types of service learning. For the full report, click this link: http://www.civicyouth.org/research/areas/serv_learn.htm

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