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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Leading Organizational and Community Change

We are happy to share the announcement below about a series of D&D skills trainings being offered at Humboldt State University this year. NCDD Supporting Member Mary Gelinas shared the announcement below via our great Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have news you want to share with the NCDD network? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!


If you are an elected official, community leader, manager, planner, consultant or facilitator who wants to be even more effective than you already are, these workshops are for you.

The Leading Organizational & Community Change program is a transformative professional development program focused on creating collaboration at work and in your communities. Offered through the College of eLearning and Extended Education at Humboldt State University in Northern California, this program offers courses designed to help organizational managers, community leaders, public officials, city managers, planners, facilitators, and consultants to be more effective in getting things done and creating sustainable change at work, in communities, and in municipalities.

Grounded in the behavioral sciences and brain science, along with effective and innovative process skills and approaches, the curriculum is designed to build your knowledge and develop your skills so you can work more constructively and productively with colleagues, constituents, neighbors, and clients to solve problems, resolve conflicts, build lasting agreements, develop public policy, and plan for the future.

The courses still available in 2017 include: (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

What You Missed on the Confab Call with Not In Our Town

NCDD was happy to host a very special Confab Call earlier this week featuring NCDD member organization Not In Our Town (NIOT). Over 50 people from our network joined us for a conversation with Patrice O’Neill, NIOT’s executive director, about how the history of NIOT’s history, its work, and how the dialogue events that NIOT hosts have helped catalyze broad civic engagement and stop the spread of hate in communities across the country.

We recorded the Confab as always, so if you missed it, we highly encourage you to list to the recording of the webinar by clicking here. You can also click here to read the transcript of the chat from the webinar where we shared a number of resources, links, and answers to questions posed during the call.

One of the most exciting possibilities that came out of the call was the clear opportunity for dialogue practitioners from NCDD’s network to support the towns and communities that NIOT works with in their dialogue events on hate and bullying. NIOT and NCDD are discussing ways to bring dialogue partners and a framework to local NIOT groups working long term to prevent hate and foster inclusion, but we want you to be part of the discussion too!

We’ve created a quick 5-question survey that we are asking our network to fill out so that we can find out who is interested in continuing conversations about NCDD-NIOT collaborations and collect your ideas about what that could look like. Please take just a couple minutes to complete the brief survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/KRVC252 if you’re interested. We will have more on these collaboration opportunities soon.

In the meantime, if you want to connect with Not In Our Town’s work, here’s are some suggestions from Patrice for ways  you can get involved: (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NIFI Hosts 10 Online Community-Police Relations Forums

In addition to offering free copies of their new Safety & Justice discussion guide on community-police relations, the National Issues Forums Institute – an NCDD member org – is also hosting ten online forums to discuss the issue using their Common Ground for Action online deliberation tool, including two training webinars for prospective forum hosts. We encourage those in our network focusing on related issues to consider joining the forums or the training. You can learn more about the CGA forums in the NIFI announcement below or find the original here.


Common Ground for Action 2017 Forum Series

The Common Ground for Action (CGA) Forums Series is Back!

The 2016 CGA Fridays were a huge hit. Demand for trying the new platform and giving our network of moderators more practice was so high that we’re back at it for 2017. This winter, we will have a CGA forum each week, with some in the evening and Saturdays so more of our network can join in. If you’re a CGA moderator and want practice or a refresher workshop, we’ve got those too.

In February, the CGA Forum Series will be using the NEW Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence? issue guide. These forums will be part of our 2017 series of reports to policymakers on how people are thinking about issues.

  • Friday, February 3rd 12:00pm EST – Register
  • Friday, February 10th 4pm EST – Register
  • Wednesday, February 15th 7pm EST- Register
  • Tuesday, February 21st 10am EST – Register
  • Saturday, February 25th 4pm EST – Register
  • Monday, February 27th 2pm EST – Register
  • Saturday, March 4th 4pm EST – Register
  • Friday, March 10th 12pm EST – Register
  • Monday, March 13th 2:30pm EST (more…)

NCDD NewsNCDD News

NCDD Podcast on Connecting Journalism & Public Engagement is Live!

The fourth episode of the NCDD Podcast is now live! You can find this on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play.

In this episode, Journalism that Matters Executive Director Peggy Holman and Board President Michelle Ferrier discuss their thoughts about connecting journalists and public engagement practitioners. They reflect on the opportunities they see for these fields to collaborate and complement one another.

This conversation is one that NCDD and Journalism That Matters will continue to have with our members in the coming months. In March, NCDD will hold a Confab Call with Journalism That Matters – look for an announcement of that event next week! And Journalism That Matters will look to also continue the conversation at their conference this May. More information on the conference in coming soon as well.

This first series of episodes in the NCDD Podcast were recorded at the NCDD 2016 Conference, where we asked leaders and practitioners from the D&D field to share their stories and ideas, as well as discuss opportunities and challenges in our audio room. These episodes are being released as we continue our conversation from the conference about #BridgingOurDivides.

We invite you to listen to this episode and share your thoughts here, particularly about the opportunities for journalists and public engagement practitioners to support one another and collaborate. Do you have experience working with journalists? Do you have ideas for how our fields can partner? Share them in the comments below!

Our thanks to Ryan Spenser for recording and editing these podcast episodes, to Barb Simonetti for her financial support of this initial series, and to everyone who participated at the conference.

Please continue to tune in and share the podcast with your networks!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Citizen University Conference on “Reckoning & Repair”

We want to make sure that our network has heard that the 2017 Citizen University Conference is coming up this March 24th-25th in Seattle. Citizen University conferences bring together key civic leaders from many different part of society around how to improve our country’s civic engagement and spur civic change.

NCDD members will be able to both contribute and gain a lot by attending, so we encourage you to register to attend. Regular registration is $250, with some scholarships and discounts available. We encourage you to attend!

The theme of this year’s conference, “Reckoning and Repair in America,” is quite in line with NCDD’s #BridgingOurDivides work, and we know NCDDers can continue the conversation about how we heal the division in our country in powerful new ways at this conference. Here’s a bit of how the organizers describe it:

Our theme for this year’s conference is Reckoning and Repair in America. We face deep divisions across the country. Now more than ever we the people have to step up: to reckon with injustice across ideological divides and to repair our frayed social fabric.

Join hundreds of change-makers, activists, and catalysts to learn about power, deepen your networks, and recharge your sense of purpose. With luminary speakers, master teachers, and lessons on civic power, the conversation will be rich and provocative. Join the movement to rekindle citizenship and remake the narrative of America.

You can learn more about the Citizen University Conference at www.citizenuniversity.us/conference. We hope to see some of you there!

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Don’t Miss the Confab Call on Responses to Hate, Feb. 8

In case you missed our announcement last month, we want to remind the NCDD network to register today for our next Confab Call, this Wednesday, February 8th from 1-2pm Eastern/10-11am Pacific with Not In Our Town (NIOT).Confab bubble image

Not In Our Town is an NCDD member organization that uses film and community-wide dialogue to support towns and schools around the country in formulating a response to hate crimes, bullying, and hate groups. The Confab will feature a presentation from NIOT’s CEO and Excutive Producer Patrice O’Neill on the work they do, how it has changed since the spike in hate crimes since the election, and how the D&D field can support the growing need for conversation on addressing hate and violence in our communities.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to connect to important work of using dialogue to address. We highly encourage you to register today for this great call!

This call is part of NCDD’s ongoing #BridgingOurDivides campaign that seeks to highlight key resources and methodologies our field can use to address divides that the 2016 election created and exacerbated. The call will be a perfect opportunity to learn about how you can access and use the over 100 of films and discussion guides that NIOT has created to support dialogue and action around dozens of kinds of bullying and hate, all of which can be critical tools for the D&D community to tap into.

We are excited about the possibilities this Confab presents for seeding collaborations. Be sure register today for this great call!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Bridging Our Divides with NCL’s All-America Conversations

NCDD members might want to check out the All-America Conversations initiative being hosted by the National Civic League, an NCDD member organization. NCL is encouraging communities across the country to host short, public conversations focused on questions of how we can begin #BridgingOurDivides, showing that our country can still work together. They are providing a toolkit and webinar training series to help conversation hosts plan and convene these events, and we encourage practitioners in our network to consider hosting one yourself. You can learn more in the NCL announcement below or by learning more here.


All-American Conversations: Bridging Divides. Building Community.

National Civic League is launching All-America Conversations to demonstrate that locally, we are still able to work together across dividing lines to create stronger, more equitable communities.

Communities that host All-America Conversations will:

  • Better understand residents’ aspirations for the community
  • Learn how residents talk about and see community challenges and divisions
  • Gain clear insight into what small actions would give people confidence that we can work together across dividing lines
  • Help residents engage with one another in a productive conversation
  • Demonstrate a commitment to inclusive engagement

All-America Conversations are designed to help cities and other groups understand residents’ aspirations for the community, the divisions facing the community and, most importantly, the small, specific actions that give people a sense of confidence that we can work across dividing lines.

The format/template for All-America Conversations is (more…)

NCDD NewsNCDD News

2016 NCDD Year In Review

Looking back, 2016 was an important year for NCDD and the dialogue & deliberation community. NCDD and the field saw a lot of important things happen and transitions take place, and as we look forward to the work ahead, we also wanted to look back at what we’ve accomplished and what’s changed.

NCDD 2016

Of course, the biggest effort on NCDD’s part was organizing the 2016 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation on “Bridging Our Divides,” a timely focus on the important work of bringing people together across differences of politics, race, socioeconomic status, and more. We had 350 public engagement practitioners, journalists, academics, public officials, funders, and students converge for this three-day gathering focused on sharing stories, exploring collaborations, and talking about what’s next for the dialogue and deliberation community following the divisive election season. You can view the schedule and speakers, watch panels, and more in the Events section of our site.

Following the conference and the presidential election, NCDD continued this conversation with our #BridgingOurDivides campaign, which sought to continue to collect and share stories, resources, and tools for bridging divides in our communities. We also hosted a special open Confab Call about what our community can do and is doing post-election. We invite you to check out the amazing compilation of the tools and resources we gathered and to watch the recorded Confab on the blog here. Many thanks to our community for sharing your great tools, resources, and stories!

New Projects, Programs, and Partnerships

In 2016, NCDD truly embraced our stewardship of Conversation Café with the launch of the new Conversation Café website and a Confab Call sharing the story of how Conversation Café was created and how it has been utilized in communities across the country. Conversation Café is an elegantly simple process for dialogue, and with its materials all open source and available for free (including a recording of our recent host training session), it’s a important resource for our field and communities in a time where dialogue is so critically needed.

NCDD was also proud to finally unveil our new Emerging Leaders Initiative, a program we’ve been working towards since our 2014 Conference. The Emerging Leaders Initiative, or ELI, will provide resources and support to rising leaders in our field and create more “on ramps” into the dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement field, especially for young people 35 and under. The ELI also seeks to provide support to newcomers to the field, no matter their age, in addition to helping facilitate collaborations and connections among D&D efforts that involve or focus on young people. Learn more about this exciting initiative at www.ncdd.org/youth, or contact our Youth Engagement Coordinator Roshan Bliss at roshan@ncdd.org.

Another outcome from NCDD 2016 was the launch of our new NCDD Podcast. The podcast brings together members of the D&D community to discuss ideas, opportunities, and challenges in our work, as well as share tools and resources. Our first three episodes, all recorded at NCDD 2016, are up on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play!

Last year, NCDD also solidified an agreement to embark upon an exciting new partnership with the American Library Association. NCDD is proud to partner with the ALA on the Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change initiative that will train librarians across the country in dialogue and deliberation methods for community engagement and connect them with NCDD members. We look forward to launching these online and in-person trainings very soon! For more information, see our blog post here.

And as always, our work with the Kettering Foundation continued – including a huge inventory survey we conducted in collaboration with KF and work engaging the dialogue and deliberation community in Kettering’s annual DC event, A Public Voice.

Changes in Leadership

So who was responsible for this fabulous work? Our amazing (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Introducing The Transpartisan Review

In case you missed it in all the commotion of the past month, I want to encourage you to check out an important project launched on Inauguration Day 2017 by a handful of members and friends of NCDD – The Transpartisan Review.  I had the pleasure to join the team behind this new publication a few months ago, lending my skills as designer and editor, and I’d like to share a bit more about it.

Originally introduced to the NCDD community last fall at our NCDD 2016 conferenceThe Transpartisan Review is a new digital journal dedicated to sharing thoughts and insights from the growing transpartisan community.

In its inaugural issue, The Transpartisan Review explores the “transpartisan moment” we find ourselves in after the latest presidential election. Executive editors Lawrence Chickering and James Turner posit that we have reached a turning point in the history of our democracy – a transitional phase – which is offering us an opportunity to replace the “partisanship” splitting our country with a new form of political engagement incorporating the best features of left and right.

Alongside this assessment of the current political climate, this first issue of The Transpartisan Review shares several articles on a variety of topics, including contributions from distinguished NCDD members Joan Blades, Mark Gerzon, and Michael Briand (who also served as managing editor). It examines perspectives from the political side of NCDD’s #BridgingOurDivides campaign with articles contemplating how to be a better neighbor, an alternative approach to foreign policy, and even a different way to look at terrorism – all from a perspective that seeks to go beyond the traditional left-right divide.

Not only are they effective conversation starters, but these features represent the beginning of a dialogue the editors of the journal hope to encourage with and between its readership as we all gather to discuss the impact the new administration will have on the United States and the rest of the world.

You can read the entire issue online or download it for free at the journal’s website, www.transpartisanreview.com, and while you’re there, you can also check out Chickering and Turner’s Transpartisan Notes, a series of short-form articles on current issues viewed through a transpartisan lens.

You can look forward to more critical contributions to the work of bridging our nation’s divides in future issues of The Transpartisan Review and from this great team of NCDDers and transpartisan leaders.

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Free NIFI Community-Police Relations Discussion Guides

We want to encourage our network to learn more about the new Safety & Justice discussion guide from the National Issues Forums Institute. As NIFI and the Kettering Foundation – both core NCDD member orgs – prepare for their yearly A Public Voice event in DC, they are collecting reports from deliberative forums on community-police relations and criminal justice reform to show policymakers that deliberation is more than “bumper sticker talk” and media representations.
NIFI is inviting all those hosting discussions on this critical issue to share their data and learnings with them so that they can be included in the conversation in DC, even if those conversations don’t use NIFI materials. You can learn more about how to participate and get free discussion guides in the NIFI blog post below or find the original here.


Special Spring ’17 Offer: Free Safety & Justice Materials to First 100 Moderators

Recently, the relationship between police and the communities they serve has become the focus of intense scrutiny, conversation, and even protest. The issue is difficult to talk about – and yet, we must, or this
issue could tear our communities apart.

A problem like this requires talk, but not just any talk. We need deliberative forums where  community members of all ages, races, ethnicities, religions, and professions can get beyond the talking points and bumper stickers. Forums where they can share not just what they think, but why. Places where we can consider tensions and tradeoffs and see where we may have common ground.

But in order for there to be forums, there have to be conveners and moderators.

And that’s why your community needs YOU. To get people started, NIFI is offering 20 FREE hard copies of the Safety and Justice issue guide + copy of the starter video to the first 100 moderators who can convene a forum between January 1, 2017 and March 15, 2017.

Sign up for your free materials HERE. (more…)

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