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Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution

The Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution (formerly known as ACRON) is a network of the United States' most pre-eminent conflict prevention and resolution organizations. Formed in 1999 and incorporated in 2003, the Alliance is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness of the conflict management field and maximizing its impact on international peace building.

Focusing on areas affected by international and civil armed conflict, AICPR's members seek to resolve conflicts without violence, facilitate post-conflict reconciliation, and promote social, economic, and political development.

Resource Link: www.aicpr.org

Adapting systemic consultation practice to public discourse: An analysis of a public conflict episode

Human Systems, 7: 17-43 (1996), by Shawn Spano and Claire Calcagno. Shawn Spano, Ph.D., is a Senior Consultant with the Public Dialogue Consortium, a non-profit group of practitioners devoted to improving the quality of public communication in local communities. In addition to his work with the PDC, Shawn is a Professor in the Communication Studies Department at San Jose State University where he teaches courses and conducts research in public dialogue, interpersonal communication and communication education.

Active Voice

Active Voice is a nonprofit, fee-based service provider whose work is an outgrowth of promising practices developed by the Television Race Initiative (TRI). Active Voice creates campaigns based on powerful issue-driven films. AV campaigns encourage individuals and community groups to probe, discuss and take action on timely and relevant social justice issues. In collaboration with a wide range of partners, Active Voice creates companion materials and trains facilitators in how to use the films as catalysts for civic engagement, volunteerism and coalition building.

Resource Link: www.activevoice.net

Action Dialogues: Meaningful Conversations to Accelerate Change

Meant to be used as a part of Debbe Kennedy's Diversity Breakthrough! Strategic Action series, this is a simple pack of 52 glossy cards, each isolating specific roadblocks that organizations commonly face when looking to launch a diversity initiative. The first, for example, reads, 'Our leadership team does not reflect our stated commitment to inclusion.' Another reads, 'Resistance to change keeps diversity out of reach.'

Grouped into seven areas–leadership, culture, involvement, the business, strategies and measures, staffing, and ownership–they can be passed out in groups of any size to allow participants to literally 'put their cards on the table' about internal issues they'd rather not bring up aloud. They're not only a brilliant icebreaker for this potent topic but a good first step toward isolating specific areas of strength and weakness within an organization when it comes to diversity. The cards come with a brief but useful user's guide with a foreword by the Drucker Foundation's Frances Hesselbein.

Debbe Kennedy – Global Dialogue Center

Berrett-Koehler Press (2000)

A Safe Place for Dangerous Truths: Using Dialogue to Overcome Fear & Distrust at Work

Too often, speaking the “truth” is perceived career suicide. Yet truth-telling is desperately needed if we are to move past current levels of frustration and disillusionment. Dialogue is a way for a work group to get “un-stuck” when frustration and apathy threatens forward progress. Annette Simmons will explore some of the dangerous truths currently sabotaging the wordplace, the risks and rewards of truth telling, and the art and practice of creating a place safe enough so that “truths” do not deteriorate into blame sessions, scape-goating, or hopelessness. Genuine dialogue is a way to turn dangerous truths into shared responsibility.

Annette Simmons (Greensboro, NC) is president of Group Process Consulting, a behavioral science firm that specializes in building cooperation within organizations to enhance bottom-line results. She is also the author of Territorial Games.

Annette Simmons – Group Process Consulting

Amacom (1999)

Resource Link: www.groupprocessconsulting.com


A Resource Guide for Hosting Conversations That Matter at the World Cafe

The World Café is an easy-to-use method for creating a living network of collaborative dialogue around questions that matter to the real-life situations of your organizations or community. In this beautifully illustrated booklet (2002), Juanita Brown collaborates with Nancy Margulies and the World Café Community to articulate seven guiding principles for people to use to host their own Café. Learn about the thousands of people on five continents who have experienced the World Café, a model for setting up the ideal Café for your group, the roles of the hosts, crafting powerful questions, Café assumptions and etiquette, and more. Click here to purchase the 28-page guide for $15 from the Pegasus Communications website.

Resource Link: www.theworldcafe.com

A Public Peace Process: Sustained Dialogue to Transform Racial and Ethnic Conflicts

Harold Saunders, former Assistant Secretary of State and negotiator of the Camp David Accords and now Director of International Programs at the Kettering Foundation and Director of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, distills over 35 years of experience working with conflicts across the globe. This 1999 book (St. Martin’s Press) describes how sustained dialogue can help conflicting groups of citizens move toward resolution.

Many of the human conflicts that seize our attention are not ready for formal mediation and negotiation: People do not negotiate about identity, fear, historic grievance, and injustice. Sustained dialogue provides citizens outside government can change their conflictual relationships. Harold Saunders’ A Public Peace Process provides citizens instruments for transforming conflict. Saunders outlines a systematic approach for citizens to use in reducing racial, ethnic, and other deep-rooted tensions in their countries, communities, and organizations.  Order here at Amazon.com.

A Manual for Group Facilitators

The role of group facilitator is often pivotal to good results for groups making the transition to consensus. The Manual for Group Facilitators, by Brian Auvine, is a great introduction to the concept of approaching the role of facilitator as someone who welcomes both rational and emotional input. The staff of the Center for Conflict Resolution put their experience in working with groups into A Manual for Group Facilitators. This is an informal outline detailing useful and effective techniques to help groups work well. More than a simple ‘how to,’ the manual contains a discussion of the values, dynamics, and common sense behind group process that have been verified by our own experience.

Center for Conflict Resolution; reprinted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community (1981). Purchase at the Intentional Communities Store at http://store.ic.org/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=34_43&products_id=61.

Resource Link: http://store.ic.org

A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue: Between Talk and Theology

This book is a collection of essays which investigate the status of dialogue between Jews and Christians. The author argues that Jews have been reluctant to engage in any but the most cursory conversations with Christians, but that there are positive reasonings for going further.

David Schwartz

University Press of America (1994)

Guide for Training Study Circle Facilitators

This free downloadable guide by Sarah Campbell, Writer/Managing Editor at the Study Circles Resource Center, is designed to help you train study circle facilitators. Study circles–small-group, democratic, highly participatory discussions–provide settings for deliberation, for working through social and political issues, for coming up with action strategies, for connecting to policy making, and for building community. (more…)