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Poverty & Wealth in America: the National Dialogue Network begins coordinated conversations

This post was submitted by John Spady of the National Dialogue Network via our Submit-to-Blog Form. Do you have field news you want to share with the rest of us? Just click here to submit your news post for the NCDD Blog!

NDN logoNCDD member John Spady, who received our 2012 Catalyst Award for Civic Infrastructure, has announced that the National Dialogue Network achieved a major milestone on September 18 when it released its public Conversation Kit on the topic of Poverty & Wealth in America for voluntary and coordinated national conversations. To remember why NDN decided on this issue, check out their their May update here.

Groups and individuals are now invited to join the effort.  Click the “Get Involved” button on the NDN home page and take an action on the topic. An important first action is to simply download the Conversation Kit, then ask your friends, family, neighbors, or community to join in and inform the national dialogue.

The National Dialogue Network coordinates distinct individual and community conversations — giving everyone a “sense of place” and voice within the larger national dialogue. NDN’s dedicated volunteer’s seek to revitalize and promote civic infrastructures within communities where all who choose to participate will impact the national conversation by:

  • Focusing intently on an issue over time with others;
  • Listening to the opinions and ideas being discussed in your community and across the United States; and
  • Speaking up about your own opinions and ideas in conversations with your family, friends & community.

Jim Wallis, President and Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners Magazine, appeared prescient about the NDN topic when he wrote in the March-April 1999 issue:

“The growing economic inequality of American life presents the most crucial moral issue for the health of democracy, according to historian James MacGregor Burns. It’s an issue that affects almost every other issue, from campaign finance to corporate welfare to the daily priorities of the U.S. Congress. The widening gap between the top and bottom of American society is now the 900-pound gorilla lurking in the background of every political discussion. It’s just sitting there, but nobody is talking about it. It’s time we started talking about it. Our moral integrity demands it.  And the common good requires it.”

The NDN is appealing to participants and the general public to raise at least another $10,000 for 2014 so they can continue to develop processes and content for another year of national dialogue. Any amounts raised over $15,000 will be used to develop more professional content, coordination, and promotional grants. Donations can be made online at www.GoFundMe.com/NatDialogue.

Finally, the NDN is grateful to the people who volunteered their hearts and hands to make this project happen. Their collaborations are exactly what NCDD intended when it promoted the Catalyst Awards and NDN acknowledges and memorializes their contributions below:

2013 NDN Conversation Guide Volunteers:
Mary Dumas, John Spady, John Perkins, Dyck Dewid, Colin Gallagher, Craig Paterson, and Fedor Ovchinnikov.

2013 NDN Working Group Members:
John Spady, Mary Dumas, Colin Gallagher, Ben Roberts, Craig Paterson, Roshan Bliss, Vanessa Roebuck, John Perkins, Dyck Dewid, Fedor Ovchinnikov, Mark Frischmuth, and Michael Briand.

2013 NDN Advisory Group Members:
Linda Blong, Stephen Buckley, Daniel Clark, Lisa Heft, Peggy Holman, Don LaCombe, Stephanie Nestlerode, Steve Strachan, Sarah Thomson, Faith Trimble, and Rosa Zubizarreta.

NCDD Community
This post was submitted by a member of the NCDD community. NCDD members are leaders and future leaders in the fields of public engagement, conflict resolution, and community problem solving. You, too, can post to the NCDD blog by completing the Add-to-Blog form at www.ncdd.org/submit.

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