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Top #NCDD Resources for Addressing Racial Conflict & Inequality

The NCDD community has a long history and strong track record of helping people address racism, racial tensions and inequity in their communities. Many of our long-time members were drawn to dialogue work during national crises we’re all reminded of as the situation in Ferguson, Missouri plays out, like the 1991 Rodney King trial, and subsequent Los Angeles riots back in 1992.

These days, with social media and 24 hour news at our fingertips, it seems like local crises can become national crises in a heartbeat. The shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is the latest in a long string of incidents that spark outrage in cities where racial tension and inequity is already high, and raise public concern about police treatment of minorities, fairness in the U.S. justice system, media bias, wealth and opportunity gaps, and more.

FacingRacism-coverIn times like these, dialogue is key to helping people come together across divides (power divides, income divides, race divides, political divides) to talk through what’s happening and see if we can agree on steps to take going forward.

I want to point you to some helpful resources on race dialogue developed by NCDD members.

Recently, we’ve shared these top-notch resource compilations from a long-time leader in race dialogue, Everyday Democracy:

In the NCDD Resource Center, where you’ll find nearly 3,000 carefully indexed resources to help you in this important work, it’s worth checking out the 67 resources in our Race Issues tag.

Maggie Potapchuk’s resource-rich website, Racial Equity Tools, is another important destination for those engaging people across racial divides.

And you should certainly utilize the discussion guides that NCDDers have developed around these issues…

  • Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Should We Do? (NIF Issue Guide)
  • Crime & Punishment: Imagining a Safer Future for All (IF Discussion Guide)
  • Community Dialogue Guide (US DOJ’s Community Relations Service)
  • Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide (Public Conversations Project)
  • Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation (Everyday Democracy)

In the Resource Center, I found these by utilizing the sidebar search tool that says “I’m Looking For…” and selecting “manuals & guides” for Resource Type (category) and “race issues” under On This Topic (tag).

What do YOU think are the best resources to help people run dialogues on race issues or the other issues being surfaced by the events in Ferguson? Please add them via the comments here.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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  1. Peggy Holman says:

    Sandy — Thanks for the references. I’ve posted a link to this post on the Engagement Hub. It’s a site where Journalism That Matters is working journalists involved in community engagement. We’ve set up a page to gather stories of what news organizations are doing with their communities in the wake of what happened in Ferguson, Missouri.

  2. Janice Ellis says:


    I am happy to share some resources that may be of interest to NCDD members. Many resources about race and ethnicity can be found at:


    I have pulled a few that might be of particular interest:

    Understanding and Dismantling Privilege

    An interdisciplinary journal focusing on the intersectional aspects of privilege, bridging academia and practice, highlighting activism, and offering a forum for creative introspection on issues of inequity, power and privilege.

    The Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion

    The mission of the Matrix Center is to foster a climate that supports inclusion and collaboration to examine the intersections of oppression and privilege and promote solutions to inequality. Through partnerships, outreach, research, institutes, conferences, leadership coaching, and other diversity services the Center bridges the gap between university and diverse communities to examine real world problems and contribute to the advancement of real world solutions.

    The Kirwan Institute

    Our research is designed to be actively used to solve problems in society. Research and staff expertise are shared through an extensive network of colleagues and partners—ranging from other researchers, grassroots social justice advocates, policymakers, and community leaders nationally and globally, who can quickly put ideas into action.

    The Knapsack Institute

    As our nation becomes increasingly diverse, it is imperative to have the understanding and resources to effectively navigate discussions about diversity and inequality in the classroom and workplace. The Knapsack Institute is designed for individuals at the beginning to intermediate stages of this journey, as well as those seeking to refresh their approach and embrace intersectional strategies. The Institute is designed for all educators (k-12; higher education; workshop facilitators, etc.). Race, class, gender and sexuality are highly personal and emotionally-laden subjects. They may evoke a range of responses, from hostility and anger to guilt and depression. The Institute will prepare you to preempt and manage such responses and be better prepared. Our goal is to provide you with the tools, knowledge and support to create an inclusive and empowering educational setting and experience.

    Again, I would be happy to assist, in any way, in moving a national or multi-regional, multi-local effort in bringing about a national dialogue(s) about race relations in America.

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