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Contribute to the Youth Scholarship Fund for NCDD 2016!

The 2016 NCDD national conference on Bridging Our Divides is getting closer and closer, and we couldn’t be more excited! But there’s still a lot of work to do in the lead-up to this amazing event, and1398790_744145238968706_3393677302500008784_o we need to ask for our NCDD community’s help with one important task!

As we recently announced, NCDD is offering scholarships to help make sure that young people, students, and others who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the NCDD 2016 conference can join us. Before our 2014 conference, we received an incredible $10,000 anonymous donation to help ensure we had plenty of resources to offer scholarships to young people and low-income folks – but we can’t count on that kind of support this year.

That’s why we are calling on our amazing NCDD community to donate to our NCDD 2016 Scholarship Fund to make sure that this year’s conference is brimming with the next generation of emerging D&D leaders. We are hoping to raise at least $10,000 for scholarships, if not more, by October 7th and we can’t do it without you! Whether you can give $5 or $500, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund today.

Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to helping us provide travel reimbursements, shared hotel rooms, and registration for scholarship hopefuls. Plus, anyone who donates $50 or more will have their contribution acknowledged in the printed conference guidebook!

The Importance of Young People Attending NCDD 2016

YoungPeopleAtNCDD2014Our last NCDD conference in Reston, VA had more young people than any before it — a dynamic that was universally seen by the attendees as making the conference experience much more engaging and exciting. Ensuring that young people are involved in our conferences adds a great deal of fresh energy and perspectives to our field’s work, and it helps us diversify our field, spark new partnerships, bring in new volunteers and researchers, and foster mentoring relationships between emerging leaders and seasoned practitioners.

Additionally, NCDD recognizes that one of the important divides in our society that needs to be bridged is the divide between the younger generations and their elders whose are still in charge of the nation’s direction. That recognition is part of what animated our 2014 conference theme, Democracy for the Next Generation, and we continue to be committed to helping foster positive, collaborative relationships between older and younger people as a way to continue to strengthen our democracy. Being sure that younger folks are at the table for our conversation about about Bridging Our Divides is part of that ongoing commitment.

But maybe most importantly, engaging young people and students in our work helps us foster long-term resilience for the field of dialogue & deliberation. In coming years, we will continue to see many of the pillars and pioneers of the field exiting the work, and so it is critical for us to be making a conscious decision today to begin developing the D&D leaders and practitioners of tomorrow. Today’s younger generations will be charged with utilizing our methods to address some of society’s most pernicious issues and to bridge our most persistent divides, which is why it is so vital to ensure that we are intentionally investing in engaging and cultivating their leadership. They already have valuable insights and experiences that can help us forge new paths for our field, but we can’t tap into them if they aren’t with us!

That is why we feel it’s so important that we are successful in reaching our goal of $10,000 for the NCDD 2016 Scholarship Fund, and why we urge you to make a contribution now.

How You Can Support This Effort

IMG_1562We at NCDD are putting our money where our mouth is with incentives for students and young people to attend NCDD 2016: we have reduced the registration rate to just $250 for students (a $200 discount!), and we are offering even lower group rates for teachers and other practitioners who are bringing groups of students from their youth-oriented programs! So we’re counting on our NCDD community to join us in helping make sure every young leader in our field is able to join us at the conference.

There are several other ways that you can support youth and student engagement during NCDD 2016:

  1. Invite your friends and colleagues to support our scholarship drive and share this call for donations on social media using the buttons at the bottom of this post. Help us spread the word far and wide!
  2. Become a sponsor of NCDD 2016! Donations from our field-leading sponsors help us make our great NCDD conferences possible, and you or your organization could become a champion of youth engagement by sponsoring the NCDD 2016 Scholarship Fund. Learn more about being a sponsor at www.ncdd.org/sponsor.
  3. Encourage the promising young people who you work with, bright students at your school, or other young people who might be interested in attending to register to join us at NCDD 2016! They can apply for a scholarship by clicking here.
  4. Bring a group of young people or students to the conference yourself! The group rate is applied on a case-by-case basis, but at past conferences, a group that came with eight students received two free student spots on top of the cheaper student rate. The more youth you bring, the bigger the discount! Email NCDD’s Director Sandy Heierbacher at sandy@ncdd.org or our Conference Manager Courtney Breese at courtney@ncdd.org for info about group discounts.
  5. Recommend students or young people that we should reach out to! Send an email with their names and contact info to our Youth Engagement Coordinator Roshan Bliss at roshan@ncdd.org so he can invite them to come.
  6. Encourage ALL the students you know to take advantage of NCDD’s Student Membership rate, which is only $30/year for full access to all of our great NCDD membership benefits.
  7. At the conference, you can help the young people who are with us feel welcomed, valued, and engaged.
  8. And of course, you can make a donation to the NCDD 2016 Scholarship Fund by visiting at www.ncdd.org/donate. Or just use the form below!

Your tax-deductible donation will help us continue to cultivate the next generation of D&D leaders, and ensure the long term sustainability of our field. Won’t you contribute today?

Thank you for supporting NCDD’s efforts to engage our emerging leaders!

Contribute to our NCDD 2016 Scholarship Fundbumper_sticker_600px

Please complete the short form below to send in your donation. Be sure to put “Scholarship Fund” in the box where we ask if your donation is earmarked for a particular program!

Roshan Bliss on LinkedinRoshan Bliss on Twitter
Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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