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National Week of Conversation – April 20-28, 2018

NCDD is a proud organizing partner of the National Week of Conversation, and our founding director Sandy Heierbacher is on NWOC’s core team.

During the National Week of Conversation, Americans from all over the country will take a small step to help bridge the political divides in our country. They will do this by reaching out to people who have different political views and engaging them in civil and respectful conversation about the future of our nation. The goal of these conversations is to help people learn from each other, build relationships and look for ways to reduce the growing polarization in our public life.

These conversations will take place in small groups and one-on-one, online and face-to-face, with the help of a growing list of over 50 partner organizations. The National Week of Conversation is a unique opportunity for Americans of different views to talk with each other and, more importantly, really listen to each other.

Who is behind the National Week of Conversation?

Our organizing partners, all of whom are donating staff time and resources to this effort, and all of which promote dialogue and encourage cooperation across ideological or political differences are:

  • Bridge Alliance
  • Listen First Project
  • Living Room Conversations
  • AllSides
  • National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD)
  • National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD)
  • Big Tent Nation

Why Is It Needed Now?

More than 75% of Americans say they now believe that the lack of civility and respect in our country has reach a crisis level. Our society can thrive when people have divergent views on important issues, but the health of our democracy is threatened if the majority of people have disdain or contempt for those on the other side.

The best antidote to our current divisions is to provide opportunities for healthy conversation where listening and learning take precedent over arguing and disagreement. NWOC is a chance to take a stand for civility and respect in public discourse and also expand personal understanding. In good conversation–and the relationships they build–there is hope for bridging the divides that threaten the fabric of America.

What Can You Do?

NCDD is encouraging all of its organizational and individuals to take part in the National Week of Conversation. We can use your help spreading the word about the project, inviting your networks to participate, tweeting and retweeting #NWOC and #ListenFirst hashtags, and covering what happens throughout the week.  But mainly we’d LOVE for you to host dialogues between April 20th and 28th, as no one is better equipped to host great conversations during NWOC than members of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation!

How Do I Get Involved?

  • Sign up at www.nationalweekofconversation.org to pledge your intention to participate in National Week of Conversation as an individual or organization. This step is important so you receive helpful information about NWOC.  Please indicate that you are connected to NCDD as a partner organization.
  • Start planning an event during NWOC and add it here. If you’re not sure what model to use or topic to focus on, we recommend you check out the organizations listed here or look over the resources under NWOC’s six suggested topics here. You can also check out the event calendar to see if there are events near you that you’d like to participate in.

We hope to see many of you active, engaged and energized during the first-ever National Week of Conversation!