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All-Network Call: Where Will You Put Your Energy in 2021?

NCDD is excited to kick off our 2021 network programming with an all-network call Wednesday, February 17th at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific. Register today to secure your spot!

Unlike many of our past webinars and calls, this all-network call will put participants in the driver’s seat. As we all start 2021, there is so much work to be done with regards to engaging our communities, bringing people together across differences, and tackling the challenges of this moment. We know you are all thinking about how your work fits in, and where you want to put your energy in 2021.

Join us to share what you’re focusing on, and connect with others working in the same kinds of spaces or on the same kinds of issues. Our work is strengthened when we learn from one another, so let’s give us all a collective boost by joining together in this interactive session. Bring you passion and connect with others to support your work and the practices of dialogue and deliberation across the country and world!

This session is FREE and open to all interested in helping people and communities engage through dialogue and deliberation. Register today to join us!

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is a network of innovators who bring people together across divides to discuss, decide, and take action together effectively on today’s toughest issues.  NCDD serves as a gathering place, a resource center, a news source, and a facilitative leader for this vital community of practice. Learn more about us here!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Antioch University Unveils Leadership Certificates

Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change (GSLC) is announcing new exciting opportunities for professionals and executives with the launch of their Professional Certificate Series.  These two certification programs are timely with the presence of the many changes felt by our communities. Each course offers the convenience of being self-paced with a weekly average of 4-5 hours over the duration of three months.

Certificate 1: Leading for Inclusion and Racial Justice Certificate is designed for anyone with an interest in challenging racism at a structural or systemic level within their institutions, organizations or communities. You do not have to be in a formal leadership role in order to benefit from the material offered, as the Certificate is based in the belief that leadership for inclusion and racial justice occurs at all levels of any human community.

Certificate 2: Leading Transformative Change is for either emerging leaders or any leader who wants to “up” their ability by understanding the pros and cons of change leadership practices.

Read more below or find more information on the Professional Certificate series of your interest here.


Antioch University Unveils New Leadership Certification Courses

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Professional Certificate Series by Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change (GSLC). The purpose of the series is to offer cutting-edge and intellectually engaging courses on leadership and change for professionals and executives. Drawing upon Antioch’s 160-year legacy of human-centered innovative education, the participants will benefit from becoming familiar with novel, evidence-based frameworks, and practical approaches, which directly inform their practice as leaders and professionals in the chosen areas.

Participants can expect to experience a motivating and creative mix o f learning methods. They can also expect to have access to world-class instructors. Flexibility is built into these offerings and all the work may be completed asynchronously (at the participants’ own pace) requiring around 4 to 5 hours of work per week. However, unlike many other programs, we have created regular,

(more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

JAMS and NACFM Offer Grants to Community Mediators!

The JAMS Foundation and NCDD’s partner the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) are accepting submissions for their 2021-2023 Community Mediation Mini- Grant Program. This opportunity is extended to those interested in offering a new or enhanced process to how their organization currently serves their communities, with a focus on healing an ongoing or long standing community divide towards a path of re-connection.

The Program is designed to encourage creativity and variation based on research. Service strategies will be developed through the implementation of the “Listening for Action” Leadership Process and strengthened by at least one policy or procedure change developed and locally implemented over a two-year period. Program recipients will work together throughout the grant period anchored in the Learning Community. The Learning Community is a structured and collaborative peer working group facilitated by NAFCM.  Written materials developed through these grants will be shared with community mediation centers and mediators across the continent and even internationally to support the mediation community.

Five organizations will be awarded yearly $12,000 grants for the 2021-2023 cycle. Applications must be submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m., local time of applicant on March 15, 2021 to admin@nafcm.org.Read more information on this exciting program below or find the original posting here.


NAFCM/JAMS Foundation Mini-Grant Bidders Conference

The JAMS Foundation and National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) are pleased to announce the 2021-2023 funding track of the Community Mediation Mini-Grant Program (“Program”).

Strengthening Community Connections: This is an opportunity to assist one or more of the communities you serve by helping this community to develop a long-term process focused on healing their current or long-standing community divide. The proposed project should expand how your organization currently serves your communities (through mediation, restorative justice practices, conflict coaching, conflict management training or dialogue processes), by offering a new or enhanced process to help people, institutions, and the community as a whole on their path toward re-connection.

Systemic changes developed as part of this process should (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

National Civic League Webinar 1/21: Bridging Divides Through Community Dialogue

NCDD partner organization the National Civic League is hosting a webinar this Thursday, January 21st at 2:00 PM Eastern/11:00 AM Pacific. The webinar, titled Bridging Divides through Community Dialogue features NCDD’s own Courtney Breese as well as members John Sarrouf of Essential Partners and Hollie Cost, former mayor of Montevallo, Alabama. We hope you will join this exciting event!

For more information, check out the event announcement below, or go to the webinar registration page to sign up!


Join the National Civic League for a webinar discussing practical steps for addressing our divisions and bringing our communities together.

Too often the events of 2020 have divided the country, cities and even families. Fortunately, there’s a body of work and committed organizations that are striving to rebuild these connections.

Join us for this webinar where we’ll discuss practical steps and provide resources for addressing our divisions and healing our communities. Attendees will hear about Essentials Partners’ post-election support which stresses the importance of the pre-work necessary before our communities are healthy enough to come together again for meaningful dialogue. NCDD will join us to discuss the array of organizations and resources available to communities and individuals looking to take on this important task. Finally, we’ll hear from former mayor Hollie Cost about the lessons learned (more…)

NCDD NewsNCDD News

A Message from NCDD Board Chair Martín Carcasson

For the past seven years, I have had the honor of serving on the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, the last four as the chair. My term is officially over at the end of the year. NCDD serves as an umbrella organization for academics, practitioners, artists, and volunteers committed to improving how we all talk to each other and address our shared problems. They are a network of networks, a bridging organization dedicated to helping individuals, organizations, and communities build capacity for quality democratic engagement.

I still vividly remember my first NCDD conference in San Francisco in 2006. I remember because it was the first time I ever got that wonderful, overwhelming feeling of finding my people. I was passionate about community, democracy, and improving the world, but the world of politics was incredibly frustrating to me, and seemed mostly counterproductive. I had strong views about how things needed to change, but politics did not seem to be a useful route. People seemed to just talk past each other, assume horrible motives for those that disagreed, and while they sometimes won elections and sometimes lost, not much seemed to really change about the issues I cared about. It was a game people loved playing that to me seemed at best a distraction and at worst something that undermined everything democracy requires to function well (trust, mutual respect, the ability to have tough conversations, etc.).

NCDD was a whole other world. People that shared my passions for community and democracy, but recognized that what we were doing wasn’t working. They realized we needed to work together, to bridge differences, and get past simple narratives, but also knew that was not going to be easy. We needed a lot of new ideas, tools, and organizations. They also recognized that we didn’t just need a simple “both sides” or an abstract balance, but deeper explorations of what it would mean to work together across perspectives.

I greatly looked forward to NCDD’s conferences every other year, to learn new tools, meet new people, and engage deeper with others that shared my concerns. I started doing everything I could to get more of my students to attend, and with a lot of help from a lot of people, managed to take groups of 10-25 to conferences in Seattle, Washington DC, and Boston. In 2014, I accepted the call to join the board of directors of NCDD, and in 2016, became the board chair.

I’ll be honest, it has been tougher than I thought. NCDD does incredible work on a very tight and tiny budget. The board is all volunteer, and we survive with essentially three part time employees (sometimes just 2). We spend too much time thinking about money and not enough time thinking about the actual work. It is difficult to fund organizations like NCDD that serve more as a connector and a resource to other individuals and organizations rather than as a direct service provider. We literally spend billions on election campaigns, but struggle to raise hundreds for an organization truly dedicated to make democracy work.

As I exit my role — but still plan to be heavily involved with NCDD moving forward, I very much plan to serve again once I retire from my day job so I can really focus on elevating the organization — I ask you all to consider a NCDD membership (either for yourself or as a gift to a friend you think may be interested in what I’ve described) or consider NCDD in your end of year giving. I know you have a lot of options, and with the pandemic, an incredible amount of immediate needs. NCDD is much more of a long term investment. I truly believe the most pressing issue we have in our communities is the inability to talk with each other and work together on our shared problems. I think it will be difficult to move forward on any issue unless we first make some progress on that. In many ways, the pandemic has shown us that even a global crisis caused more polarization and distrust, rather than sparking the collaborative efforts that we know we are capable of as humans. Even a $10 or $20 donation can make a big difference to NCDD having the resources to help communities across the country build capacity for the kind of engagement democracies need to thrive.
More information about membership is here (https://ncdd.org/community/join), gifting memberships here (https://act.myngp.com/Forms/1424112249932744704), and donations here (https://act.myngp.com/Forms/-8754304382901286912).

Lastly, as I leave the board, I want to thank all the exceptional people I have had the pleasure to work with these past seven years (too many to mention), and I am particularly excited about the incoming chair, Lori Britt, and the strength of the board moving forward. I’ve known Professor Britt since her Ph.D. days at CU-Boulder, when she assisted with CPD events, and have been incredibly impressed with what she has built up at James Madison University. NCDD is in wonderful hands with her, the board, and Courtney Breese’s exceptional leadership as our executive director (who very very much deserves a higher salary and full time job!). We aren’t quite sure when we will all be able to gather together again — and may end up with more of a virtual conference this year — but I do know I can’t wait to gather with my people once again.

Martín Carcasson, Ph.D., is a professor in the Communication Studies department of Colorado State University, and the founder and director of the CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD, www.cpd.colostate.edu). We thank him for his service to the NCDD network and all he does to help advance efforts for dialogue and deliberation in communities and higher education!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Post Election Community Conversation Reveals Concerns

Days following the election, an online community conversation hosted and facilitated by NCDD member org The Interactivity Foundation, together with IONA Senior Services took place. During this convening,  exploratory questions about our society and the prospect for forming a more perfect union were asked. The outcome is compiled in this article as a list of concerns in various sectors: the elections and health of our democracy, polarization and the role of the media.We look forward to Interactivity Foundations’ decision to further follow this topic in 2021 as part of their #WeavingCommunity Initiative.

Below you  will find the entire resume of key points and for the original post here.


Toward a More Perfect Union? A Community Conversation about the 2020 Election

Toward a More Perfect Union? Exploring the 2020 US Elections
What did the 2020 US elections mean to you? What did they say to you about our prospects for forming a more perfect union? What lessons might we draw for reweaving our society after the elections, revitalizing our democracy, and moving toward a more perfect union?
These were the key questions we explored in a November 5, 2020 online community conversation, convened and facilitated by the Interactivity Foundation in partnership with IONA Senior Services. This was an exploratory discussion, one where participants were asked not only to bring forward their own perspectives, but also to help each other delve into divergent perspectives in a spirit of generosity. You’ll find a summary of some of the key points below. In light of the rich material we discussed, the Interactivity Foundation may move forward with this topic as a new online community conversation series in the new year (watch this space). This Community Conversation was part of the #WeavingCommunity initiativeWhat concerns rose to the surface surrounding the election and about our prospects for forming a more perfect union? (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

In Class Group Discussions Effects Beyond the Classroom

This story comes to us from the Interactivity Foundation an NCDD sponsor member. In ( this piece) Discussion Groups Weaving Social Connections we follow Greg Johnson, a Computer Science major that struggles with a stuttering condition. He begins his  journey towards fulfilling the requirement of his course load while tackling on his interpersonal communication skills knowing support would keep him on track. To ensure his success,  a speech specialist from his Universities Learning Team began to work with Greg and classmates on ways to assist him in his communication but, what he and his group found was an added victory. Read the story below and visit the original post here.


Discussion Groups Weaving Social Connections

Discussion groups can foster social bonds that are critical for student success.

Greg Johnson was a Computer Science major with a problem. He had a rather severe stuttering condition. Normally this wasn’t an issue in his CS classes, but Greg was required to take a small group communication class. The class had a heavy discussion focus. Greg petitioned his advisor to substitute another communications class that didn’t require group discussions.

When Greg met with the Learning Services Unit, they worked out a plan with the communication instructor. Greg would be assigned to a discussion group who would agree to work with him on (more…)

NCDD NewsNCDD News

All Are Welcome at NCDD

First of all, thank you to everyone in this community for sticking with the work in a tough year.

NCDD’s staff and board have been talking a lot over the last nine months of the pandemic about what this year has shown us about this network’s necessity in the world, and where we can most support you all. It’s been encouraging to see that much of what we’ve always offered – news and resources, and opportunities to connect and collaborate – are still highly valued and needed, especially when times are tough.

There are also some areas we can work on – expanding our network, for one, in an inclusive way to welcome everyone who is committed to helping their communities have better conversations. It doesn’t matter whether you are a professional doing this work as your career, or a volunteer doing this to better your own community – all are welcome at NCDD.

And, there are some real opportunities for NCDD’s community of practice to embrace. The opportunity to look at how privilege shows up in our work and to address it, and to increase community access to dialogue and deliberation opportunities. This year has brought both of these opportunities to the forefront and it’s time to address them. There is plenty more for us to work towards together, and to discuss this and more, we will be announcing a call for early January. More on that soon.

But today, I’m reaching out to let you know that NCDD is launching an effort to boost our membership as we continue our end of year fundraising. This starts today with new options for membership and opportunities to invite others in.

First, NCDD has decided to make a few adjustments to our membership levels. For individuals, we have added a “pay-what-you-can” option to the membership form. This allows us to remove the primary barrier to membership and welcome everyone in.

For our organizational members, we’ve expanded our membership levels to better reflect the reality of many of our small organizations working on a limited budget. Those with budgets under $150,000 a year now have lower priced options.

Finally, we’ve launched a gift-a-membership option! That means two things: First, that members of our community have the option to invite others in with a gift of a year’s membership. And second, that you can gift a membership to those who need a subsidized member rate. These gifts are offered at a special reduced rate!

As 2020 comes to a close, we hope you will renew your commitment to the work by renewing or gifting a membership today! As always, membership and donations are tax-deductible!

Thank you for all you do to keep this community of practice vibrant. Here’s to getting through 2020, and to the work ahead in 2021!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Join Virtual Book Club Discussion with Author of Engaged

The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, an NCDD member org invites you to an exciting discussion with the author of Engaged: A Citizen’s Perspective on the Future of Civic Life. The event will take place via Zoom on Monday, December 7,  at 4 pm Eastern, 1 pm Pacific. Register for the call here!

On the call, author and Penn State alumnus Andrew Sommers, will be available for a group Q&A session, and then participants will have the option to break out into smaller groups for further discussion. You don’t need to read the book to join the event – check out the additional resources provided in the post below to get an understanding of the book’s contents and be able to better participate in the conversation. Read more below and find the original announcement for this here.


Virtual Book Club
Engaged: A Citizen’s Perspective on the Future of Civic Life

By Andrew D. Sommers

Discussion with the author
Monday, December 7th, 4:00 pm ET

Purchase the book from Bookshop

Written by Penn State alumnus Andrew Sommers, Engaged provides a unique perspective on the state of our civic life today and why it matters to democracy. It explores key aspects of engagement through personal stories, vignette’s from the Shaw neighborhood in Washington, DC, and inspiring examples of those who are trying to make a difference. The book speaks to all Americans — veterans, entrepreneurs, religious leaders, community organizers, educators, parents, and everyday citizens — who want to make a difference in the country we all love.

Andrew has a B.A. from Penn State and an M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has over a decade of experience, primarily as a management consultant working with federal agencies, bringing innovation to their (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Civvys Nominations Accepted Until Friday December 4th

ICYMI The 2020 American Civic Collaboration Awards (The Civvys) are accepting nominations until Friday, December 4th. The Civvys, celebrate best practices in civic collaboration that put community and nation before party, ideology and narrow interests. These annual awards are organized by NCDD member org, The Bridge Alliance Education, Big Tent Nation, and the National Conference on Citizenship. Read the details in the post below and find more information on the main website; and most importantly, make sure you nominate those outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in local, national and youth communities!


THE CIVVYS: The American Civic Collaboration Awards

Celebrating Partnerships that Strengthen America

The 2020 Civvys are here – submit nominations here!

In its fourth year (and what a year!) the American Civic Collaboration Awards will continue to highlight outstanding initiatives working to collaborate across divides at the national, local and youth levels. In light of the events of this year that have gripped our nation – from the spread of a deadly virus to the murder of George Floyd to a highly polarized election season – the 2020 Civvys Awards will focus more pointedly on those efforts at the national, local and youth levels that work toward greater equity, diversity and inclusion.

An esteemed panel of civic leaders will review the submissions to designate finalists and winners. The 2020 Civvys Winners will be announced in a livestreamed, virtual ceremony in (more…)

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