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From the CommunityFrom the Community

Register for the Virtual Annual Civic Institute on August 21st

This announcement comes to us from our friends at the David Matthews Center for Civic Life. ICYMI on Friday, August 21st, the Matthews Center will be hosting their annual Civic Institute with this year’s theme, Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times.  The event this year will be entirely online and open to folks outside the state, as well as free-of-charge! Make sure you see Dr. David Mathews, President and C.E.O. of the Kettering Foundation, give the keynote address sharing from his experiences at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, during a past global epidemic. Read more in the article below and find the original posting here.


Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times

The Mathews Center will host its annual Civic Institute on August 21st, 2020. The event will be held entirely online. The theme of this year’s event is Common Bonds: Collective Purpose and Civic Resilience in Uncertain Times.

Dr. David Mathews, President and C.E.O. of the Kettering Foundation, will deliver a (pre-recorded) keynote address drawing on his experiences at the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare—where he served as Secretary during the Swine Flu outbreak of 1976.

Our first digital-only Civic Institute will explore strategies deployed by individuals and communities as they respond and adapt to the challenges posed by a global epidemic. Community leaders across Alabama will showcase the innovative ways in which they have resisted social isolation by forging new connections with their fellow citizens and by exploring alternative perspectives uncovered through local historical research. This three-hour event (9:00am – 12:00pm CST) will be packed with (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Participatory Budget Celebrates a Decade of Impact

ICYMI NCDDer, the Participatory Budget Project, recently celebrated over a decade of service and earlier this year, Shari Davis, assumed the role as their new executive director! The release of their 2019 Impact Report is now available and provides a full view of their initiatives. Highlights of their incredible journey, in addition to processes and projects underway this current year, can be found in the article below or in the original post here.


Our Impact: Real Money, Real Power

2019 marked a monumental year for PBP. Our organization turned 10 years old, helped launch or continue over 170 PB processes, and successfully transitioned our leadership to a national Black-led organization committed to equity.

As we grow our work to reimagine democracy and dismantle oppressive systems, we know the road ahead will not be easy. It will require us to evaluate and re-evaluate how we show up in our work to advance equity across the country. It will require us to reach out and ask for the support, input, and creativity we need. And it will require us to challenge ourselves and each other to imagine beyond what we have seen before – and reach for what is possible.

Participatory budgeting (PB) in North America is in a vastly different place than it was just one decade ago. To acknowledge the movement around PB and key issues like climate resilience and equity, we built new tools to better address these challenges.

In the last year alone, we’ve… (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Watch our Confab on D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall

Last week NCDD hosted our special July Confab Call for our Higher Education folks.  On the call, 30 participants engaged around how they are planning to teach dialogue and deliberation pedagogy this coming fall, and what resources or tools they could use to assist them. Thanks again to all who participated, and to those who captured notes from the breakouts!

During this event three topics were discussed by participants as they explored their plans for fall. The notes from these breakout groups have been captured in the Google Doc accessible here. This is the start of a gathering of resources for folks in Higher Ed which NCDD will pull together over the coming weeks and months. If you have a resource you would like to share so others know about it, or if you are interested in offering your expertise in a brief video, as a guest speaker, etc. please fill out this brief survey so we can get you in touch with those interested!

In addition to the notes, the event recording includes brief report-outs from each of these groups on their discussions. Check out the recording here.

Many thanks to Lori Britt for helping organize this event, and to all who participated! NCDD is pulling together resources to share more broadly, so if you know of something that could benefit the Higher Ed community, let us know below or in the survey linked above! We’ll follow up once this resource page is up and running.

Confab bubble imageTo learn more about NCDD’s Confab Calls and hear recordings of others, visit www.ncdd.org/events/confabs. We love holding these events and we want to continue to elevate the work of our field with Confab Calls and Tech Tuesdays. It is through your generous contributions to NCDD that we can keep doing this work! That’s why we want to encourage you to support NCDD by making a donation or becoming an NCDD member today (you can also renew your membership by clicking here). Thank you!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Kettering and NIFI Release Publications on Developing Deliberation Materials


Kettering and NIFI: Developing Materials for Deliberation

The Kettering Foundation researches and develops issue guides, and the National Issues Forums Institute (NIF) shares the materials across the country along with the deliberative practices on which they are based.

How Kettering and NIFI think about developing materials that support public deliberation is freely available in two publications: Naming and Framing Difficult Issues to Make Sound Decisions, which outlines the conceptual foundations of this approach, and Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums, which is aimed at people in communities who might want to do this work themselves, in their own contexts on their own issues. When KF and NIFI work on national materials, we use the same approach. There are many ways to do this, and the more one does it the more readily it comes. In this way, this work is a “practice,” learned and improved upon by doing, yet accessible to all. It does not take (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Read New 2020 Summer Edition of National Civic Review

If you are looking to get some more civic reading under your belt, NCDD member org, The National Civic League, announced the release of the 2020 Summer Edition of the National Civic Review. This esteemed quarterly journal offers insights and examples of civic engagement and deliberative governance from around the country. Friendly reminder that NCDD members receive the digital copy of the National Civic Review for free! (Find the access code below.) We strongly encourage our members to check out this great resource and there is an open invite for NCDD members to contribute to the NCR. You can read about NCR in the post below and find it on NCL’s site here.


National Civic Review Summer Edition 2020 – Access Code: NCDD20

2020 is turning out to be a year of sudden, unexpected crises and angry civil unrest. The need for people to distance themselves from one another has led to feelings of anxiety, loss and social isolation. Anger over police brutality and racial inequity is making this a time of tough conversations but also increased civic activism. In this issue of the National Civic Review we learn about efforts to engage the public in collaborative efforts to make our communities more sustainable, resilient, age-friendly, democratic and healthy. We also take a look at some examples in history where civic leaders and members of the public have faced tough challenges and risen to the occasion by experimenting with new ideas and practices.

To access this edition, go to the table of contents where you will be prompted to enter your unique access code: NCDD20. (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

Join us TODAY for our Special Confab Call on Planning D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall!

In just a few hours, NCDD is excited to host a special Confab Call on Planning D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall: Using this as a time to collaborate, discover, and create shared resources!  

Register ASAP for this free event happening TODAY from 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific. All who are working with students using dialogue & deliberation are welcome to join. We encourage participants to complete this survey so that we can better tailor the session to respond to your needs!

The upcoming fall semester is full of uncertainties. Even if there will be in-person instruction, it seems for many in Higher Education that online components will be a significant part of courses. For those who teach dialogue and deliberation to students, this presents some challenges. How can we do this work with students smoothly in a hybrid or fully online format?

The special NCDD Confab Call is intended to help Higher Ed folks – faculty and student affairs staff working with dialogue & deliberation pedagogy – share and explore together resources for transitioning to a predominantly online format in the fall (and perhaps beyond). On the call, participants will share resources they have been using, as well as talk about what the kinds of resources are needed to assist in this new format. NCDD hopes to utilize this event to help boost collaborative efforts and identify many resources, tools, and approaches that can be cataloged as a resource for everyone going forward.

If you have developed lessons, or tools, or have experience with student dialogues in an online format, join us and share! If you are still figuring out what you will do, bring your questions and needs to the discussion! This Confab is all about working together to make everyone’s work easier, as well as to help show just how connected and vibrant this field is and reinvigorate D&D studies in Higher Ed. We’ll share and explore perhaps what still needs creating for the fall and beyond.

Unable to join us? Fill out the brief survey we have created so we can learn more about your needs and offerings.

Don’t miss this collaborative event – register today!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Amani’s Story of Facilitation, Triumph and Friendship

Often times the emotional toll immigrant students experience while adapting to the learning curve is overlooked and can have profound consequences on academic performance. In this post via the Interactivity Foundation, an NCDD member organization, we shine the spotlight on Amani and her experience navigating higher education D&D classes as an international student in the US from a middle eastern country. This story communicates an array of emotions from the uncomfortable isolation she felt during in-class prompted discussions, to the eventual ease she discovered in facilitation harnessed by the support of her peers. This article is a reminder of the importance of cultural humility and understanding when designing and implementing engagement practices. Read the beautiful story of Amani in full below and find the original post here.


Internationally Speaking

Amani came to study in the United States from a middle-eastern country. She was on a government scholarship and had to meet specific academic benchmarks to keep it. Her freshman year consisted primarily of general education courses plus freshman English. Amani did well in her courses except for the parts that were discussion-based.

In her courses, Amani would be placed into small discussion groups to explore a topic related to the course content. Many of the topics made her very (more…)

From the CommunityFrom the Community

NIFI Updates Issue Guide on Immigration

NCDD member org, the National Issues Forums Institute released their new updated issue guide, Immigration: What Should We Welcome? What Should We Do? In this short updated guide, you can find helpful information and three approaches to assist conversations on this topic that affects almost every single person in America. Read the new announcement below or find the original on NIFI’s here


New Issue Guide – Immigration: Who Should We Welcome, What Should We Do?

This issue is part of the Hidden Common Ground initiative, and sets of free materials are available for conveners and moderators. Scroll down for the Immigration issue guide and other related materials. Need help with your order? Contact customer service.

The immigration issue affects virtually every American, directly or indirectly, often in deeply personal ways. This guide is designed to help people deliberate together about how we should approach the issue. The three options presented here reflect different ways of understanding what is at stake and force us to think about what matters most to us when we face difficult problems that involve all of us and (more…)

NCDD EventsNCDD Events

NCDD Confab: Planning D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall

NCDD is excited to announce a special Confab Call for folks using dialogue & deliberation pedagogy in Higher Education:

Planning D&D Pedagogy in an Uncertain Fall
Using this as a time to collaborate, discover, and create shared resources

This free event takes place Thursday, July 30th from 1:00-3:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM-12:00 PM Pacific. All who are working with students using dialogue & deliberation are welcome to join. Register today to secure your spot and complete a survey that will help us shape the session to respond to needs!

The upcoming fall semester is full of uncertainties. Even if there will be in-person instruction, it seems for many in Higher Education that online components will be a significant part of courses. For those who teach dialogue and deliberation to students, this presents some challenges. How can we do this work with students smoothly in a hybrid or fully online format?

The special NCDD Confab Call is intended to help Higher Ed folks – faculty and student affairs staff working with dialogue & deliberation pedagogy – share and explore together resources for transitioning to a predominantly online format in the fall (and perhaps beyond). On the call, participants will share resources they have been using, as well as talk about what the kinds of resources are needed to assist in this new format. NCDD hopes to utilize this event to help boost collaborative efforts and identify many resources, tools, and approaches that can be cataloged as a resource for everyone going forward.

If you have developed lessons, or tools, or have experience with student dialogues in an online format, join us and share! If you are still figuring out what you will do, bring your questions and needs to the discussion! This Confab is all about working together to make everyone’s work easier, as well as to help show just how connected and vibrant this field is and reinvigorate D&D studies in Higher Ed. We’ll share and explore perhaps what still needs creating for the fall and beyond.

Unable to join us? Fill out the brief survey we have created so we can learn more about your needs and offerings.

Don’t miss this collaborative event – register today!

About NCDD’s Confab Calls

Confab bubble imageNCDD’s Confab Calls are opportunities for members (and potential members) of NCDD to talk with and hear from innovators in our field about the work they’re doing and to connect with fellow members around shared interests. Membership in NCDD is encouraged but not required for participation. Confabs are free and open to all. Register today if you’d like to join us!

From the CommunityFrom the Community

Interview with Joan Blades of Living Room Conversations

This story about Living Room Conversations, a longstanding NCDD friend and member organization, articulates the vision and relevance of gathering with others to practice communication in spite of differences. In 2010, Joan Blades in collaboration with friends from different political identities, created Living Room Conversations when they noticed the increasing difficulties in communicating with people across political divides. Living Room Conversations provides an important practice space where people can meet and discuss issues that matter greatly to communities across America.  These online gatherings allow, respect, and celebrate the diversity of viewpoints which are as varied as topics and participation.

The entire interview can be read below and you can find the original posting on the Gratefulness site here.


Grateful Changemakers: Living Room Conversations

Living Room Conversations envisions a world where people who have fundamental differences of opinion and backgrounds learn to work together with respect and even joy. The non-profit’s open-source conversation model — developed by dialogue experts — provides an accessible structure for engaging in meaningful, civil conversation — anywhere in the world, even virtually — with those who may have different viewpoints. Anyone is welcome to use Living Room Conversation’s free resources, which can be adapted to address the needs of any community working to bridge divides. Co-founder Joan Blades (who also co-founded moveon.org) shares more about how Living Room Conversations build relationships that support collaborative problem-solving and generate compassion.

What sparked the creation of Living Room Conversations?

In 2004, I wanted to understand why conservative people saw things so differently than I did. This required intentional effort to spend time with people that have very different views. I made friends and learned a lot, but by 2010 it was actually harder to have a good conversation about the climate with a conservative than it was in 2005. This inspired me to (more…)

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