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Manuals & Guides…

Discussion guides and how-to manuals related to dialogue, deliberation, public engagement and conflict resolution.

Transforming Historical Harms

The 96-page manual, Transforming Historical Harms by David Anderson Hooker and Amy Potter Czajkowski, was uploaded October 2013 on Coming to the Table‘s site. The manual gives a holistic framework to address historical injustices, in a way that engages all participants, and identifies the aftermath and legacies of [generational] trauma. This manual was developed by Coming to the Table and has been a collective effort of Eastern Mennonite University’s (EMU) Center for Justice & Peacebuilding (CJP) and their Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program. From the […] (continue)

Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create A Fair Society? (DMC Issue Guide)

Separate and Unequal in 1963: How Can We Create a Fair Society?, is a 22-page historical issue guide developed in 2014 by the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, Alabama Public Television (APT), and additional partners for use in a classroom setting. Download the Issue Guide PDF here. In Separate and Unequal in 1963, students are asked to place themselves in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama to deliberate together through the difficult choices faced by those working to address segregation and inequality. Additionally, students are encouraged to […] (continue)

Protecting Communities Serving the Public

The 42-page discussion guide, Protecting Communities Serving the Public (2000), from Everyday Democracy, is designed into five session to help build trust and respect between residents and police officers to co-create safer communities together. The guide reviews what the community-wide study circle program is, and each of the five sessions: Session 1- Starting out study circle: sharing our experiences Session 2- What’s the nature of the problem? Session 3- What do we expect from each other? Session 4- How can we make progress? Session 5- Committing to change: […] (continue)

Crime & Punishment: Imagining a Safer Future for All (IF Discussion Guide)

Crime & Punishment: Imagining a Safer Future for All  is the newest discussion guide published by the Interactivity Foundation (IF). This booklet describes five contrasting policy possibilities or frameworks for addressing concerns over the future of our criminal justice system. These concerns include both the racial inequity and the many costs of our policies of mass incarceration, the “War on Drugs”, and general get-tough-on-crime policies. (continue)

How Can We Be Fair? The Future of Affirmative Action (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, How Can We Be Fair? The Future of Affirmative Action outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common. From the issue […] (continue)

Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Should We Do? (NIF Issue Guide)

One of the National Issues Forums Institute’s issue guides, Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Should We Do? outlines this public issue and several choices or approaches to addressing the issue. National Issues Forums do not advocate a specific solution or point of view, but provide citizens the opportunity to consider a broad range of choices, weigh the pros and cons of those options, and meet with each other in a public dialogue to identify the concerns they hold in common. From the issue guide description… […] (continue)

Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation

The 58-page discussion guide, Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation was originally published in 1992 from Everyday Democracy and has been used in thousands of dialogue-to-change programs. Below is an excerpt and link to the 2008 revised edition, which is available in both English and Spanish. This six-session discussion guide helps all kinds of people take part in meaningful dialogue to examine gaps among racial and ethnic groups and create institutional and  policy change, and includes a supplementary guide for affinity-group dialogue. The guide is endorsed by a wide […] (continue)

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project

For years, the Public Conversations Project has set the standard for facilitation materials and training in the dialogue and deliberation field. This Guide--chock-full of PCP's road-tested techniques for effectively engaging people across differences--is an invaluable resource for both established dialogue facilitators and newcomers to this work. (continue)

The Dialogue Guide

Developed in 1999 for National Service programs interested in fostering understanding, respect and teamwork among their diverse participants. The Dialogue guide is designed to help National Service leaders engage their members in meaningful dialogues on race. Written by NCDD's director, Sandy Heierbacher, when she served as a Fellow for the Corporation for National Service. A good primer on intergroup dialogue, the 24-page guide includes sections about why and when to engage in dialogue, what a typical dialogue looks like, a sample dialogue for AmeriCorps programs, and more. (continue)

Dialogue Guide and Workbook for “Afraid of the Dark”

Gwendolyn Grant of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City created this dialogue guide and workbook to accompany Jim Myers' groundbreaking book "Afraid of the Dark: What Whites and Blacks Need to Know About Each Other." According to Grant, "Afraid of the Dark defines with such clarity and simplicity so many of the issues that have created this gulf between blacks and whites. It brings to the forefront the stuff that we talk about within our black and white circles, but seldom, if ever across the color line." Grant distributed this 12-page resource during her well-received workshop at the 2006 NCDD conference in San Francisco. (continue)

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