Civvy’s Celebrate Best in Civic Collaboration April 19th!

Don’t miss out on the chance to celebrate the 4th American Civic Collaborations Award Ceremony! Since it’s very beginning, the Civvys have highlighted outstanding efforts of civic collaboration impacts in national, local and youth communities. The Civvys are the only national awards program dedicated to exalt projects that emphasize working together across divides to strengthen communities and empower citizens, this year with an added focus on building a more diverse and equitable America.

This year, NCDD is proud to be a partner in national award finalist, the With the People Initiative, coordinated by the National Issues Forums Institute. We’re excited this effort is being recognized and look forward to celebrating it an all the finalists at the ceremony!

The event is free, open to the public and will be streamed on Monday April 19th  from 7:00- 8:00 ET.

TO ATTEND  RSVP HERE

To view the list of all impressive finalists read below or find the original invitation here.


Attend the 4th Annual Civvys Awards Ceremony

Monday, April 19th, 2021 at 7:00 – 8:00pm ET

You are cordially invited to attend the virtual awards ceremony for the 4th annual American Civic Collaboration Awards, or “Civvys,” highlighting exemplary efforts that worked to repair and improve our nation in 2020.

More than ever, in a moment when democracy and community – the fabric of our nation – are stretching at the seams, we look to initiatives like these to work across divides and lead the way in building a stronger, fairer America.

From a record number of inspiring nominees, a substantial set of honorable mentions paving the path forward, and a set of best-in-class finalists, this year’s Civvys winners represent the most collaborative, highest impact and most scalable initiatives from 2020.

Join the livestreamed award ceremony on Monday, April 19th at 7pm ET, 6pm CT or 4pm PT, to learn about their work, congratulate all of our finalists and winners, and hear from the Civvys Review Committee on these inspiring case studies of democracy in action.

This event is virtual. Attendance is free and open to the public.

RSVP TO ATTEND

Meet The Civvys Finalists
Please join us in congratulating all finalists and honorable mentions!

National Category
Braven
The Civic Responsibility Project
Hidden Common Ground Initiative and Strange Bedfellows Series from Public Agenda and USA Today with The National Issues Forums Network and the America Amplified Public Media Consortium
Issue Voter and Maria Yuan
Millenial Action Project
With the People, coordinated by National Issues Forums Institute

Local Category
Akron Civic Commons (Akron, OH)
Interfaith Council of Metro DC (Washington, DC)
Pandemic Voting Project, organized by NAACP (Missouri State Conference) and Show Me Integrity (Missouri)
SA2020 (San Antonio, TX)
STL Approves (St. Louis, MO)
Tarrant County College Civic Engagement District Work Team (Fort Worth, TX)
Youth Category
Changeist
The Conversationalist
DoSomething.org’s “Our 2020 Vision” campaign
Green Our Planet
KidsVotingDurham
Student PIRGS New Voters project, including specifically nominated Eckerd College, California Student Vote and NAACP Youth and College Division initiatives
See All Finalists and Honorable Mentions

About The Civvys
The Civvys are the only national awards program dedicated to celebrating projects that emphasize working together across divides to strengthen communities and empower citizens, this year with an added focus on building a more diverse and equitable America.

Find the original version of this post on the American Civic Collaborations Awards’ site at: www.civvys.org/

Essential Conversations – Weekly Practice for Leaders

Essential Conversations is celebrating one year! Essential Conversations was created by the Center for Purposeful Leadership as a response to the disruption felt worldwide with the events of 2020, in the hopes of engaging and activating leaders.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, Essential Conversations is a weekly event with the purpose of hosting provocative and evocative conversations, interactive breakouts, and community conversations  to equip you with strategies, inspiration and ideas to create change and innovation needed for  coherence, resilience and positive impact.  Anyone looking to create a positive impact in their family, community or organizational circles are welcomed to these 1.5 hour conversations.

Additional details on upcoming sessions and to register read below or navigate to the original post here.


What are the Essential Conversations?

Every Monday, we convene a conversation with either a Conversation Starter or community conversation addressing these questions:

  • What is a positive response in times of extreme disruption?
  • As one who steps forward to help, how are you sustained and renewed?

The Design: Each 1.5-hour convergence follows the structure of the 9-Steps Convening Wheel.

  • Create the Container together
  • Hear All the Voices
  • Hear an Essential Conversation from a Conversation Starter
  • Take that conversation into Creation via a Wisdom Circle (breakout group)
  • Have Community Circle
  • Close with a Commitment to [Positive] Action.

Who attends: Anyone who wants to step forward to make a positive impact in your family, community or organization.
Cost: Free/no charge. Contributions to support this initiative are welcome.

The Essential Conversations provide tools and practices to help you move from Fragile to Agile and from Reaction to Response

Purpose: Our weekly program of provocative and evocative conversations, interactive breakouts, and community conversations will inspire you and equip you with strategies, inspiration and ideas to create change and innovation needed to being coherence, resilience and positive impact.

We launched in March 2020 to activate leaders in response to the massive disruption we and the world were experiencing.

In community, with shared depth and intimacy, we discover resilience, love, and focus to stay present to what is needed each week. Through collaborative reflection, discover collaborative action towards positive impact.

Begin your week, in a community of support and collaboration, by setting your intention to have a positive impact and bring people together for the highest possible outcome of whatever you are engaged in.

EVENT DETAILS & REGISTRATION

Find the original version of this event on the Center for Purposeful Leadership’s site at: www.centerforpurposefulleadership.com/essential-conversations

Find Ease and Flow in Groups with Next Stage Facilitation!

Ten Directions invites you to an exciting development opportunity with their anticipated Next Stage Facilitation Program. The 6- weeks online training goes live from April 20th- May 25th and is oriented for professionals who want to push their edge, take more risks and find more flow, ease and effectiveness in working with groups. This is perfect for anyone who is interested in taking the first step in the Certified Integral Facilitator ® path and is officially accredited by the ICF to provide 23.5 CCEU’s

Even better, in partnership with Ten Directions we are offering a DISCOUNT FOR NCDD members of 20% off the tuition until April 10 **** use coupon JOY2NCDD ****

To find out more and register, read below or navigate to the Ten Directions’ page here.


April 20-May 25 Next Stage Facilitation

This is the first step in the Certified Integral Facilitator ® path.

Integral Facilitator ® is focused on growing capacities for collaborative work – in communities, groups and organizations. Facilitative leaders, coaches, facilitators, and mediators, and change makers to transform how people and groups can accomplish more together, create thriving dynamic communities, and shape the kind of culture we want to live in.

Next Stage Facilitation™ is an advanced leadership program, designed to expand your perception of yourself as a facilitative leader, your impact in the room, and your potential for shaping group experience. It integrates deep insights from the fields of adult development, Zen Awareness and Integral theory, combined with core competencies of masterful facilitation.

This live 6 week online training is oriented to self-actualizing professionals who want to push their edges, take more risks, and find more flow, ease and effectiveness in working with groups.

In this training, you’ll refine your ability to:
– Rejuvenate a room by addressing what is exciting or even threatening (and often both)
– Go off-script to adapt in the moment, following energy to sustain engagement
– Make “facilitator moves” to increase trust and connection

You’ll experience hands-on practice and receive targeted personal feedback and coaching from the faculty team, alongside other high-caliber facilitative leaders, change makers and innovators engaging with courageous intentions and fresh outlooks.

Next Stage Facilitation – April 20 – May 25, 2020 – 6 weekly classes, online.
Learn More and Register Here

Being in the room with a team of confident, adaptive, and insightful facilitators provides a rich and immersive container for experiential learning. In every moment, there is something we can learn from. Please share this with your colleagues so that they can take advantage of this opportunity – And – even better – here is a special DISCOUNT FOR NCDD members of 20% off the tuition until April 10 **** use coupon JOY2NCDD ****

Please reach out with any questions – group discounts are available for teams of 3+
Programs@tendirections.com
https://tendirections.com/offerings/integral-facilitator/next-stage/

Find the original version of this opportunity on the Ten Directions’ site at: www.tendirections.com/offerings/integral-facilitator/next-stage/

Join Women Leading Disaster Recovery Webinar Weds, 2/24

You don’t want to miss the upcoming Equitable and Inclusive Engagement webinar hosted by Public Agenda, an NCDD member org, this coming Wednesday February 24th. The event will take place from 1-2:15pm Eastern, 10-11:15am Pacific. This segment will spotlight BIPOC Women Leading Disaster Recovery and the indispensable role they play in assisting their communities with what was needed in the aftermaths of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. This conversation is part of Public Agenda‘s FREE webinar series. Register here! Read more below about the event or find the original posting here.


Equitable and Inclusive Engagement: BIPOC Women Leading Disaster Recovery

Join Nicole Cabral, Associate Director of NY Engagement Programs at Public Agenda, in conversation with Maria Garrett, President of the Fresh Creek Civic Association in Brooklyn, New York; Myrtle Phillips, President of Grand Bayou Families United in Grand Bayou, Louisiana; and Daphne Viverette, former Community Development Director of the City of Moss Point, Mississippi.

Nicole will facilitate a conversation with these three leaders about the integral role they play in the recovery of their respective communities in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

Register here.

Maria Garrett is the founding member and first elected president of the Fresh Creek Civic Association in Brooklyn, New York. For over twenty-five years, Maria has been deeply involved in community building, conservation, and environmental resilience through her work with Flatland 7 and Flatland 8 Community Block Associations, United Canarsie South Civic Association (UCSCA), Community Board 18, the 69th Precinct and more. She resides in Canarsie with her husband and children.

Myrtle Philips was born and raised in Grand Bayou village in the bayou of Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. She is the President of Grand Bayou Families United. As a Native American activist, she is dedicated to fighting for the community, even in the face of extreme environmental and political challenges.

Daphne Viverette is the former Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources in the Office of Coastal Restoration & Resiliency, where she played an integral role in her community’s recovery after Hurricane Katrina. Her past work includes twenty-five years in a public service capacity implementing and administering local, state, and federal grants as Community Development Director at a Gulf Coast multiple government.

Nicole Cabral is the Associate Director for New York Engagement Programs at Public Agenda. She manages the Public Engagement team in the development and execution of projects on a variety of local and national issues.

For reasonable accommodation requests to attend this discussion, please contact Jennifer Orellana at pe@publicagenda.org no later than Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

Find the original version of this on the Public Agenda’ site at: www.publicagenda.org/newsroom/equitable-and-inclusive-engagement-bipoc-women-leading-disaster-recovery/.

Join the Premiere of The Reunited States Film on Feb 11th!

Happening this Thursday, February 11th is the launch event for the film, The Reunited States. This film is inspired by its’ namesake book, The Reunited States, authored by Mark Gerzon, president of Mediators Foundation, an NCDD member org. The Reunited States is a powerful and urgent documentary that follows the unsung heroes on the difficult journey of bridging our political and racial divides. The film, like the book, urges us to consider that everyone has a role to play in reuniting the country. To attend the Red and Blue Carpet premiere event of the The Reunited States film sign up here!

The premier will feature special guests, Van Jones and Megan McCain, the cast of the film, as well as remarkable activists (and actors) from around the country participating through the evening. It will be a powerful and timely conversation about political dialogue in our highly polarized country. Admission to this event is free and open to the public. For more information on the event, read below and find the original announcement here.


The Reunited States: The Red and Blue Carpet Premiere

Click on the link to watch a trailer of this anticipated film or here to sign up for the premiere. The stream begins February 11, 2021 5:00 PM PST. Please note that you may enter the livestream and chat at anytime once you register on the Eventive site.

After the February 11th premier livestream, the content can be viewed anytime until July 5th at 7:00 pm. The Reunited States is available for pre-order on iTunes and releases nationwide February 9th on Amazon, iTunes, and On Demand.

You can find the original version of this invitation on the Reunited States tv site at www.reunitedstates.tv.

Student Support with Dialogue in Time of National Crisis

Students spend most of their days in school. Naturally, when national events occur, this extends the teachers regular duties to the role of  “first responders”. This publication from Essential Partners was adapted for the classroom from their Reflective Structured Dialogue, and is offered as a tool for teachers to create a space of self- reflection, deep listening and open sharing in the classroom.  The prompts and guidelines to consider, proactively invite the students to process crisis in a healthy way.

Read about the structure and prompts offered below or find the original post here.


Holding Space in a Moment of Crisis

Along with their parents, teachers are often the “first responders” for students when a major national crisis takes place. It can be difficult or impossible to have a normal class in the wake of a traumatic or disruptive event.

Creating a space of self-reflection, deep listening, and open sharing in the classroom can proactively invite students to process and discuss crises in healthy ways. What could be a moment of trauma and division can become, instead, an opportunity for connection, empowerment, and mutual support.

Adapted for the classroom from EP’s Reflective Structured Dialogue approach, the tools below can be used to create a dialogic space in your classroom after a disruptive event.

Be transparent. Name the event, outline the process.

Whether it’s an event in the national news or a challenging paragraph in a text you are reading together, transparently name the disruption that you know the class is feeling. This offers permission for students to

acknowledge and begin to process their emotions. It may also relieve tension about whether you’ll pretend that nothing is amiss.

Depending on the circumstance, you might also acknowledge your own emotional response too, even if you don’t go into details about what those emotions are.

Many people dive into work or school to avoid the difficult feelings that a crisis can raise. Being transparent and naming the disruption hits the pause button on business-as-usual. It signals that this is going to be a different kind of space, at least for now.

You can further the work of creating a new kind of space by letting the class know the process of this structured, reflective exercise. You can use this time to preview what the students will be asked to do. This could be a general outline or include some specific examples. The purpose here is to provide some clarity, certainty, and security.

Give direction and time for reflection.

Reflection without purpose and direction can veer into a blank staring and long silences. An anchor for reflection provides focus.

Below are two sets of anchors that you can use to guide the students’ reflections. The first is a set of questions that can be used as either journal prompts or as the questions for a timed and structured go-around:

  • How have you been impacted by what happened? What feels most at stake? What would you like others to understand about what matters most to you about this event?
  • Where do you feel stuck or what dilemma does this moment bring up for you? What does this dilemma tell you about what you think is important or a value that you hold?

The second anchor is more abstract. Display a set of images for the students to look at (printed out or shared in a digital folder). Ask the students to respond to one of these question prompts:

  • Find an image that reflects how you are feeling right now after what happened.
  • Find an image that represents an alternative vision you have for what could be possible.

Reflection is also a process that can take time. Some students will have something to share immediately, but others might need a few minutes to collect their thoughts and explore their own feelings. Be sure to provide quiet time for individual reflection and for students to make notes before inviting them to share.

Structure the group sharing.

If you have time for the students to share some of their reflections, a structure can maintain the space you have worked to create. It underscores that this isn’t a usual class, and limits the dynamics of debate and argument. Some recommended structures are:

  • Allowing students are able to pass if they don’t feel ready or comfortable sharing
  • Making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to share/speak (especially if you plan to have a less structured conversation afterwards)
  • Pausing briefly to let the group hear and process what someone has said before moving on to the next speaker
  • Letting students know the order they will be invited to share (especially online) by announcing a rolling “batting order”—first Jim, then Cassie, then Alejandra—which encourages students to be prepared to speak when it’s their turn

Set aside time to close in an intentional way.

As we encourage students to develop social-emotional skills, we also teach them how to bring closure to these difficult moments in order to re-enter day-to-day activities.

It can be tempting to follow the flow of a discussion at the expense of watching the clock—only to have the bell ring and class abruptly end. That can be disorienting for students, and hard for them to transition. Allow time at the end of your class or exercise for a closing activity. This should invite students to process and synthesize what they’ve heard from others and discovered about themselves. Here are several examples of closing prompts:

  • Thinking about what’s been said here today, what is one hope you have for us as a nation going into this new year
  • Write down on a post-it note (to post on the wall of the room) one theme from what you’ve heard shared here today that you want the community to remember.
  • Share one thing that you’ve heard shared here today that you want to take with you into this week.
  • Reflecting on everything you’ve thought about, shared about and heard today, what is one word or phrase that describes what you want to remember moving forward.

Creating a dialogic space for students to reflect and share lets them reconnect with their internal strengths and resources in crisis moments—skills that will serve them throughout their lives. It helps them make meaning from difficult and disruptive events. And it encourages reflection on the way students want to engage with the world around them.

As always, we are here to support you. If you need more help holding difficult classroom discussions, please reach out.

You can find the original version on The Essential Partners’ site at www.whatisessential.org/holding-space-moment-crisis

 

Winner of the Leadership in Democracy Award Revealed!

Everyday Democracy is delighted to present the winners and runner ups of the prestigious Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award. This award honors the work that creates opportunity for meaningful participation for all people, by bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how community operates.

The recipient of the award this year is Point Diversity for creating a more diverse community for the past seven years in Roanoke VA. The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. The second runner up was awarded to Jenny Spencer for her remarkable involvement in Cleveland politics, where her efforts have been dedicated on increasing voter registration.

To get better acquainted with the recipients keep reading below and find the original announcement here.


Everyday Democracy is Excited to Announce the Winner and Runners-up of the 2020 Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award

This year’s winner is Points of Diversity in Roanoke, VA. Points of Diversity has worked in Roanoke for almost seven years to create a more diverse community by “connecting, engaging and [educating] in cross-cultural discussions and experiences.”

“We have to learn to understand each other,” Katie Zawacki, Executive Director of Points of Diversity, explains. “We don’t have to agree, but we still have to have respect for each other. It’s about respecting human dignity.”

While Points of Diversity was the clearest example of the principles Paul Aicher founded Everyday Democracy with in action, there were other deserving candidates as well.

The first runner up for the award is Lashon Amado, CEO of Mas Um Chance, an organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunity for people of the Cabo Verdean diaspora. Mr. Amado is passionate about working with young adults and empowering them to make positive change in their lives. His grassroots efforts

exemplify the approach that Everyday Democracy believes will lead to change.

Our second runner up is Jenny Spencer. She has been deeply involved in the local politics of her Cleveland home, and has dedicated herself to increasing voter registration and participation around her. Ms. Spencer’s dedication to democracy in action are at the heart of Everyday Democracy’s mission.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award provides recognition and a $10,000 award to an individual or organization in the U.S. whose achievements inspire us and can be lifted up for many others to aspire to. This year, in addition to the main award, two runner ups will each receive $2,500.

Paul J. Aicher and his wife Joyce were known for their generosity and creative genius. A discussion course at Penn State helped Paul find his own voice in civic life early on, and sparked his lifelong interest in helping others find theirs.

Paul founded the Topsfield Foundation and the Study Circles Resource Center, now called Everyday Democracy, in 1989. The organization has now worked with more than 600 communities throughout the country, helping bring together diverse people to understand and make progress on difficult issues, incorporating lessons learned into discussion guides and other resources, and offering training and resources to help develop the field and practice of deliberative democracy.

The Paul and Joyce Aicher Leadership in Democracy Award honors work that creates opportunities for meaningful civic participation for all people, addresses racial inequities through dialogue and collective action, and shows the power of bridging all kinds of divides by making dialogue a regular part of how a community works.

You can find the original version of this post on the Everyday Democracy site at www.everydaydemocracy.org/news/everyday-democracy-excited-announce-winner-and-runners-2020-paul-and-joyce-aicher-leadership.

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,

optional opportunities to engage with the course instructors on a real-time basis. This relational aspect is a hallmark of the GSLC.

Currently, the series includes the following two certificates, each comprised of three courses:

Certificate 1: Leading for Inclusion and Racial Justice
Courses: Developing ‘Identity Intelligence’; Leading for Inclusion; Challenging Social Systems

Certificate 2: Leading Transformative Change
Courses: Foundations of Transformative Change; Strategic Planning for Sustainable Futures; Leading and Implementing Successful Change

For additional information and for course start dates, please visit GLSC Professional Certificates.
For organizations sending three or more individuals, we will offer a 15% discount.

You can find the original version on the Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change at www.antioch.edu/academics/leadership-management/certificates/.

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 be able to be replicated by community mediation centers as a path for sustainability and growth for the field of community mediation, as well as to inform the development of training, evidence-based strategies, policy, and research at the national level as well.

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. This structure serves as an incubator for innovation by aiding in the development of “good practices.” Written materials developed through these grants will be shared with community mediation centers and mediators across the continent. By distributing these materials, sharing programmatic resources, providing training, and developing national partnerships, NAFCM supports the replication of these service models and ensures the Program’s impact on an international level.

The Learning Community will meet twice a month for the first five months, and monthly thereafter using a specified on-line meeting platform. This community will follow the “Listening for Action” structured guidance offered by NAFCM that is intended to strengthen the unique work of each project as well as create an executive learning environment that allows the members to grow both individually and professionally.

2021 Solicitation of Interest (SI) Overview

The 2021 Program selection process has two distinct phases.

Phase 1 begins with the release of this 2021 Solicitation of Interest (SI) protocol. This phase is open to any organization which works to incorporate the 9 NAFCM Hallmarks of Community Mediation and believes that this funding and technical assistance support opportunity is a good fit for the needs of their work and those with whom they work.

A community mediation center is an entity that works to achieve the following nine hallmarks of a community mediation center:

  1. A private non-profit or public agency or program thereof, with mediators, staff and governing/advisory board representative of the diversity of the community served.
  2. The use of trained community volunteers as providers of mediation services; the practice of mediation is open to all persons.
  3. Providing direct access to the public through self-referral and striving to reduce barriers to service including physical, linguistic, cultural, programmatic and economic.
  4. Providing service to clients regardless of their ability to pay.
  5. Providing service and hiring without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, disabilities, national origin, marital status, personal appearance, gender orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income.
    Providing a forum for dispute resolution at the earliest stage of conflict.
    Providing an alternative to the judicial system at any stage of a conflict.
  6. Initiating, facilitating and educating for collaborative community relationships to effect positive systemic change.
  7. Engaging in public awareness and educational activities about the values and practices of mediation.

Phase 2 begins in April 2021 and is open only to those who submitted a response to the SI during the prior phase and have been invited to submit a full proposal.

This 2021 Program is for those Community Mediation Centers wishing to embed the core values identified by community mediators and recorded in the 2019 State of Community Mediation Report: Fairness, Peacemaking and Violence Prevention.

Funding Project Process Step 1 – Open to all now until March 15th, 2021

  • Interested organizations are required to submit a 1-3-page response to the Solicitation of Interest (SI) (using the guidelines on the following page) to NAFCM no later than 11:59 PM local time of the organization’s legal/main location, March 15, 2021 to siminigrant2020@gmail.com
  • An informational conference call will be held on Monday February 8, 2021- 4:30 PM Eastern Time. There is a limited number of spaces for this teleconference and you must be registered no later Friday February 5, 2021. To obtain the link for the conference please send a notice of interest to NAFCM at siminigrant2020@gmail.com

Funding Project Process Step 2 – By invitation only

  • The NAFCM Grant review committee will notify applicants if they have been selected to develop a full proposal by April 1st, 2021. For selected applicants a review webinar will be offered on Tuesday April 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. The link for attendance will be sent to those applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal.
  • Full proposals (with a required application protocol provided upon notification) will be due to the NAFCM Grant review committee no later than 11:59 PM local time of the organization’s legal/main location on Monday, June 15th, 2021.
  • Notifications of the final decision will be made by August 31st, 2021.

Please address questions about grant program to D.G. Mawn, President, NAFCM, at siminigrant2020@gmail.com.

You can find the original version on the National Association for Community Mediation at www.nafcm.org/news/546106/NAFCMJAMS-Foundation-Mini-Grant-Bidders-Conference.htm.

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?

Concerns about elections and the health of our democracy

  • Voter suppression is going on in our country
  • Our electoral process is dysfunctional
  • The election process revealed how weak and fragile our democratic system is
  • The election mechanics actually worked
  • It’s a victory that there was no violence at the polls
  • Locally lots of apparent voter engagement—with lots of participation via early voting
  • It’s an illusion that our democracy is working
  • We have structural problems in our system that weaken our representative democracy
  • We always say, “it’s the most important election” or “democracy hangs in the balance,” but are those just exaggerations?
  • We have governmental leadership with no moral compass—as long as they win, they can do whatever they want—and our democracy can’t survive more of that
  • Another real threat to democracy: politicizing the federal civil service, turning government agencies to partisan purposes
  • People in government should be public servants, not pursuing their own gain

Concerns about polarization

  • We are divided more than ever, with high degrees of polarization and antipathy toward one another
  • The division has become more extreme in the last few years
  • We live in bubbles and don’t understand people outside of our bubble
  • This high degree of polarization threatens our ability to self-govern
  • We have always been polarized, so it’s not worse than before
  • We have powerful myths of a national unity that never existed and we use this to cover up our history of exploitation
  • We mostly ignore divisions because they often only impacted others (if we’re protected by our race or class, we can ignore the history of oppression of targeted groups within our country)
  • We have to remember that America was built on exploiting others
  • If you don’t live in middle class white America, you are more at risk and don’t want to reach out to those who want to keep you down, especially if you’ve been a victim of a hate crime
  • If a major political party has become a party of white nationalism, how can you ask people to come together with them or split the difference by compromise?
  • We have divisions, but most people are reasonable and just trying to get on with their lives
  • Lately it has become riskier to have political discussions across partisan divides—it used to be fun, but now you risk losing relationships if you discuss politics
  • Our divisions are so strong, it is hard to believe we can come together as one nation
  • Our divisions are so fraught, they can’t even have discussions about the election in school
  • We are a country divided on values
  • Our divisions have religious roots, part of the evangelical right taking over the Republican party
  • Religion can also be a source of values that can unite us and help us to bridge divides
  • There’s a strong political movement to disregard facts, evidence, or science, which makes governance lose touch with reality
  • You can’t come together with people who are being dishonest or hateful
  • We have urban-rural divides
  • In urban areas, people often have more experience with diversity and are more accepting of differences
  • Trump and Trumpism seem like both cause and effect—a symptom of a widespread illness in our body politic
  • Some people are behaving like spoiled children

Concerns about the role of media

  • We live in different media bubbles, so we don’t know how others see the world
  • Media shapes reality—we can’t understand the reality perceived by those in the other camp
  • One branch of media presents an “alternate reality” that is not clearly connected to ascertainable facts, which makes it difficult, or nearly impossible, to reason with its devotees
  • One political party regularly attacks the news media and other evidence-based approaches, like science
  • We need to be wary of the outsized role that social media plays in our public discourse
  • Popular media are driven by controversy and sensationalism rather than focusing on what’s essential
  • The news media focuses more on entertainment than on genuinely informing the public
  • We live in a celebrity culture, where everybody wants a chance to be a celebrity, to be popular

How might we move toward a more perfect union?

  • We need democratic reform to make policy responsive and accountable to the broad public will
  • If government responds to the public will and does good things to improve people’s lives, then polarization will lessen and people will have greater trust in government
  • The election of a new government is a start—but we need to update our constitution to bolster our democracy and make it more representative of the popular will
  • We need leadership from the top to advocate unity with our political opponents
  • We should celebrate genuine public servants—those truly acting in the public interest (not their private interests)
  • We need to restore or embody greater civility at all levels of governance and society
  • We need to find opportunities for conversation with people from the other side (it’s not important to agree, but to talk with people with whom we disagree)
  • We need to teach the value of having discussions across our divides
  • We need to learn how to listen first to each other—not to talk first, but to listen first to others
  • We need to get past labels and attend to the substance of what people are saying
  • We need to strive to find the good in what opponents say or do
  • We need to recognize the universal needs that we share: we are all equally human
  • We need to find shared values to connect across differences
  • It’s not a matter of having the right facts, it’s about finding shared values to connect better with others
  • It’s best to avoid direct confrontation on hot issues—seek conversations about values
  • We need to be honest with one another and truthful in our words and actions—we can’t just rely on happy talk and fake politeness
  • We need to recognize that people on the other side are not all the same and are not all so hostile
  • We should educate our children for a civic spirit that is bigger than our divisions, whether this starts in our families, in community organizations, or within schools
  • We should raise the next generation to be more open to diversity—including diversity of viewpoints
  • We need education to help make us antiracist
  • We need to flip the media from entertainment to education
  • We need education for media literacy
  • We should change our media diet—to expose ourselves to different sides
  • We need to reform or disband social media, because it just aggravates divisions and spreads disinformation
  • What if we come together as one—to fight fascism?
  • Time can heal us

You can find the original version on The Interactivity Foundation site at www.interactivityfoundation.org/toward-a-more-perfect-union-a-community-conversation-about-the-2020-election/.