Donate to Scholarship Fund to Help Youth Attend NCDD2018

We recently announced the Scholarship Fund Drive, which is an effort to provide support to students, youth, and those who would otherwise be unable to attend the upcoming  2018 NCDD national conference. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to give financial assistance to the 30 applicants (and growing) and bring as many folks as possible to NCDD2018. Not only does contributing to the Fund help these individuals attend, but it’s mutually beneficial as it increases the opportunity for even more connections with fellow civic innovators and engagement enthusiasts, win-win!

Please help out if you can – no amount is too little, and every little bit helps! If you’d like to help support their attendance at NCDD 2018, please contribute to the scholarship fund here and enter “Scholarship Fund” in the “Donation Note” field! We encourage you to read the letter from Jacob Hess on behalf of the NCDD and our board.

Dear NCDD Members,

Thank you for those who have made a contribution to helping people in need attending our upcoming conference. It will make a real difference for these people – and we’re extremely grateful.

Since our last note, we’re writing to share about five additional students who have reached out for support. We’re hoping that we can gather some more funds to support them – and others who are relying on financial assistance to be able to attend. As you can see, we’ve encouraged them to find ways to pay for whatever they can – and we’re trying to see if we can make up the difference from our membership.

Please take a minute to read below the stories from the students we’re seeking sponsorships and scholarships for. If you are willing to sponsor one of the students (partially or in full), we’d like to introduce you to them in Denver personally. Unless you’d prefer not to, we’d also like to recognize all our scholarship sponsors in our conference brochure for helping to make possible more students being able to attend.

If you have resources to make a difference, even a little can go a long way for these students! You can donate to the scholarship fund on our donation page – make a note that it is for the “Scholarship Fund.” If you would like to support a student in particular, you can note that there as well.

Thank you for your consideration!

Courtney, and Jacob, on behalf of NCDD Staff & the NCDD Board

Five More Students We Hope to Support:

1. Manu is an Indian American in his 3rd year year as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley – who helped found BridgeUSA, the leading national organization working to facilitate constructive dialogue and deliberation on America’s college campuses. Manu is currently helping to spearhead an effort to expand BridgeUSA chapters to more college campuses (with currently 25 colleges represented). As he said, “I would like to attend the NCDD conference because I want to know more professionals within the space and learn about other efforts with similar missions to NCDD. As one of the leading national advocates for millennial involvement in politics and constructive dialogue, I believe that my perspective would be important towards further advancing NCDD’s mission and goal for inclusion. I have the privilege of representing thousands of students across the country due to my involvement with BridgeUSA, and I hope to elevate their voices at the NCDD conference.”

Manu can pay $50 to his registration, and is splitting a room to cut costs – but could use help with the rest of registration, rooming and with airfare.

2. Saya is an international Ph.D. student in Leadership Communication at Kansas State University from Kazakhstan in Central Asia – and working in a position responsible for creating a supportive environment for students to have meaningful discussions about leadership and inclusion. Saya is planning to obtain Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement Graduate Certificate at K-State during the upcoming academic year – and would like to “gather new ideas and insights on how to facilitate and maintain dialogues in small diverse communities for collaborative decision-making, to address conflicts, and support inclusion.”
Saya can pay $50 toward registration – but needs help with lodging, and is happy to help out volunteering at the conference.

3. Blase is a full-time student overseeing a dialogue group on campus in Tampa Florida called “Spartan Sustained Dialogue” – with a mission to bring people together to better understanding diverse experiences through dialogue. He says, “I want to expand my knowledge on dialogue and deliberation because it has become a pivotal cornerstone for my university. We need dialogue now more than ever and I want to help my campus out as much as possible through the usage of dialogue.” Blaise aims to obtain his Masters in Higher Education and “help whatever institution I attend adapt a more prominent use of dialogue.”

Blaise does not need help with lodging or airfare, and can pay $100 to the registration fee. He’s looking for $150 to cover the additional student expense – and is willing to volunteer while he is there.

4. Mai-Anh is another student at The University of Tampa – and coordinator for a Spartans Sustained Dialogue at The University of Tampa (a program is to promote open dialogue about a variety of issues including socio-economic status, religion, political affiliation and gender identity). Mai-Anh stated, “I would like to attend NCDD to expand my skills and knowledge about dialogue through a community of experts in this field.

Mai-Anh says “I may able to cover the costs of food and other expenses while in Denver. However, I may still struggle to cover flights and transportation costs.”

5. Emily is a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Boulder Communication who uses dialogue and deliberation in her research, which centers around communication interventions for social change. This semester she is the research fellow at CU’s Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement (CDE), where she helps support their mission of encouraging, facilitating, networking, and studying public participation practices. She’s hoping to attend NCDD to support her colleague, Lydia Reinig, who is presenting on the CDE’s Building Bridges program “as well as to continue to expand my skillset as a facilitator and scholar engaged in democratic processes.” She mentions that sessions like “Addressing Coercive Power in Dialogue and Deliberation,” “Designing Community Deliberation in College Courses,” and “Difficult Facilitation Experiences” pertain directly to my research and pedagogical interests. Emily also adds, “a hugely enriching part of attending NCDD would be the ability to exchange ideas with deliberators from across sectors and geographies!

Emily can pay $100 toward registration, but is hoping for help to cover the remaining fee. She’s fine on lodging and travel – with plans to bus in from Boulder. She added, “For grad students on a limited budget the scholarship makes conference attendance feasible! Thank you!”

The individuals above are just a few select stories of many who have reached out and have requested support. Can you help these students and others like them join us for NCDD 2018? Contribute on our donation page today!

Check out the Fifth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops!

In anticipation for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation, we are thrilled to announce another round of workshops! Check out the sessions we’ve announced so far and join us for this engaging conference happening Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver. We have several exciting pre-conference sessions on Thursday, November 1st – so register ASAP to attend. Take advantage of our discounted hotel room rate until 5:00pm MST on Wednesday, October 10th and/or coordinate here on the blog to find a roommate. If you are looking for a way to support this field, consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund Drive! These contributions will help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will announce the final workshop sessions within the next few weeks!

Developing Materials, Identifying Challenges, and Embracing Opportunities for Dialogue and Deliberation in Rural America
This session will offer an exploration of an effort by the Interactivity Foundation to develop a discussion guide on the future of agriculture and rural communities regarding the effort to share strategies for organizing rural discussions and organizing discussions in urban communities on rural themes. This session will critically examine the so-called urban/rural divide. In addition to this particular resource, presenters will share stories of connecting into rural deliberative systems, highlighting challenges and opportunities for working in rural communities such as Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona.

Sara Drury
Director, Wabash College Democracy and Public Discourse

Linda Ellinor
Founder and Senior Consultant, Action Dialogue Group

Sarah Giles
Project Manager, Oregon’s Kitchen Table
National Policy Consensus Center, Portland State University

Shannon Wheatley Hartman
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Timothy Shaffer
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies, Kansas State University

David Supp-Montgomerie
Director and Lecturer, Iowa Program for Public Life

Don’t Engage the Public… Before You’ve Answered These Six Questions
Public participation is increasingly becoming the norm for government decision-making. More engagement, however, doesn’t necessarily mean higher satisfaction with the process and outcomes among communities and decision-makers. Using case studies and scenario exercises the session will provide an opportunity to road-test six strategic questions that help set dialogue and deliberation practitioners up for success, by clarifying key elements of an engagement process, including the topic, desired outcomes, impact on communities, depth and reach of engagement, as well as plans for follow-through.

Hassan Hussein
Assistant Professor, St. John’s University

Robin Prest
Program Director, Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue

Elevating Voices and Building Bridges: Community Trust and Police Relations
It is important to build relationships between the community and police to improve public safety and increase community trust. We will present specific dialogue methods used to engage the community and police and that has created value and impact for multiple demographics affected by law enforcement in the Chicago and Denver regions. Our methods will also illustrate how to support and amplify community voices and ideas.

Joe Hoereth, PhD
Director, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Gianina Irlando
Community Relations Ombudsman, Office of the Independent Monitor

Paul Pazen
Chief of Police, Denver Police Department

Norma E. Ramos
Director of Engagement and Partnerships, Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Illinois at Chicago

Bria Scudder
Senior Government and Community Liaison, Illinois Attorney General’s Office

Enriching Journalism and D&D through Collaboration
This interactive session highlights multiple approaches to collaboration between journalists and D&D. The presenters will draw on their experience leading efforts connecting journalists and the communities they serve through dialogue and deliberation-based engagement efforts. We’ll highlight three of our projects, and reference others, to surface best practices for building D&D approaches into journalism and ensuring D&D efforts resonate with media organizations to support meaningful community change. We’ll then move into interactive, small group discussions to identify and critique ideas for incorporating these practices into the efforts and projects of session attendees, developing ideas from the perspectives of both D&D practitioners and journalists.

Elizabeth Dunbar
Reporter, Minnesota Public Radio

Leslie Graves
President & CEO, Ballotpedia

Adolf Gundersen
Research Director, Interactivity Foundation

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

Growing the Next Generation of D&D Leaders through Campus Dialogues
How might we grow the next generation of D&D leaders? In this session, we’ll share different co-curricular approaches to student-facilitated campus dialogues that could play a role. We represent 5 different schools of various sizes (UC Davis, Oklahoma State, Emory, University of Tampa, and Wesleyan College) and different non-profits (Sustained Dialogue Institute and the Interactivity Foundation). Together with workshop attendees, we’ll explore what it takes to create and sustain the ecosystem for co-curricular D&D programs, the challenges and promises for this work, and lessons learned so far.

Melanie Doherty
Associate Professor of English and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Liaison, Wesleyan College

Ed Lee
Senior Director, Alben W. Barkley Forum for Debate, Deliberation, & Dialogue
Emory University

Tami Moore
Associate Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs, Oklahoma State University

Tonya Parker
Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Wesleyan College

Carolyn Penny
Director of Campus Dialogue and Deliberation, University of California Davis

Jeff Prudhomme
Vice President, Interactivity Foundation

Mike Stout
Associate Professor, Oklahoma State University
George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Family and Community Policy

Elizabeth Wuerz
Program Consultant, Sustained Dialogue Institute

Measuring Civic Infrastructure and Building A Culture of Engagement
How do communities move from occasional public participation to a robust culture of engagement? Participants will learn about the National Civic League’s Civic Index and engage in small group activities using the index. The Civic Index is a tool for measuring the capacity of a community for effective decision-making and problem-solving. Doug Linkhart, President of the National Civic League, will present the newest version of the index, a tool originally created in 1987. Carla Kimbrough, Racial Equity Director for the League, will present examples of how cities achieve the equity and inclusiveness aspects of the index. Carmen Ramirez, Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager for the City of Longmont, Colorado, will talk about the benefits to her city of a cultural of engagement.

Carla Kimbrough
Racial Equity Director, National Civic League

Doug Linkhart
President, National Civic League

Carmen Ramirez
Community & Neighborhood Resources Manager, City of Longmont

Talking about Guns in America: Two Approaches for Shifting the Conversation
Americans are sharply divided over how to deal with gun violence. Many gun-owning Americans strongly oppose new gun regulations, and some want to expand gun rights with a national “right to carry” reciprocity law. Meanwhile, gun control advocates are ramping up campaigns for laws such as a federal ban on the popular AR15 and other assault-style weapons. How can civil dialogue build bridges of understanding between people on both sides of this highly charged debate? Two models will be discussed: a national effort in collaboration with TIME and the Advance Local family of community media groups; and a grassroots project from rural California. This workshop will emphasize problem-solving and creative thinking about how to moderate face-to-face and online discussions of this controversial subject.

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners

Eve Pearlman
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Spaceship Media

Jim Hight
Independent journalist and facilitator

Final round to be announced soon!

Dispute Resolution Grant Opportunity, Applications Due 10/5

Our theme for NCDD2018 is about how to bring the D&D field into more widespread practice and a big part of that is funding, so folks can continue doing this work. Which is why we’re thrilled to find this grant opportunity to forward to the NCDD network from the American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation. Applications are due Friday, October 5th, and there is an informative call for prospective applicants on Tuesday, September 18th. Several NCDD organizations have been awarded in the past, like Essential Partners, Consensus Building Institute, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Divided Community Project – and we hope another NCDDer will be granted this year! You can read about it in the post below and find more information on AAA-ICDR Foundation’s site here.


Grant Opportunity –  American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation

The AAA-ICDR Foundation is now accepting Initial Descriptions of Grant Requests for its fourth funding cycle. In its review the Foundation will be focusing on innovative and replicable proposals that provide:

  • ADR for vulnerable and underserved populations
  • ADR for community-focused dispute resolution.

The Foundation remains committed to funding high-quality innovative programs in furtherance of its broader mission dedicated to mediation/other non-binding ADR process and arbitration/other binding ADR processes, and beyond.

Interested organizations or individuals should submit an Initial Description of Grant Request no later than October 5, 2018. The Foundation is launching an online application this year. Only applicants submitted via the online system will be considered, please do not email a PDF of the application. See Additional Information below for links to training/instructions for using the new online system.

To Apply: Please click here to register and submit your Initial Description of Grant Request starting September 10, 2018.

The Foundation will be hosting a brief Q&A call on September 18th from 2:00 – 2:30 pm ET regarding the initial description process to answer any questions from potential grantees.

Call-in details are:
Toll-Free Number: 1-888-537-7715
International Number: 1-334-323-9858
Participant Passcode: 15083676 #

Additional Information: 

What We’ve Funded

Grants Awarded in 2018
The AAA-ICDR Foundation funded nineteen grants in its third funding cycle. The Foundation received over ninety Initial Descriptions of Grant Requests. The Foundation, after a careful review of all of the submissions and the presentation of full grant proposals, approved the following nineteen grants totaling over $500,000 in funding:

ABA Fund for Justice and Education: $10,000 to fund ABA’s annual Law Student Division Arbitration Competition.

Arizona State University Foundation: $59,789 to fund empirical study with goal of providing guidance about what needs to be accomplished during opening stages of mediation.

Association for Conflict Resolution Elder Justice Initiative on Eldercaring Coordination: $32,136 to fund training and expansion of elder caring coordination, a form of conflict resolution.

Association for the Organization and Promotion of the Vienna Mediation and Negotiation Competition: $5,000 to fund the Consensual Dispute Resolution Competition Vienna, which is an educational event in the field of international negotiation and mediation.

Community Mediation Services: $15,181 to fund facilitated dialogues by experienced Restorative Practitioner between youth, community and law enforcement in New Orleans Police Department 1st District.

Conflict Resolution Center of Baltimore County: $40,000 to fund training and direct ADR services in substance abuse centers in Baltimore County, MD.

Consensus Building Institute: $74,950 to fund pilot program in Piermont, NY to train local residents who will spearhead collaborative neighborhood dialogues on resilience planning against rising sea levels and increased flood risks.

CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College: $30,000 to fund online access to conflict resolution resources for families worldwide dealing with mental illness.

Environmental Advocates of New York: $10,000 to fund Advocacy Crisis Training for environmental justice communities.

Essential Partners: $24,854 to fund trainings for teaching at-risk youth to lead and participate in more constructive dialogues about conflict and difference.

Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program: $24,921 to fund podcast series intended to help support teaching around dialogue on challenging topics including racial, ethnic and religious conflict.

Institute for Communication and Management of Conflicts – D.U.C.K.S:  $12,000 to fund teach the Prison of Peace (PoP) Peacemaker, Mediator and Train the Trainer Workshops in 2 men’s prisons in Greece.

International Mediation Institute: $25,000 to fund The Global Pound Conference North America Report.

Kennesaw State University, School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development:  $25,000  to fund creating working model in Athens, Greece to promote dialogue and reduce violence from racial, ethnic, and religious conflict.

King County Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution:  $29,850 to fund the Theatre of Mediation where mediators, actors and students present role-play mediations based on real cases involving themes of racial conflict to schools, community groups and in public forums.

Quabbin Mediation:  $20,000 to fund expansion of Training Active Bystanders (TAB) model throughout New England to diverse groups.

The Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice: $50,000 to fund convening of Dispute Resolution Hackathon events with community stakeholders for equitable, unbiased and humane enforcement of the law.

The Mediation Center: $20,500 to fund creation of standardized online mediation and community dialogue training modules that can be accessed without cost across the state of Tennessee.

The Ohio State University Foundation: $40,000 to fund development and conducting national “academy” targeted to strengthening local leadership capacity to use and collaborate with community mediation experts to plan for and address civil unrest.

Grants Awarded in 2017

The AAA-ICDR Foundation funded 11 grants in its second funding cycle. The Foundation received 92 Initial Descriptions of Grant Requests. Led by its Grants Committee, the Foundation, after a careful review of all of the submissions and the presentation of full grant proposals, approved the following 11 grants totaling approximately $410,000 in funding:

New York State Unified Court System Online Dispute Resolution Platform: $125,000 to fund multi-year pilot for court online dispute resolution (ODR) for small claims cases. 

Online Pro Bono Legal Advice: $25,000 to provide low-income citizens access to brief legal advice via an online interactive website, utilizing pro bono attorneys. ABA Fund for Justice and Education: ABA Free Legal Answers.

Conflict De-Escalation Training for Police Officers in Baltimore Schools: $25,040 to fund training for Baltimore City School Police and other school staff. University of Maryland Training in Conflict De-Escalation and Management. 

Training for Mediating Parties with Mental Health Issues: $24,998 to fund scalable mediation training for certified peer specialists to serve an underserved population of peers living with mental health issues. Research Foundation of CUNY on behalf of John Jay
College: The Dispute Resolution in Mental Health Initiative.

Columbia Law School Research of Twilight Issues in International Arbitration: $25,000 to fund analysis and development of best practices for twilight issues that are not clearly substantive or procedural with global presentations and publication.

Addressing Unconscious Bias in International Arbitration: $25,000 to fund educational series and mentorship to promote equality, diversity, access to justice, and leadership opportunities. ArbitralWomen Unconscious Bias Toolkit.

Cultivating Dialogue Between Dominant and Non-Dominant Communities in Minnesota: $45,000 to continue funding a transformative project to produce qualitative change in the type of engagement currently taking place between dominant and nondominant communities in Minnesota. Minnesota State Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution and Dispute Resolution Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law 2017 Talk with Purpose: Using Dispute Resolution to Engage Communities and Foster Relationships for Constructive Change. 

Best Uses of ADR to Respond to and Plan for Community Divides: $40,000 to fund a study that describes local ADR responses and planning initiatives to address controversies that divide communities and development of a Community Preparation Assessment Test tool for community use. Ohio State University Foundation on behalf of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law’s Divided Community Project.  

The Curators of The University of Missouri: Reasoning in International Commercial Arbitration: Comparisons Across the Common Law-Civil Law Divide, the Domestic-International Divide, and the Judicial – Arbitral Divide:  $25,396 to fund research on arbitral reasoning in arbitral awards. 

Promoting Peace and Tolerance Through Leadership and ADR Training for Women in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine: $25,000 to support training scholarships for female community leaders from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine for advanced mediation and leadership training, focused on promoting peace and interfaith/interethnic tolerance. Project Kesher: Training for Women in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.

Promoting Peace Through Leadership and ADR Training for Women in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela: $25,500 for training scholarships to enable women community leaders to complete four days of advanced mediation and community leadership training. Mediators Beyond Borders International—Women in Peacebuilding.

Grants Awarded in 2016

In May 2016, the AAA-ICDR Foundation completed its inaugural funding cycle. The Foundation sent out a press release in October 2015 announcing its inaugural round of grant solicitations. In response, the Foundation received 75 Initial Descriptions of Grant Requests. After a careful review of all of the submissions and the presentation of full grant proposals,the Foundation, led by its Grants Committee, approved the following six grants totaling approximately $175,000 in funding:   

Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law—Straus Institute Annual Global Summit on Conflict Management, September 2016: $15,000 to supplement the investment of the Straus Institute in supporting the convening of working groups and planners in advance of a summit that will bring together individuals and organizations from all over the world to discuss common issues and concerns associated with complex dispute resolution processes. 

Prison Inmate Mediation Training: $75,000 to fund a 40-hour mediation workshop for 30-50 inmates. The workshop will be conducted in one cohort to be completed in 7-10 weeks, creating a new cadre of desperately needed inmate mediators at Valley State Prison and to fund train the trainer program at Valley State Prison, aimed at training new mediators as well as developing a cadre of inmate mediation trainers. Prison of Peace 2016 Valley State Prison Mediation Training Program. 

Cultivating Dialogue Between Dominant and Non-Dominant Communities in Minnesota: $24,998 for OCDR/DRI to conduct a transformative project to produce qualitative change in the type of engagement currently taking place between dominant and non-dominant communities in Minnesota. Minnesota State Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law 2016 Talk with Purpose: Using Dispute Resolution to Engage Communities and Foster Relationships for Constructive Change.

Promoting Peace Through Leadership and ADR Training for Women in Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand: $25,500 for training scholarships required to enable women community leaders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to complete four days of advanced mediation and community leadership training in Djakarta, Indonesia. Mediators Beyond Borders International—Women Peacebuilding: Enhancing Skills and Practice Training.  

Consensus Building Institute – Innovative ADR in Groundwater Sustainability to Manage California Drought: $25,000 for CBI to highlight and promote the use and the central role of ADR in connection with the implementation of California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The creation of a multi-media report (including mini case studies, video segments, and blogs) that highlights the state’s impressive use of innovative dispute resolution and collaboration to address conflict and create new government structures will help CBI ensure the sustainability of local groundwater basins. This grant proposal is an opportunity to analyze and highlight the unique role that ADR is playing in this public policy issue that truly goes to the heart of water conflict in California. 

American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division – Annual Law Student Arbitration Competition: $10,000 to defray operating expenses, making the event more attractive and affordable for law schools participating in the next competition for the 2016-2017 school year, as law schools have increasingly reduced discretionary funds available. The competition format introduces students to arbitration and allows students to learn and practice skills relating to arbitration advocacy, such as crafting opening and closing statements, introducing evidence, creating demonstrative evidence, preparing witnesses, and developing case themes. This will be the 13 year of the competition.

About the Foundation
American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution Foundation® (AAA-ICDR Foundation®) was established in 2015 with the purpose to fund critical projects, domestically and internationally. This effort fills important needs in the ADR community by expanding the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), improving the process, increasing access to ADR for those who cannot afford it, and sharing knowledge across different cultures.

The Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization from the AAA and is able to solicit donations and provide grants to fund a range of worthy causes that promote the Foundation’s wide-reaching mission.

The Foundation is not involved in any way in the oversight, administration or decision making of the AAA-ICDR cases or in the maintenance of the AAA-ICDR’s various rosters of arbitrators and mediators.

You can read the original version of this announcement of AAA-ICDR Foundation site at www.aaaicdrfoundation.org/grants.

MetroQuest Online Public Engagement Playbook Webinar

Next week, NCDD member org MetroQuest will be hosting the webinar, Online Public Engagement Playbook; co-sponsored by NCDD and the American Planning Association (APA). The free webinar on Wednesday, September 19th will discuss the successful online engagement strategy which engaged over 5100+ Austin residents and led to the development of the city’s first comprehensive transportation plan. You can read the announcement below or find the original on MetroQuest’s site here.


MetroQuest Webinar: Online Public Engagement Playbook

How is America’s #1 boom town planning for the city’s transportation future?

Wednesday, September 19th
11 am Pacific | 12 pm Mountain | 1 pm Central | 2 pm Eastern (1 hour)
Educational Credit Available (APA AICP CM)
Complimentary (FREE)

On September 19th, find out how Austin engaged 5,100+ citizens online to help inform and shape the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, its first locally-focused comprehensive transportation plan.

Join Liane Miller, AICP and Senior Business Process Consultant with Austin’s Transportation Department, as she shares the winning elements of her team’s online public engagement playbook. Learn how they combined a great online engagement experience with the right promotional strategy to involve thousands of people, including communities that have been underrepresented in past processes. Discover which of three transportation scenarios earned the most public support.

Attend this complimentary 1-hour webinar for innovative ways to involve members of your community! You’ll learn how to:

  • Reach more people, even with limited staff
  • Share and collect richer planning information by going online
  • Leverage business partnerships to lower barriers to engagement
  • Mine survey results to build a plan that works for all communities
  • Impress city council with a transportation plan informed by the people

Liane will be joined by MetroQuest Chief Engagement Officer Dave Biggs to share best practices and to answer your questions in a live Q&A session.

Thank you to our sponsors: APA and NCDD! AICP CM credit will be available.

Speakers

Liane Miller – Planning and Policy Manager, City of Austin’s Transportation Department
Liane works on planning initiatives, such as the development of the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, the City’s first multimodal plan. She previously led the citywide capital needs assessment and helped develop the comprehensive plan, Imagine Austin. Liane earned a BS from the University of Texas at Austin and master’s degrees in planning and public administration from the University of Southern California.

Dave Biggs – Chief Engagement Officer, MetroQuest
Dave is a die-hard champion of community engagement and has built a reputation for leading edge community outreach. He is an internationally-recognized speaker, author, and public engagement strategist. Dave is honored to serve as an advisor on best practices for public involvement to many planning agencies such as APA, FHWA, and TRB and public participation organizations such as IAP2 and NCDD.

You can find the original version of this announcement on MetroQuest’s site at http://go.metroquest.com/Online-Public-Engagement-Playbook.html.

Fourth Round of NCDD2018 Workshops Now Available!

Excited for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation?! Then make sure you check out this fourth round of NCDD2018 workshops, as well as, what we have announced up until now! NCDD2018 will be from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 4th in downtown Denver, but we encourage folks to get an early start on the NCDD fun with the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st (read more here). If you are looking to split the cost on a hotel room, we’ve created a space on the blog to coordinate room shares. Finally, NCDD conferences are incredible opportunities to network and dig deeper into the D&D field, which is why we recently launched the Scholarship Fund Drive. Help support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so, by giving a tax-deductible donation today!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

We will continue to announce workshop sessions over the coming weeks to follow!

Don’t Avoid, Don’t Confront; Instead… Engage!: Dialogue Skills for Anti-racism Allies
How does a white person who aspires to be an ally against racism talk to their friends and family who are in denial about racism against people of color? The Ally Conversation Toolkit (ACT) gives people concrete guidance about how to respond to a wide variety of statements that racism-denying white folks make every day. The ACT project teaches the R.A.C.E method for managing conversation – standing for Reflect, Ask, Connect, Expand – that involves shifting interpersonal conversations from battles of opinion to a dialogue involving listening, empathy, and personal storytelling. The 90-minute conference workshop will be a distillation of half day and full day community workshops that have engaged thousands of people in venues across the country over the past two years.

Dr. David Campt
Founder, Ally Conversation Toolkit

Dayne Linford
Leader, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – Salt Lake City, UT

Facilitating Effective Dialogue on Challenging Community Issues
Recently, Elkhart County, Indiana needed to hear from community members on a proposed rezoning to build an immigration detention center which would house up to 1,400 immigrants facing possible deportation. This case study will demonstrate how Elkhart County Commissioners used PlaceSpeak to engage with residents, and how they facilitated respectful online dialogue on this controversial and potentially explosive issue without trolls or bots. Session participants will be asked to share challenging issues in their own communities and how they can apply the best practices to their local context.

Colleen Hardwick
Founder/CEO, PlaceSpeak Inc.

Mike Yoder
County Commissioner, Elkhart County

Partner for Engagement: From Crises to Cohesion in Communities
Workshop leaders will facilitate three interactive cases in which participants will have to make management decisions that successfully engage multiple stakeholders and sectors in building sustainable solutions to community crisis situations: (1) integration of Puerto Rican migrants displaced by Hurricane Maria, (2) response to the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and (3) economic development in impoverished neighborhood. Participants will learn how to negotiate partnerships, brand processes, and leverage resources within a D&D context, based on workshop leader experiences in these issues.

Thomas Bryer
Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida
Board President, Atvirum, Inc.

Sofia Prysmakova
PhD Candidate, Doctoral Program in Public Affairs, University of Central Florida
Board Vice-President, Atvirum, Inc.

Using Deliberation to Tackle Substance Abuse in Local High Schools
Engaging students can be difficult, especially when they’re not interested or don’t know enough about a topic. Come hear from students who got involved in engaging hundreds of high school students in conversations about substance abuse. This session will cover the barriers and opportunities related to partnering with students and school districts.

Kaia Heer
Student Associate, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Sabrina Duey
Student Associate, CSU Center for Public Deliberation

Kalie McMonagle
Program Coordinator, Center for Public Deliberation, Colorado State University

Wakanda Forever: An Intergenerational Equity Framework
Everyday Democracy will share their intergenerational equity framework for community engagement. Using examples from the movie Black Panther, we will demonstrate our principles and vision for equity. Participants will learn how to use an intergenerational equity lens in their own community, and develop action plans to build bridges across age divides. Building intergenerational equity in to your work can lead to deeper dialogue and in turn more sustainable action and change.

Malana Rogers-Bursen
Program Associate, Everyday Democracy

Matthew Sagacity Walker
Community Assistance Associate, Everyday Democracy

More to come soon!

CitizenFEST Coming to Dallas and Memphis This Fall

Mover and shaker org, Citizen University is holding two more of their exciting CitizenFEST events this coming fall and we encourage you to them check out! For folks in Texas, there will be one coming to you next week in Dallas on September 8th and for folks in Tennessee, you can catch the final one on October 13th in Memphis. CitizenFEST is a free and entertaining learning summit on strengthening civic power. You can read about the upcoming events, learn about what the May CitizenFEST was like, and check it all out on Citizen University’s site here.


Upcoming CitizenFESTs

Power + Character = Citizenship

CitizenFEST is a festive learning summit on how to exercise civic power, held in three communities across the country. Activists, artists, and everyday citizens come together for a unique blend of art, creativity, and the concrete skills of effective change-making. Our country needs more people to show up in more places to practice power in more ways. Join us!

How do you get your voice heard? How do you change a rigged system? How do you stir others out of apathy or connect with those with whom you disagree? We’ll tackle these questions and more in a day of skill-building workshops, artistic performances, and deep community conversations. Participants will leave with practical strategies of civic power to apply in their own work, new connections with community members, and new ideas and inspiration for the work at hand.

Our goal is to make registration as accessible and inclusive as possible, which is why it’s free to attend CitizenFEST!

September 8: Dallas, TX

in partnership with the Embrey Family Foundation and Ignite/Arts Dallas
Learn more and register here.

Agenda
8:30 Registration & Breakfast

9:00 MORNING PLENARY SESSION
Welcome & Opening Performance
Keynote: Power + Character | Eric Liu, Citizen University
Panel: “Creating the Dallas We Need” | Giovanni Valderas, Assistant Director at Kirk Hopper Fine Art and visual artist; Brianna Brown, Texas Organizing Project; Vicki Meek, independent curator and artist; moderated by Kayla DeMonte, Citizen University

11:00 MORNING BREAKOUT
Power + Character Workshop – Citizen University

12:30 LUNCH
Music by S’anah Ras and DJ RonAmber. Tabling from local organizations

1:45 AFTERNOON BREAKOUTS
Workshops:
-Dr. Njoki McElroy
-Dallas Community Innovation Lab
-Panel: Texas Freedom Network, Creating Our Future, Dallas Area Interfaith, JOLT, moderated by Mercedes Fulbright

3:00 CLOSING PLENARY
Yoga N Da Hood, Mutual Aid Circles, performance, closing remarks by Eric Liu

4:30-5:30 Happy Hour Reception, music from DJ RonAmber

———-

Gilley’s Dallas is ADA accessible. Please contact us if you would like further accommodations.
Parking will be free and available.

Learn more about Citizen University: citizenuniversity.us
Learn more about Embrey Family Foundation: embreyfdn.org
Learn more about Ignite/Arts Dallas: igniteartsdallas.com

———-

October 13: Memphis, TN

in partnership with The Fourth Bluff
Learn more and register here.

May 11-12: New Orleans, LA

in partnership with the Family Independence Initiative
Learn more about this past event here.

Join the #DemocracyChat on Twitter, Monday September 10

We shared a post last week from NCDD member org and sponsor, The Jefferson Center, about their recent partnership with The New York Times to attend the annual New York Times Athens Democracy Forum in September. As part of this, they are hosting a Twitter chat under the hashtag #DemocracyChat on Monday, September 10th at 11 am CT. This will be an opportunity to share your thoughts on the current state of democracy and how to strengthen it moving forward. You can read the announcement below and find the original on Jefferson Center’s site here.


Join Our #DemocracyChat!

Want to share your ideas about how democracy is working today, and the steps individuals, journalists, governments, and companies can take to strengthen it? Join our Twitter chat on Monday, September 10 at 11:00 am CT with the hashtag #DemocracyChat! Add to Google CalendarOutlook, or iCal here.

We’ll discuss topics including…

  • How technology is changing the way politics work
  • How democracies can preserve human rights, while populist movements are on the rise
  • The responsibility of companies to uphold democracy

In just a few weeks, our team is heading to Greece to participate in the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum, “Democracy in Danger: Solutions for a Changing World”. As an official Knowledge Partner, we’ve been working with the New York Times team to bring our Citizens Jury method of deliberation to Athens. We’re moderating a key breakout session, where senior journalists from the NYT will sit down with business leaders, policymakers, and other experts from around the world to discuss democratic solutions.

We know (sadly) that not everybody is able to join our conversation in Athens. We still want to know how you’re thinking about the state of modern democracy.

New to Twitter Chats? Twitter Chats happen when a group of Twitter users meet online at a specific time to discuss a specific topic with a designated hashtag. In our case, that hashtag is #DemocracyChat. As the host, the Jefferson Center (are you following us on Twitter? You should be!) will host questions to guide the discussion marked as Q1, Q2, Q3… and so on. You can answer these directly with A1, A2, and A3 at the beginning of your tweets.

To help keep you organized, you may want to use a website like TweetChat so you only see tweets related to the hashtag, which will make the chat easier to follow. Just type in #DemocracyChat to start, and TweetChat will integrate with your Twitter account.

We’re excited to hear your ideas! See you on Twitter soon.

You can find the original version on this announcement on The Jefferson Center’s site at www.jefferson-center.org/join-our-democracychat/.

Practicing Vital Life Skills in Ben Franklin Circles

It’s not often enough that there are dedicated times to practicing a vital life skill like active listening, but Ben Franklin Circles are just the opportunity. This recent article, written by Danyel Addes – one of the NCDD2018 planning team members, talks about the valuable space that BFCs offer to strengthen our listening skills and truly hear another person out. Make sure you check out the free upcoming webinar on August 30th at 2pm EST, “Sharing Airtime: Current BFC hosts share advice for balancing participation and encouraging deep listening.” We encourage you to read the post below and find the original post on BFC’s site here.


Ben Franklin Circles: Creating the world by listening

In her June 2018 Host Profile, Kim Crowley a BFC Host from Connecticut wrote that some of her circle group members had “mentioned difficulties with listening while others in the group are talking.” She explained that as a host, “It made me realize that providing support around listening skills may be important for every group I facilitate.”

Sometimes our efforts to nod attentively and assure people we are listening is a purposeful strategy that we employ in the service of efficiency and multitasking. But what about the times that we genuinely want to listen but find it unexpectedly difficult? How long are you able to listen to someone without thinking about your own opinions, how you want to respond, or what you are going to say next? Why is this so hard to do?

These questions feel particularly relevant to Ben Franklin Circles. At least once a month, circle members make a concerted effort to go somewhere specifically to listen to others. The last time I paid attention to how much time I spent listing vs. how much time I spent thinking about what I wanted to say, I realized I was missing out on many of the contributions of my peers, contributions I had come to hear. Ben Franklin Circles have helped me realize that I have far less control over my ability to listen then I had assumed.

short article by Eric Westervelt from 2014 provides some context for this experience. Westervelt spoke with writer Julian Treasure, whose observations I think about often while in conversation with fellow BFC group members (yes, sometimes while they are speaking).

Treasure observes that “it would be some sort of shock horror story if a child left school unable to read or write. But we do not teach explicitly, or test in the main, either speaking or — much more importantly — listening…. Listening is a skill. This is not something that is just natural that we can expect everyone to be brilliant at just because we are human. It is something we have to work out. Listening is an activity. It’s not passive. We are creating the world by listening all the time.”

Professor Laura Janusik adds, “There’s this assumption that, just because we can hear, that means we can listen effectively. That’s like suggesting that just because we can speak we can speak effectively. And we all know that is absolutely not the case.”

When I catch myself “failing” to be able to listen, it helps to remember that this is a difficult skill that I’ve never really had a chance to practice.

Most of us can imagine how we would practice an athletic skill like a jump shot or an artistic pursuit like ceramics. It can be hard to imagine what that looks like when it comes to listening. Luckily, there are creative ways to do this.

A few years ago in a workshop, I was told that the facilitator would time us and we would each have 2 minutes to speak. I expected the following conversation to be stressful and awkward. But soon after we started I realized that knowing exactly when my turn was coming and how long it would last, freed me up from thinking about those things and allowed me to do a better job of listening as each person spoke. It made the whole conversation more fun and more enjoyable.

In a brief TED talk, Julian Treasure offers suggestions for individuals who want to improve their ability to listen. His first suggestion, Silence, will be familiar to members of Ben Franklin Circles, who know that Silence is one of Franklin’s virtues.

For years, I didn’t realize I was missing out on a life skill that now feels incredibly vital and valuable. I am thankful that (for those of us looking for them) Ben Franklin Circles can offer many opportunities to develop a listening practice, as individuals and as a community.

Danyel Addes is a Program Manager at the Belfer Center for Innovation and Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y in NYC.

You can find the original version of this post on Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/ben-franklin-circle-hosts/ben-franklin-circles-creating-the-world-by-listening.

Scholarship Drive Update: Nearly 25% of Our Goal Reached!

As we announced recently, NCDD is in the midst of an effort to raise $10,000 for our Scholarship Fund to bring as many students, youth, and people needing support as possible to the NCDD 2018 conference. Will you consider making a tax-deductible donation today to help us bring twenty-five individuals to NCDD who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend?

In just over one week we’ve raised nearly 25 percent of our goal, and that means we already can support conference registrations for 10 students! However, we have 23 applicants for scholarships currently, many of these students and youth, and we need your support to help us get them all to NCDD 2018! Please help out if you can – no amount is too little, and every little bit helps! If you’d like to help support their attendance at NCDD 2018, please contribute to the scholarship fund here and enter “Scholarship Fund” in the “Donation Note” field!

Your tax-deductible donation will go directly to helping us provide travel reimbursements, shared hotel rooms, and registration for scholarship hopefuls. Plus, anyone who donates $50 or more will have their contribution acknowledged in the printed conference guidebook!

We want to say a special “Thank You!” to our champions who have already donated a combined $2,433:

  • Carolyn Penny, University of California at Davis
  • Jim Hight, Independent writer and consultant
  • Michael Shannon, President, Northern NJ Community Foundation
  • Martha Cox, San Diego Deliberation Network, League of Women Voters of California
  • Jim S.
  • Gail Stone
  • Larry Schooler
  • Caroline Lee
  • Cassandra Hemphill
  • Nancy Kranich
  • John Steiner
  • Jeff Prudhomme
  • Marla Crockett
  • Rachel Eryn Kalish
  • Jacquelyn Pogue
  • Evelyn Thornton

Thank you for helping us make attending NCDD 2018 a reality!

The Democracy Fund on Adapting Long-term Strategies

Our democratic institutions have taken many hits in the last few years, and organizations working to improve democracy have been struggling with how to continue with long-term strategies despite dramatic changes. The Democracy Fund – a sponsor of NCDD2018, recently shared this article on adapting long-term strategies when immediate needs may call for different actions which may seem not in line with the larger vision. The article speaks to how the Democracy Fund has worked on being better able to respond to change and offers advice, for foundations and other orgs, on how to address these challenges. You can read the article below and find the original on The Democracy Fund’s site here.


Adapting Long-term Strategies in Times of Profound Change

Over the past few years, foundations have increasingly embraced a systems approach, formulating longer-term strategies designed to solve chronic, complex problems. We value foundations for having strategic patience and being in it for the long haul. But what happens when they carefully craft a set of strategies intended for the long-term, and the context of one or more the interconnected problems they are trying to address changes considerably? Our experience at Democracy Fund, which aims to improve the fundamental health of the American democratic system, provides one example and suggests some lessons for other funders.

My colleagues and I chronicled the systems-thinking journey of Democracy Fund as we went about creating initiatives. After becoming an independent foundation in 2014, we went through a two-year process of carefully mapping the systems we were interested in shifting and then designing robust strategies based on our understanding of the best ways to make change. Our board approved our three long-term initiatives—elections, governance, and the public square—in 2016.

The 2016 election and its aftermath
It would not be an overstatement to say that the context for much of our work shifted considerably in the months leading up to, during, and following the 2016 US presidential election. Our strategies, as initially developed, were not fully prepared to address emerging threats in the landscape of American democracy, including:

  • The massive tide of mis- and dis-information
  • The undermining of the media as an effective fourth estate
  • The scale of cybersecurity risks to the election system
  • The violation of long-held democratic norms
  • The deepening polarization among the electorate, including the extent to which economics, race, and identity would fuel divisions

During and after the election, we engaged in a combination of collective angst (“How did we miss this?”) and intentional reflection (“How can we do better?”). We came out of that period of introspection and planning with three clear opportunities for our work that we carried out over the next few months.

  1. Ramp up our “system sensing” capabilities. We realized we needed to be much more diligent about putting our “ear to the ground” to understand what was going on with the American electorate. Our sister organization, Democracy Fund Voicewas already doing research that explored why many Americans were feeling disconnected and disoriented. Building on those lessons, we founded the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, a bipartisan collaboration of pollsters and academics that seeks to better understand the views and motivations of the American electorate. It explores public attitudes on urgent questions such as perceptions of authoritarianism, immigration, economics, and political parties. We also ran targeted focus groups and conducted polling around issues of press freedom, government accountability and oversight, and the rule of law. Collectively, these gave us (and the field) insights into the underlying dynamics and voter sentiments that were shaping the democratic landscape.
  2. Create an opportunistic, context-responsive funding stream. Our long-term initiatives, while highly strategic, did not leave many discretionary resources for needs that arise in the moment. Hence, with support from our board, we launched a series of special projects—time-limited infusions of resources and support to highly salient, timely issues. Our special project on investigative journalism supports and defends the role of a robust, free press in America’s public square. Our special project on fostering a just and inclusive society seeks to protect those whose civil rights and safety seem endangered in this emerging landscape. And finally, our special project on government accountability, transparency, and oversight aims to strengthen the checks and balances that help Americans hold their leaders and government accountable. Taken together, these projects address urgent issues undermining the foundations of our democracy.
  3. Codify our convictions. As a bipartisan organization, we believe that sustainable solutions require broad buy-in, and we strive to incorporate good ideas wherever they originate. However, in the midst of multiple violations of democratic norms in the heat of the 2016 election, we asked, “Does being bipartisan mean being neutral?” In other words, we questioned whether our positioning prevented us from taking a stance. The answer was a resounding no. But we also felt we needed a point of reference from which to act. We then set about creating a healthy democracy framework that codified our core convictions—a framework that would allow us to take principled positions, speak out when needed, and act by putting our resources to work. The framework articulated a set of beliefs, including the importance of respecting human dignity, the role of checks and balances, the significance of a free press, and the expectations of elected leaders to act with integrity. These beliefs act as a filter for what fits or doesn’t fit our general frame for action.
Lessons for other funders
Based on conversations with other funders, I know our experience is not unique. The field, as a whole, is trying to understand what it means to be strategic at a time of unprecedented change. Below are a few lessons that may be helpful:

  1. Recognize that “both/and” is the new normal. Rather than see the dynamic between the long-term and the immediate as an either/or, foundations need to adapt a mindset of both/and. The urgent needs are in many ways symptoms of systemic failure, but they do need dedicated responses and resources in the short term. Our attention is our most precious resource, and foundations need to constantly calibrate theirs to make sure it is appropriately focused.
  2. Go beyond adaptive learning. Notions of adaptive philanthropy—having clear goals, a learning agenda that tracks to those goals, and experimenting along the way—are helpful and did indeed shape our thinking. At the same time, we and other funders must recognize that adaptive learning, by itself, may not be sufficient when the nature of change is profound, rather than incremental. There may be times when we need to take several steps back and examine core assumptions about our work, as Democracy Fund did with our healthy democracy framework, and the McKnight Foundation did with its strategic framework.
  3. Invest in self-care. This may seem like strange advice in a discussion about strategy, but organizations are made up of people, and people tend to burn out in times of incessant and relentless change. It is important to recognize that we are living in a fraught political environment, and foundation staff, grantees, and partners may need an extra ounce of kindness and grace from others as they carry out their work. This may mean additional capacity building support for grantees, wellness counseling for staff, and an organizational culture that promotes empathy and understanding.

Conclusion
Foundations are unique in the sense that they have the ability to focus on an issue over a considerable period of time. And the recent strides the field has made on systems thinking have ensured that long-term strategies consider the multi-faceted nature of systems we are seeking to shift. However, we are grappling with the question of what happens when long-term thinking bumps up against immediate and acute needs.

In Democracy Fund’s case, building better system-sensing capabilities, creating a context-responsive funding stream, and codifying our convictions have equipped us to better respond to changing context. Our journey is by no means complete and we have a lot to learn, but we hope that our experience gives others—especially foundations wrestling with how to address immediate needs without abandoning their core priorities—an emerging roadmap for moving forward.

You can find the original version of this article on The Democracy Fund’s site at www.democracyfund.org/blog/entry/adapting-long-term-strategies-in-times-of-profound-change.