NCDD to Present at Public Library Association Conference

NCDD is excited to announce that we will be co-presenting a session at the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia, PA on Friday, March 23rd at 2:00pm. Along with our partners at the American Library Association Public Program’s Office, NCDD will be talking with public librarians about the Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change initiative and will help them further explore how libraries can engage their communities through dialogue and deliberation. The session is open to all attendees.

The description for the session, titled Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change is below:

Through Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC), ALA seeks to strengthen communities by giving libraries the tools they need to bring disparate voices together and lead change. Public librarians who have completed LTC: Models for Change training will share real-world experiences with World Café, Future Search and Everyday Democracy’s methods for dialogue and deliberation. Participants will break into triads to try out tools with each other and discuss next steps for taking this learning home.

At the end of this session, participants will:

1: Learn specific context applications for dialogue and deliberation models

2: Gain confidence with facilitation instruments through modeling

3: Learn where to go and how to acquire skills aligned with specific deliberation models (e.g. Everyday Democracy, World Café) following the session

The session will also include an exercise in crafting questions to promote good dialogue and deliberation, as well as sharing updates on the initiative, such as the upcoming opportunities for librarians to learn more about Conversation Cafe and Future Search. More information on the current webinar series now underway for public libraries serving small, mid-sized and rural communities can be found here.

About Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change

This session is offered as part of Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD). The initiative seeks to introduce libraries to various dialogue and deliberation approaches, enabling libraries to foster conversation and lead change in their communities.

LTC: Models for Change is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services grant RE-40-16-0137-16.

Get Involved in the National Week of Conversation

We’re excited announce the upcoming National Week of Conversation (NWOC), which is taking place this April 20-28.

The National Week of Conversation is designed to:

  • Turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division
  • Begin mending the frayed fabric of America by bridging divides
  • Bring people together again–from ‘us vs. them’ to ‘me and you’
  • Build relationships by listening first to understand the other

NCDD took part in the initial planning meeting for this project last October, which was convened by the Bridge Alliance and sponsored by the Chicago Community Trust, and we’re excited to continue supporting it and hopefully mobilize many in our community to get involved!

Organizations coast to coast can host an event or activity, share NWOC with their members, build public awareness through press and social media, recruit others and more. You do not want to miss out on this landmark event, for America and for the growth of this movement — so please complete the Partner Sign-up Form today!

Here are a few things that are ALREADY in the works for NWOC:

  • April 20: The Village Square will be hosting Jefferson Dinners in Charlottesville, VA at which diverse groups will enjoy enriching conversation on topics of their choice.
  • April 21: Listen First Project will be hosting Listen First in Charlottesville to support the progress of healing and reconciliation in Charlottesville with a number of local and national influencers.
  • April 20-22: bridgeUSA and Future 500 will be co-hosting the Bridge Summit in Dallas, Texas that will bring together groups and people to advance a national movement.
  • Throughout the week, large libraries such as the Boston Public Library and Kansas City Public Library as well as small public libraries and schools will bring conversation programs to people across the country.

NCDD will work with our members offer in-person facilitation at some libraries.
Mismatch will assist online conversations between people with different backgrounds.
There will be “take-home” options such as Living Room Conversations and Civic Dinners from the library events.
– AllSides for Schools will help teachers and classrooms participate.

Email NWOC@BridgeAlliance.US with any questions you may have.

Last Chance to Have Your Contributions to NCDD Matched!

Dear NCDD Supporters, 

We are just four days away from the end of 2017, and that means there are just a few days remaining for your to make a tax-deductible contribution to NCDD.

NCDD is a small organization with a huge reach. Our staff of four work hard to keep our members and contacts (all 30,000 of you!) up to speed on the latest news and information in the field of dialogue & deliberation. And we look forward to continuing to connect you and provide opportunities for you all to learn and collaborate together in 2018 – especially with our next national conference! Take a look at this letter from our Board of Directors for more information on our aims for 2018 and beyond.

Your support, whether membership dues or donation, goes directly to helping our staff make it all happen. We run on a small budget, so every little bit counts! Plus, right now your contributions will continue to be matched, up to $1,500! There is no time like the present to make a contribution, whether $5 or $50. 

So as you reflect on 2017, and celebrate the coming of the new year, consider NCDD in your giving. We appreciate all the support we receive from this wonderful community, and we look forward to continuing this important work together in 2018. 

Thank you,

Courtney, Sandy, Joy & Keiva

Second Opportunity to Double Your Contribution To NCDD!

Thanks to everyone who has stepped up by donating or renewing membership dues — we have raised a total of $4,761 to date! Today, we’re announcing that NCDD Board Chair Martin Carcasson and an anonymous donor are prepared to match up to $1,500 if other donations and member dues can match that amount by December 31st. So, now is the time to donate, even if you can only give $5 or $10!

A huge thank you to Martin Carcasson and our anonymous donor! If you don’t know Martin’s work already, you should check out the Center for Public Deliberation, which Martin directs.

These matches make your money go farther – a donation of $25 becomes $50, and every additional bit goes to help NCDD’s staff continue to bring you the latest news, events, and opportunities to engage with and learn from one another.

Here’s a couple ways you can support NCDD during the drive:

  • Make a donation here.
  • Renew your NCDD membership. Consider upgrading to a sponsor member! Learn more about the additional benefits of this level at
  • Not a member? Join NCDD! We have several options for membership, so choose what works best for you.

Check here on the fund drive page to see our progress!  We’re also acknowledging our donors and their contributions on that page, and feature some quotes from leaders in our field about why they feel NCDD is worth supporting.

Our goal for this fund drive is $15,000, and I would love to see us reach $10,000 before the Christmas holiday.Your money will go twice as far for the organization, so take this opportunity and act today!

Letter from the NCDD Board of Directors

Dear NCDD Supporter,

With so many crucial and important issues facing society today – from health crises, to disconnection, to mass shootings, to nuclear threats – even if we could talk about these issues together, it would be a deadly serious time….

But, of course, we can’t even do that some days.

XS Purple NCDD logo

As you know, the National Coalition of Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is a gathering place for people who know it doesn’t have to be this way – and who are doing something concrete about it. While so many others fret and philosophize about the current polarization and hyper-partisanship, this organization and its members offer practical answers that have been shown to make exactly the difference this country needs.

In the very moment this country could benefit the most from the collective skill set of this community of “domestic peacekeepers” (NCDD member Joan Blades, Living Room Conversations), however, most people remain caught up in the rhetoric of the “professional polarizers” (NCDD member Liz Joyner, Village Square).

We believe it’s time for that to change. It’s time to raise the profile of the work of our network in a way that far more Americans know about it. The Board and NCDD staff have been discussing a number of ways to do just that over the next several years:

  • Collaborative efforts to lift up the stories of NCDD members and the communities they work with making these changes. Highlight that this work happens at every level – neighborhood, local, regional, state, national, and global; in public and private sectors.
  • Bringing this network together with journalists, social justice organizations and activists, government officials, and others whose work and goals can be enhanced by better public engagement, dialogue and deliberation.
  • Fostering partnerships between NCDD members, libraries, and other community institutions to expand the public’s access to D&D.

But everything takes resources. What we can do will depend on having sufficient resources to do it. If you believe it is time for these kinds of changes in our country, please consider making a donation to these efforts – so we can get what we offer as a community in front of more and more Americans.

All contributions are welcome, whether they are $10 or $1000. Please visit to make your tax deductible donation today! Or, consider joining or renewing your membership in NCDD. You will be helping NCDD reach our $15,000 goal, which will be such a boost to these efforts in 2018. Thank you so much for supporting NCDD.


NCDD Board of Directors:

Martin Carcasson, Chair
Susan Stuart Clark
Simone Talma Flowers
Jacob Hess
Betty Knighton
Wendy Willis

Thank You for Rising to the 48 Hour Challenge!

I am humbled by the support coming through for NCDD’s work. We announced at noon last Wednesday that Simone Talma Flowers was matching up to $1000 in additional donations by Friday at noon, and by that time we had exceeded the $1000!

Over the 48 hour challenge, contributions totalled $1,228              (check them out here). With the match, that brings our two-day total to $2,228! As of this morning, we have raised a total of $3,746 for NCDD. We still have a little ways to go in reaching our goal of $15,000, but it has been so heartening to see this support for NCDD, especially during the holiday season! It means so much to Sandy, Joy, Keiva and I to witness such support, both in donations and membership renewals the past two weeks!

If you haven’t yet participated in the fund drive, you still have time (not to worry!). You can contribute at any time at If you would rather, renew your membership for another year (or join NCDD, if you are not currently a member!). Both types of contributions are tax deductible, and help NCDD greatly in continuing to offer our programs and services. We appreciate you all and thank you for your continued support!

48 Hour Matching Challenge – Double Your Donation!

NCDD Board Member Simone Talma Flowers has committed to donating $1,000 to the End-of-Year Fund Drive if donations match that amount over the next 48 hours (by noon EST Friday).  So now’s the time to donate! Any amount will help us get to this goal of raising $1,000 to match Simone’s donation, whether it’s $10 or $100.

A huge thank you to Simone for this matching donation!  Simone joined this board this year and has been a wonderful supporter of this work. Simone is the Executive Director of Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT). iACT cultivates peace and respect through interfaith dialogue, service, and celebration. Folks in our network might be interested in their project The Red Bench, a dialogue program to improve interfaith understanding and civil discourse. This is just one of many great programs iACT offers the Central Texas communities it serves. For more information, check out their website.

Our goal for this End-of-Year Fund Drive is $15,000, and I would love to see us take a big step towards that goal this week. Every bit is greatly appreciated and is, in effect, doubled until Friday at noon!

Check here on the fund drive page for more information and for updates on our progress! We’re also acknowledging our donors and their contributions on that page, and feature some quotes from leaders in our field about why they feel NCDD is worth supporting.

NCDD Launches an End-of-Year Fund Drive!

Since 2002, the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation has served as a hub, a resource clearinghouse, and a facilitative leader for the dialogue and deliberation community.  Together, we have achieved extraordinary connection and progress across our field, in particularly polarizing times in our world. We are turning to our community to help ensure that NCDD remains strong to continue to serve in these valuable roles and to help keep this network connected.

We are asking you to contribute to the organization’s end of year fund drive. It begins today and will run through the end of the year.  Our goal is $15,000 and will greatly help NCDD start 2018 off on the right foot.

We hope you’ll consider NCDD’s accomplishments and potential and then follow this link,, to support the work we’re all committed to…

  • NCDD supports and connects the growing dialogue and deliberation community — our conferences, listservs, blogs, forums and resources offer a unique and valuable way to expand and enhance the work of practitioners as they engage and mobilize people across partisan, ethnic, and other divides. 2018 is a conference year! Stay tuned for more information soon. 
  • Our Blog, where we keep you updated on some of the most important happenings and opportunities in our field, and our Resource Center, which boasts over 3,100 discussion guides, videos, evaluation tools, reports, books, and other tools.
  • The site also provides access to the wider public through our Beginner’s Guide, our Engagement Streams Framework, the 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement, and other essential resources.
  • Our launching of the Emerging Leaders Initiative, to help cultivate the next generation of leaders in dialogue & deliberation.
  • Our recent partnership with the American Library Association to bring trainings to librarians and connect them to dialogue & deliberation models and practitioners.
  • And more!

If you believe in NCDD’s mission and find value in the resources, connections and opportunities we provide, we urge you to show your support by making a donation during our fund drive. All contributions are welcome, whether they are $15 or $1,000. And your contributions are tax deductible!

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is a day created to celebrate and support giving and philanthropy. Please consider making your donation to NCDD on Giving Tuesday! Please check out the NCDD Facebook Page tomorrow and click our fundraiser link to donate!

If you are not a Facebook user, you can use our Donation Page to make your Giving Tuesday contribution!

Outside of tomorrow’s opportunity on Facebook, please visit to make your donation!  Help us reach our $15,000 goal, and thank you so much, in advance, for supporting NCDD.

Giving Thanks to You!

Word cloud about NCDD

This week, as many of us gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, we share what we are thankful for, and reflect with gratitude on our year. We at NCDD want to share our thanks for YOU, this fabulous network of people that comes together to learn, connect, and grow together in our practices of dialogue, deliberation, and public engagement. You are why we are here, and you keep us going with your fabulous contributions of time, skills and other gifts, and of course your support of NCDD. 

This time of the year is a time for giving thanks, but it is also a time where some of us find ourselves in tough conversations with people we hold dear to us. As a reminder, NCDD has gathered helpful resources anyone can use to help navigate these potentially tough topics. Check out our previous post including six tips for thoughtful holiday conversations, and additional guides in our Resource Center, including these great tools:

  • The Quick How-To Guide for the Conversation Café process includes agreements and questions that can be helpful ways to start and manage conversations that might prove difficult
  • For another good list of tips about keeping things civil during holiday dinners, check out the “Holidays or Hellidays?” blog post from NCDD member organization Essential Partners
  • If things are likely to be especially bad at your holiday get togethers, check out NCDD’s list of sample groundrules. You might be able to ask Aunt Susan to agree to a few guidelines for conversation at the table before dinner gets started

We hope you have a happy and full Thanksgiving holiday. And, we hope you will share your thanks for NCDD next week with a donation of any amount on Giving Tuesday.

As we round out the year, we can use your additional support to help us launch in 2018 on solid footing. We will be sharing more information next week about this opportunity and how you can help support NCDD through our end of the year fund drive. In the meantime, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

Thanks again for making NCDD so special and for all the work that you do!

Deadline 10/23: Apply to Host A (FREE) Nevins Fellow!

NCDD Member Organization the McCourtney Institute for Democracy is again offering the incredible opportunity for D&D organizations to take advantage of their Nevins Democracy Leaders Program. The 2017-18 application for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student is open now through Monday, October 23rd.

We are encouraging our member organizations to apply today for the chance to host a Nevins Fellow next summer! Having a Nevins Fellow work with you is a great way for your organization to take on a special project you haven’t had time for, get extra help with your big summer engagements, or increase your organizational capacity overall – all while helping grow the next generation of D&D leaders!  Nevins fellows work with organizations for eight weeks in the summer, at NO COST to the organization!

This is a unique and limited opportunity, so we encourage you to apply for a Nevins Fellow before the October 23rd deadline. You can find the application here:

If you haven’t heard of the Nevins program before, you can start with the Frequently Asked Questions document that McCourtney created for potential applicants. The September Confab Call with Chris Beem from the McCourtney Institute also covered lots of the important details about the program. You can listen to the recording of that call by clicking here. You can also check out this blog post from a 2017 Nevins Fellow about their summer fellowship with the the Jefferson Center, to get a better sense of the student’s experience.

We can’t speak highly enough about the Nevins program’s students or about the value of this program’s contributions to the D&D field. We know that these young people will be great additions to organizations in our field.  We encourage you to apply today!