Ben Franklin Skills for Commitments and Virtues

We love gems of wisdom like the ones below on commitments and virtues, shared by Ben Franklin Circles, an NCDD member org and presenter at NCDD2018. Last year NCDD partnered with BFC and we’ve shared many stories about the powerful way that Circles bring people together and inspire change. For those attending NCDD2018, we encourage you to participate in the BFC workshop happening during the first session block from 1-2:30 pm on Friday, November 2nd. You can listen to the webinar below and find the original on BFC’s site here.


BFC Circle Host Forum – Commitments and Virtues

For this Ben Franklin Circle Host Forum, we interviewed BFC Host, Ryan Cooke to discuss the virtues and making commitments.

For review, the basic structure of a Ben Franklin Circle meeting is as follows:

  • Welcome/ review group guidelines
  • Discuss virtue
  • Make commitments

Virtues are aspirational and are not easily defined. We may never fully reach our aspirations towards these virtues which give us something to continuously work on.

After each meeting, Ryan sends a recap of the discussion and the commitments made. Halfway between meetings, he sends a reminder of the commitments to check in with the group as well as a preview of next virtue.

Here are some of the best practices we discussed for making 30-day commitments around the virtues:

  1. Make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relatable, Time-Bound)
  2. Take inspiration from other hosts and the sample commitments provided in the Meeting Guides
  3. Start small by making micro commitments. Check out tinyhabits.com for inspiration.
  4. Track your progress. Use a paper calendar or an app track Streaks, like Jerry Seinfeld’s one joke a day habit
  5. Make the commitment appropriate to your readiness for change (see Stages of Change model)
  6. Work with others who can provide accountability
  7. Consider shared group commitments to work on together

You can find the original version of this article on the Ben Franklin Circles’ site at www.benfranklincircles.org/webinar/bfc-circle-host-forum-commitments-and-virtues.

Join Our NCDD2018 Sponsorship Superheroes Today!

These leading organizations in the dialogue and deliberation community are generously supporting the 2018 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation.  We are so grateful for their commitment to the conference and this community.  We couldn’t do it without them!

We hope you’ll consider joining them by supporting this important convening and becoming a sponsor of NCDD 2018. Becoming an All-Star Sponsor ($10,000+), Collaborator ($5,000+) Co-Sponsor ($3,000), Partner ($2,000), or Supporter ($1,000) provides you with lots of PR, goodwill, and name recognition. NCDD conference sponsors are traditionally a “who’s who” of leading organizations in our field, and your organization could be among them this year! Learn more of the sponsorship benefits and tiers here. Let us know this week, in order to be printed in our guidebook!

We also launched our NCDD 2018 Scholarship Fund Drive to help those who need some financial assistance in attending the conference, particularly students and young people. We are hoping to raise at least $10,000 for scholarships, if not more, and we can’t do it without you! Whether you can give $5, $500, or beyond – please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Scholarship Fund today!


THANK YOU!!!

Our Collaborator (donated $5000) is the Democracy Fund.

Our Co-Sponsors ($3000) are Essential Partners and the Interactivity Foundation.

Our Partners ($2000) are FaciliCase LLC, Jefferson Center and the National Issues Forums Institute.

And our Supporters ($1000) are Common Knowledge, Everyday Democracy, Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, and the National Civic League.

Collaborator

The Democracy Fund

Democracy FundThe Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that the American people come first in our democracy. Today, technologies and innovations offer new opportunities for public engagement in a more vibrant democracy — even as serious challenges including hyper-partisanship, money in politics, and struggling media threaten the health of our political system. The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Website • Facebook • Twitter

Co-Sponsors

Essential Partners

Essential PartnersEssential Partners (formerly the Public Conversations Project) equips individuals and groups with skills for relationship that keep people connected while naming and claiming their differences. We design courageous conversations on the issues that matter most, and which many people feel ill-equipped to engage. We train facilitators and leaders, offering a skill set that can be adapted to many challenges and settings. We work with our partners in their contexts to build communities that find strength and new possibilities in both their shared concerns and their differences.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • YouTube • Email

The Interactivity Foundation

At the Interactivity Foundation, we’re always asking, “what if…?” We use a small-group discussion process to help people collaboratively explore diverse perspectives and generate alternative possibilities. Our process is divergence seeking, expanding the ways to frame complex topics and expanding the possibilities for approaching those topics. Join with us in any of our three main areas of activity. Our Project Discussions are sustained series of citizen discussions to generate divergent innovative possibilities, with the results forming citizen discussion guides. Our Public Discussions are shorter, exploratory discussion series, often using the possibilities generated by our projects as springboards. Our Education activities focus on training students and others as discussion facilitators in our process, with a special emphasis on developing the vital 21st century skills needed to strengthen our civic infrastructure. We welcome partnerships to extend these activities collaboratively. We are a non-partisan, non-advocacy, non-profit operating foundation. www.interactivityfoundation.org.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • Email

Partners

Jefferson Center

Jefferson CenterThe Jefferson Center is a Minnesota-based nonpartisan nonprofit that engages Americans directly to solve shared challenges and craft better policy. Their mission is to strengthen democracy by advancing informed, citizen-developed solutions to challenging public issues. They advance the public interest by creating opportunities for in-depth citizen education and deliberation that generates informed, inclusive solutions to today’s toughest problems. Their current work focuses on engaging citizens to shape health policy and healthcare implementation, participatory journalism and local media, climate change and extreme weather planning, and electoral and governance reform.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Vimeo • Email

National Issues Forums Institute

Based in Dayton, Ohio, the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI), is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves to promote public deliberation about difficult public issues. Its activities include publishing the issue guides and other materials used by local forum groups, encouraging collaboration among forum sponsors, and sharing information about current activities in the network. The institute has a distinguished group of 16 directors and officers drawn from such diverse fields like government, journalism, and secondary and higher education. Many NIFI directors also have extensive experience in neighborhood and civic organizations, libraries, and religious organizations.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Netflix • Email

Supporters

Common Knowledge

Led by founder Susan Stuart Clark, Common Knowledge specializes in bringing new combinations of people together to listen to and learn from each other. Leading together. We facilitate powerful new connections across sectors, silos, and social divides that generate breakthrough civic participation, employee and community engagement programs. Why? Every project shows that greater inclusion leads to greater innovation.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • YouTube

Everyday Democracy

Everyday Democracy has more than 25 years of experience offering structured dialogues to help communities work together to solve problems and build greater civic involvement. Our process incorporates use of a racial equity lens and other principles, including involving diverse groups of people, especially those who have been marginalized; opportunities for authentic listening and sharing; building capacity in communities; and connecting dialogue and deliberation to action and change. We offer discussion guides in how to use our process on issues such as poverty, police-community relations, racism, education reform and more, and how-to materials and coaching in our process for communities and organizations.  Having seen the power of authentic connection among diverse groups of people, we cultivate community leaders and institutions to champion and carry out this work. We also convene practitioners from various fields to build a common vision of a democracy that works for everyone.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email

Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration

mopcMOPC is a research center and the state office for public collaboration serving government agencies and citizens of Massachusetts as a neutral forum for conflict resolution and consensus-building and an administrator of public mediation programs. Established by statute in 1990, MOPC provides effective forums for collaborative planning, problem-solving and public engagement on contentious public issues, and builds capacity within state, regional and municipal government through evidence-based programming and expedited procurement of resources.

Website • Email

National Civic League

The mission of the National Civic League is to advance civic engagement to create equitable, thriving communities. We achieve this by inspiring, supporting and recognizing inclusive approaches to community decision-making. Founded in 1894 by a group of civic leaders that included Theodore Roosevelt and Louis Brandeis, the National Civic League is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. Today, more than ever, the work of the National Civic League is critical to helping create vibrant and healthy communities and a strong democracy.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email

Join these distinguished leaders of the dialogue and deliberation field and become a NCDD2018 Sponsor today!

News Flash! NCDD2018 Official Workshop Schedule is Live!

HERE THEY ARE! The final round of workshops are below and the official workshop schedule is now up! We also announced the presenters who will be at the D&D Showcase on Friday night – check it out here! Friendly reminder the discounted hotel room rate at the Sheraton Denver Downtown is ending next Wednesday, October 10th at 5pm MST, so make sure you book your rooms as they are filling up quickly. If you are looking to split a room with someone, coordinate for a roommate here on the blog. Finally, 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 fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so.


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

Check out the full workshop schedule on the conference page here!

Adding Youth Voices to Dialogue and Deliberation
Have you considered what youth perspectives can contribute to your dialogue and deliberative processes? This session will share some guiding principles for engaging youth and creating youth-led dialogue and deliberative processes. Two case studies will be explored that demonstrate the potential of youth stakeholder engagement when these principles are applied and the benefits of incorporating young people into all aspects of the process. Participants will have the ability to brainstorm strategies for including youth and developing more inclusive dialogue and deliberative processes.

Scott Castillo
Manager of Engaging Communities Initiatives, Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

Lemuel Mariano
Program Coordinator, Youth Leadership Institute

Campus Approaches to Dialogue, Deliberation, and Civic Engagement
In this session, several professors from different universities, combine efforts to highlight various campus-based approaches to dialogue, deliberation, and civic engagement. This session introduces different approaches and examples that focus on how both dialogue and deliberation work to foster civic innovation on campuses. All share the belief that engaged students lead to engaged citizens. Participants will get to dive into both theory and practice of these approaches.

Allissa Aardema
Undergraduate Student, Moderator and Notetaker, Voices for Democracy and Civility, Indiana University

Maria Hamilton Abegunde
Director, Graduate Mentoring Center and Visiting Lecturer in African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University

Lauren Swayne Barthold
Philosophy Professor, Endicott College and Research Fellow, Essential Partners

Jill DeTemple
Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University

Harriett E. Hayes
Division Head of Humanities & Social Sciences and Associate Professor of Sociology, Bridgewater College

Lisa-Marie Napoli
Associate Director of the Political and Civic Engagement Program, Indiana University; Director, Voices for Democracy and Civility

John Sarrouf
Director of Program Development and Strategic Partnerships, Essential Partners; Peace and Conflict Resolution Professor, Gordon College

Deconstructing Empathy: Listening Beyond Differences to Catalyze Transformation
Those who facilitate group conversations know deep listening is essential to mutual growth and progress. We also are often the ones “keeping the peace” at any cost, even to ourselves. Join us in exploring and experiencing what it means to develop empathy, first for ourselves, then for others. Only when we can personally embrace the change we wish to foster in others, can we help groups find the common ground that we never imagined possible.

Megan Devenport
Executive Director, Building Bridges

Salomeh Diaz
Director, Sacred Minds Consulting

Lydia Hooper
Consultant, Fountain Visual Communications

Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education
Faculty and students from three universities share how they are building capacity for D&D in their classes. You’ll learn how students have been given power over aspects of course content and instructional strategies; how we can ‘stack’ pedagogical practices during dialogue in classes across disciplines; and how undergraduates can learn about global best practices by contributing to Participedia. We’ll also ask what you’re doing in your classes and seek ideas for other activities that can be used in all learning situations, no matter where it occurs or the age of the students.

Dr. Denny Frey
Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the Core, Lasell College

Kiel Harrel
Assistant Professor of Education, University of Minnesota – Morris

Cassandra Hemphill
Adjunct Faculty, University of Montana, Missoula College

Sara G. Lam
Assistant Professor of Elementary Education, University of Minnesota – Morris

Sharyn Lowenstein
Director, Center for Community-Based Learning
Associate Professor, Lasell College

D&D for Everyone: How Do We Get Everyone to Participate?
Dialogue and deliberation are great for bringing people together across our differences. But, it can be a challenge to get everyone to the table when people just don’t think D&D is for them. Some view our work as inherently liberal. Others don’t see the point to more “talking” because these critical issues can’t wait to be addressed. How do we make D&D for everyone? Join us for this facilitated conversation about how we can better reach out, recruit and welcome those who are not inclined to participate in D&D processes. Topics will include how we frame our work to be even more inclusive and welcoming (to those who don’t feel that quite yet), the role of convening, and more. Come add your ideas – with plans to share whatever comes out of this “think tank” with other attendees and the NCDD network as a whole.

Cristin F. Brawner
Executive Director, David Mathews Center for Civic Life

Martín Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Chair, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Jacob Hess
Co-Founder & Co-Director, Village Square Utah
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Engaging & Healing Differences – Holding Tension in Life-Giving Ways!
Come enjoy a live encounter with one of the five habits, “An Ability to Hold Tensions in Life-Giving Ways.” A framework of Touchstones and Honest & Open Questions holds a brave & trustworthy space. Afterwards you will hear stories of using and adapting this material for different ages (middle school, college and adults) and conversational focus. Heart felt self-reflection and fresh, meaningful communal conversation is supported in this interactive civic dialogue curriculum (Parker Palmer’s Healing the Heart of Democracy 5 Habits of the Heart & Empathetic Presence. Come play with Tension!

Susan Kaplan, M.S.W., M.P.A., R.Y.T.
Facilitator and Trainer, Colorado Courage & Renewal Collaboration & Rocky Mountain Compassionate Communication Network

Sheila Davis, MD, MS
Healthcare Leadership Program, University College, University Of Denver

Sarah Leach
Urban Farmer, Celebration Gardens and Three Sisters

Engaged Journalism for Community Connection
Fake news. Decreasing trust. Declining audience. What’s a news organization to do? One antidote is “engaged journalism” – news organizations listening and connecting with their communities in new ways, leading to more nuanced stories, stronger relationships with audiences, and greater civic engagement. Newsrooms are collaborating with more D&D practitioners to bring the unique skills engagement into journalism. In this session, we’ll share stories of how news organizations are engaging with their communities, and we’ll host a conversation, guided by your questions, about what that could mean for D&D practitioners. Come explore what the D&D – journalism matchup could look like!

Peggy Holman
Co-Founder and Principal, Journalism That Matters

Fiona Morgan
Consultant, Branchhead Consulting

Andrew Rockway
Program Director, Jefferson Center

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

Faith Groups as Civic Actors: Exploring Deliberative Work in Context of Faith
In this session, we will present several ongoing cases when faith-based groups have engaged in the work of dialogue and deliberation. We will discuss the direction of their experiments, particularly focusing on their use of issue framings and various formats of deliberation. We hope that these presentations will open up space for a discussion of how faith-based civic work is seen by people in faith-based organizations as well as by people whose work has been set up within the secular framework. What connections exist between these lines of deliberative efforts? How may such connections be potentially beneficial or desirable? How may we work to foster them?

Ekaterina Lukianova
Program Officer, Kettering Foundation

Erin Payseur Oeth
Associate Director of Civic Learning Initiatives, City of Boulder

Simone Talma-Flowers
Executive Director, Interfaith Action of Central Texas

Introducing K12 Students as to How to Think Critically About Dialogue and Deliberation
This workshop will detail how various individuals are working to empower students by bringing deliberative practices into secondary schools and higher education. Amy Nocton and Eleiza Braun will explain how they joined forces with the University of Connecticut to create the E.O. Smith Democratic Dialogue Project, which provides opportunities for student leadership and voice, develops student and teacher civic discourse skills, improves school climate and community, and models the use of dialogue and deliberation for addressing issues of critical concern to the broader community.. Logan Steppan and Kate Garcia from Creek Consulting will also present, showing how the private sector is working alongside students to promote deliberative civic engagement. By empowering students and enhancing their civic knowledge, we can see direct action and results. Learn how here.

Amy Louise Nocton
Spanish teacher, Edwin O. Smith High School, Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow (UCONN Humility and Conviction in Public Life)

Eleiza Braun
Community Organizer, Initiative on Campus Dialogues Fellow (UCONN Humility and Conviction in Public Life)

Logan Steppan
Founder, Creek Consulting LLC

Kate Garcia
Deliberative Facilitator, Creek Consulting LLC

Restorative Circle Practice for Transforming Conflict
This workshop will be an interactive introduction to the Restorative Circle model. Circles have been used to navigate and transform conflict across time, culture, and place. The RC model is highly responsive and adaptable to meet the unique needs of diverse communities and individuals. We will work from an anti-oppression framework to practice some of the core components of a circle process.

Ceema Samimi, MSSW, MPA
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work

Rachel K Sharp, MA
Director of Arts & Education, Creative Strategies for Change

Social Media and Online Dialogue and Deliberation: Experiences, Challenges, and Solutions
This workshop will start with a brief review of a few specific and recent instances of online discussion on social media gone bad. In smaller group discussions thereafter, participants will be encouraged to share, discuss and explore their ideas about more general online challenges, including, for example: challenges arising from the for-profit or commercial side of social media, the increasing polarization & decreasing participation online generally, and the often “drive-by” commentary fostered online and other incivilities that discourage deeper citizen engagement–among other online challenges. The workshop will culminate with a discussion focused on identifying and developing some ideas and strategies for addressing these challenges.

Todd Davies
Associate Director and Lecturer, Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University

David Fridley
Founder & CEO, Synaccord, LLC

Natalie Hopkinson
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Sue Goodney Lea
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Guy D. Nave, Jr., Ph.D.
Founder, Clamoring For Change
Professor, Luther College

Peter Shively
Fellow, Interactivity Foundation

Talking Past Each Other from Different Ideologies – Analysis and Solutions
We don’t all communicate the same way. Language from critical race theory, anti-racist liberalism, religious tolerance, or traditional individualism can result in talking past each other until every word (even personal stories) feels antagonistic, especially if egos have been injured. Failure to bridge these assumptions about communication leads to extreme sadness, anger, and confusion. In this session, we apply an analysis tool we developed in research to conversations from real reconciliation dialogues in our work and then invite discussion about overcoming these difficulties in dialogues.

Madeline Maxwell
Professor of Communication Studies & Director of the UT Project on Conflict Resolution, The University of Texas at Austin

JhuCin (Rita) Jhang
Ph.D. Candidate, Assistant Director of UT Global Ethics & Conflict Resolution Summer Symposium, The University of Texas at Austin

The Art of Civic Engagement
What happens when we use artist’s creativity to design engaging civic processes? Join us in this session to learn about an innovative case study about the world’s first civic health club, Warm Cookies of the Revolution. Warm Cookies engages community members in crucial civic issues by creating innovative and fun arts and cultural programs. One such program is The Machine Has a Soul, a project focused in two Denver neighborhoods that combines participatory budgeting with artworks and performances inspired by Rube Goldberg machines. We will discuss how arts affect the quality of participation.

Amanda Hudson
Ph.D. Candidate, Portland State University

Evan Weissman
Executive Director, Warm Cookies of the Revolution

The Community Collaboration Project: Igniting Positive Change at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Learn about how the Denver Museum of Nature & Science collaborated with community members to create a culturally-inclusive vision for the Museum’s future. Recognizing that communities of color are not always heard and their ways of knowing are not always taken into account in traditional museum planning and exhibitions, the Museum used an Appreciative Inquiry-based process to empower community members and Museum staff to re-imagine the museum together. In addition to creating a powerful future vision, the Community Collaboration Project built internal capacity for strength-based, inclusive planning that continues to transform the Museum in surprising and impactful ways.

Barbara Lewis
Co-Founder, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change
Principal, Catalyst Consulting

Carolyn Love, Ph.D.
Founder, Kebaya Coaching & Consulting

Andrea Girón Mathern
Director, Audience Research & Evaluation, Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Virtual Exchange: Using Technology to Bridge the Divide
By reaching new populations and larger numbers, virtual exchanges connect individuals across geographic, cultural and political divides. Explore the possibilities of using virtual exchange to prepare, deepen and extend the physical exchanges you work within. Practice working with online tools to promote constructive online engagement and communication. Discuss the key differences, opportunities, and skills fundamental to facilitating online dialogues.

Gina Amatangelo
Lecturer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Julie Hawke
Senior Facilitation Officer, Sharing Perspectives Foundation

John Gable
Founder & CEO, Allsides

We Are Human First: Creating Safe Spaces for Group Dialogue
Every person has a voice. Participants will learn how the use of visual art and music, mindfulness, psychodrama, and storytelling can stimulate authentic conversation along with more empathic understanding within diverse groups and communities. These interactional and experiential techniques have been tested and found to be a powerful way to open people up to explore who they are in non-defensive ways, regardless of prior group experiences. These techniques have not only been used with individuals, groups, couples and families in conflictual situations, but also with businesses, non-profits and faith-based organizations, and in secondary schools and university settings. Join our dialogue!

Dr. Paula Christian Kliger. PhD, ABPP
President, PsychAssets

Lori Blumenstein-Bott LMSW
VP, PsychAssets

Sara Kliger, MA, RDT, LCAT-P
Director of Experiential Services, PsychAssets

When the Conversation Gets Tough, Get Visual!
Visualizing ideas, feelings, and experiences can profoundly aid in the process of having tough conversations and making difficult group decisions. In this session, participants will learn about why visuals are so effective given what we know about the human brain. They will then get to practice using different visual tools and techniques to better design group processes and facilitate conversations that matter.

Cassandra O’Neill
CEO, Leadership Alchemy LLC

Lydia Hooper
Consultant, Fountain Visual Communications

Christine Chopyak
Partner and Visual Strategist, Arlosoul: Visualize Innovation

National Week of Conversation from October 5th – 13th

The next National Week of Conversation (NWOC) is October 5th – 13th! During NWOC, folks around the country will be joining conversations, in hopes to better address the intense divisions in our society through dialogue, deepening understanding, and building relationships. We encourage you to join a conversation already going on and/or start your own here! To help support these conversations, resources like conversations guides and helpful background information are provided on the National Conversation Project (NCP) site here, many from the NCDD coalition! And don’t forget to check out the 3k+ resources on the NCDD Resource Center too! You can read more in the post below and on the NCP site here.


National Week of Conversation: October 5-13

Americans of all stripes are stepping up to address the growing cultural crisis of hyper-polarization and animosity across divides. Together we can turn the tide of rising rancor and deepening division with widespread conversations in which we #ListenFirst to understand. Supported by 100+ organizations, National Conversation Project promotes monthly conversation opportunities as well as National Weeks of Conversation.

In April of this year, thousands of Americans took part in the first National Week of Conversation (NWOC). More than 130 schools, libraries, faith communities, activist groups and nonprofits hosted conversations coast to coast in 32 states. These conversations were grounded in a pledge to listen first and seek understanding. The official #ListenFirst hashtag reached millions during NWOC and continues to be promoted by celebrities and journalists to millions more. NWOC events gained media attention across the nation including in the New York Times.

Majorities of NWOC participants walked away feeling more tolerant, understanding, appreciative and curious toward people with different perspectives. Two-thirds rated the value of their conversation as a 9 or 10 out of 10. More than three-quarters now feel better equipped and more likely to listen first to understand, as well as more likely to participate in conversations across divides. A survey of all Americans found 75% willing to set a good example by practicing conversations across divides, and 36%—amounting to more than 100 million people—want to see a national campaign promoting such conversations.

The next National Week of Conversation is October 5th – 13th! Join a conversation already going on or start your own here: www.nationalconversationproject.org/how_to_get_involved

TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Bridging Divides

The United States is facing a cultural crisis. Increasingly in America today, we don’t just disagree; we distrust, dislike, even despise those who see the world differently. Animosity for positions is becoming contempt for the people who hold them. Difference and disagreement are deeply personal as we rage against and recoil from those we see as enemies across widening divides—political, racial, religious, economic and more. Most of us see fewer things that bind Americans together today and have few or no friends from the other side. The rate of loneliness has more than doubled to nearly 50%, creating a public health epidemic. We’re withdrawing from conversations—thereby eroding relationships and understanding—which threatens the foundational fabric of America. 75% of Americans say this problem has reached a crisis level, and 56% believe it will only get worse. Our condition is rapidly deteriorating into what’s now being described as a soft civil war.

There’s nothing wrong with passionate beliefs, disagreement, and protest, but it feels like something more dangerous is taking hold. Do you see it? Personally feel it? What’s changed? What can we do about it together? How we can bridge the divides that threaten our future?

Conversation Guides on Bridging Divides

Background Information to support these conversations:

National Conversation Project Calendar – click here

National Week of Conversation – Fall ‘18: October 5-13, 2018
Listen First Friday – Nov: November 2, 2018
Listen First Friday – Dec: December 7, 2018
Listen First Friday – Jan: January 4, 2019
Listen First Friday – Feb: February 1, 2019
Listen First Friday – Mar: March 1, 2019
National Week of Conversation – Spring ‘19: April 5-13, 2019
Listen First Friday – May: May 3, 2019
Listen First Friday – Jun: June 7, 2019
Listen First Friday – Jul: July 5, 2019
Listen First Friday – Aug: August 2, 2019
Listen First Friday – Sep: September 6, 2019
National Week of Conversation – Fall ‘19: October 4-12, 2019
Listen First Friday – Nov: November 1, 2019
Listen First Friday – Dec: December 6, 2019

You can learn more about the National Week of Conversation at www.nationalconversationproject.org/.

Participatory Budgeting Joins NCDD2018 Pre-conf Line-up!

We have an exciting addition to the pre-conference sessions happening on Thursday, November 1st, the day before the 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation officially begins. Get an early start on the NCDD2018 fun with this new session, What is Participatory Budgeting and How Can it Work for Me?, happening from 12 – 4 pm at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Interested to learn more about participatory budgeting and this exciting democratic process sweeping the world?  Join this interactive and engaging training with The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) and explore the possibilities of PB in Denver and beyond. Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director of PBP, will be joined by several local leaders of the Denver area PB processes, including Roshan Bliss, previous NCDD staffer and now Student Organizer for Project VOYCE/Auraria PB, Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director of Project VOYCE, Candace Johnson, Community Partner for The Colorado Trust and Project Belay Team Member, and Evan Weismann, Executive Director for Warm Cookies of the Revolution.

Registration for general admission is $45, with sliding scale available for youth ($5) and local participants ($20) – contact courtney@ncdd.org for sliding scale tickets. Register for this workshop and/or check out the other five pre-conference sessions at ncdd2018-precon.eventbrite.com!

It’s almost five weeks until NCDD2018 kicks off! Click here to check out the conference schedule, over 60 sessions announced, how to use the discounted room block (that’s available until 5pm MST, Weds., October 10th), where to find a roomie, and more!

What is Participatory Budgeting and how can it work for me?

Join community members, organizers, agency staff and government staff for an interactive training to explore and plan out the possibilities of participatory budgeting (PB) in Denver and beyond. This session will review a model that promotes authentic democracy while centering equity and redistributing power to community members to make effective spending decisions with public funds. The Participatory Budgeting Project will lead a training that will simulate a PB experience, while PB pioneers from Colorado and members of Denver’s THIS MACHINE HAS A SOUL project will reflect on their local experience with PB.

Hours: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Registration: sliding scale available (youth $5, local $20, general admission $45)

Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director – Participatory Budgeting Project

Roshan Bliss, Student Organizer – Project VOYCE / Auraria PB

Candi CdeBaca, Executive Director – Project VOYCE

Candace Johnson, Community Partner – The Colorado TrustProject Belay Team member

Evan Weissman, Executive Director – Warm Cookies of the Revolution

Watch the highlights video below for THIS MACHINE HAS A SOUL and learn more at www.thismachinehasasoul.com.

About the presenters
Shari oversees PBP’s advocacy work, technical assistance, and operations. She joined PBP staff after nearly 15 years of service and leadership in local government. As Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston she launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the US, which won the US Conference of Mayors’ City Livability Award. Shari first got involved in city government in high school, serving as the Citywide Neighborhood Safety Coordinator on the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council and working at the Mayor’s Youthline. Shari is a graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College for Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and holds a master’s degree in anatomy and physiology.

Roshan is a student organizer with Project VOYCE and a graduate student at UCD, pursuing his masters in political science with a focus on community organizing. Roshan has been involved in local social justice work for most of the last decade in Denver, focusing on youth empowerment, democratizing education, and transforming law enforcement. He is excited to be helping bring participatory budgeting to Denver and the Auraria campus.

Candi began her life as the eldest of three in a single-mother household in the inner city of Denver. From a very early age, Candi took on a leadership role by caring for her siblings and other family members. She found refuge in school, and saw education as an opportunity to change her circumstances. She was the first in her family to graduate from high school, and went on to complete two degrees in five years. While in college, she co-founded the organization she now leads, Project VOYCE (Voices of Youth Changing Education). While in college, Candi also expanded a one-year support program for students of color at the University of Denver to a four-year program. She was one of the first youths to be appointed to the Denver Mayor’s Commission on Youth and to the Denver Mayor’s Latino Advisory Council. She recently completed a fellowship as part of the inaugural cohort of the Latino Leadership Institute. Candi is a fierce advocate for educational equity, and is deeply committed to creating spaces for the historically underrepresented to be key decision makers. She has an entrepreneurial spirit, and seeks to design creative, inclusive, collaborative solutions to our great social challenges.

Candace is a Denver based community organizer and facilitator. She currently works at The Colorado Trust supporting communities in the Denver Metro Area in achieving their health equity goals by addressing the Social Determinants of Health. Candace is also the Board Chair for Woodbine Ecology Center and a Principal member of Project Belay. She lives with her loving partner and two dogs

Evan is the founding executive director of Warm Cookies of the Revolution. He spent 12 years as company member of Buntport Theater Company winning over 100 awards (including the 2010 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts) as playwright, director, designer, and actor, from media outlets such as The Denver Post, Westword, The Rocky Mountain News, and American Theatre Wing. Formerly a Kellogg Foundation Leadership for Community Change Fellow with Mi Casa Resource Center for Women and a Jane Addams-Andrew Carnegie Graduate Fellow for Leadership and Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University.

Apply by October 15th to Host Nevins Fellow (for free!)

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 2018-19 application is open now through Monday, October 15th, for organizations who want to host a bright, motivated, D&D-trained student at no-cost!

The Nevins Democracy Leaders Program was founded in 2014 after a gift from David Nevins, President and Co-Director of the Bridge Alliance, an NCDD Member Org. The program provides Penn State students with education and ­training in transpartisan leadership skills by exposing them to a variety of viewpoints and philosophies, as well as teaching critical thinking along with the tools of dialogue and deliberation.

But the flagship work of fostering the next generation of democracy leaders centers on the yearly initiative to place Nevins Program students in unique fellowship position with organizations focused on D&D, transpartisan dialogue, and civic renewal – that means organizations like yours! Stipends and living expenses are provided to the students through the program so that organizations can bring these bright, motivated students into their work for a summer at no cost. The McCourtney Institute provides $5,000 toward the cost of hosting a Nevins Fellow for a summer internship. Students come to their internship sites well prepared and ready to get to work.

Fellows have interned at the following organizations, just to name a few:

  • Everyday Democracy
  • Participatory Budgeting
  • National Institute for Civil Discourse

Much like students apply for the fellowship, organizations apply to host a fellow. Nonprofits, government organizations, or other groups committed to building and sustaining democracy that would like to host a fellow can apply here!

NCDD hosted a Confab Call last September with Chris Beem from the McCourtney Institute, who 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 Jefferson Center, to get a better sense of the student’s experience.

It’s an amazing opportunity for everyone involved!

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!

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!

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!

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.

Round Three of NCDD2018 Workshop Now Available!

In case you missed it, we have been announcing workshops for the upcoming 2018 National Conference for Dialogue & Deliberation over the last few weeks! This is round three of workshops and you can check out the line-up of sessions we’ve announced so far on the main conference page (and this is just half..we have 30 more to announce!). 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, we invite folks to contribute to the Scholarship Fund Drive we recently launched and support a student or fellow NCDDer to attend the conference who would otherwise be unable to do so!


NCDD2018 Workshop Sessions

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

Participatory Systems Change – Engagement for Big Impact
Addressing many of today’s societal, economic and environmental problems requires a systems lens that takes into account the values of citizens and stakeholders, identifies leverage points for intervention, and builds collaboration among multiple actors. Through hands-on activities, participants will explore how dialogue-based engagement and systems approaches can be connected to create Participatory Systems Change, by rethinking key aspects of engagement, i.e.: ownership; issue framing; sequencing; the nature of democratic exchange; the method of analysis; and communications strategies.

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

Martín Carcasson
Director, CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Board Member, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Libraries Transforming Communities: Working with Your Local Library to Bridge Divides
Libraries Transforming Communities (LTC): Models for Change (www.ala.org/ltc) was a two-year initiative of the American Library Association and the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation that sought to strengthen communities by giving libraries the tools they need to bring disparate voices together and lead change. In this session, ALA and NCDD will share the experience of training librarians to lead dialogues in their communities, including opportunities and lessons learned from the project. Participants in this session will discuss ideas for continuing this work, collaborating with their local library and building a community of practice for facilitators and library practitioners. (Intermediate)

Mary Davis Fournier
Deputy Director, American Library Association, Public Programs Office

Courtney Breese
Managing Director, National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation

Samantha Oakley
Program Officer, American Library Association, Public Programs Office

Facilitating Deliberation Online – Reflections and Advice on Tools and Practice
This session will bring together platform designers, consultants, and practitioners from the world of online deliberation for a survey of currently used tools and best practices. Panelists provide a range of experiences from research to nonprofit boards to citizen participation. We will provide a brief overview of research in online deliberation over the past 20 years, and discuss findings of the ParticipateDB 2018 Digital Engagement Census. Tool designers and online deliberation facilitators will share reflections and advice applied to different deliberative contexts.

Todd Davies
Associate Director and Lecturer, Symbolic Systems Program, Stanford University

Tim Bonneman
Interim Director, Center for Applied Community Engagement (CACE)

Flavors of Free Speech on Campus
Campuses across the country are grappling with the tensions between two core values: free speech, as protected by the first amendment, and inclusion of diverse people in the campus community. Explore the boundaries of free expression and inclusion by asking questions such as: Should universities try to establish “safe spaces”? Are provocative speakers allowed to speak on public campuses? Is dialogue a realistic option to address some of these free speech challenges? Come discuss these questions and raise your own in an interactive discussion with representatives from Rutgers and UC Davis.

Carolyn Penny
Director, Campus Dialogue & Deliberation, University of California – Davis

Nancy Kranich
Lecturer, Rutgers University School of Communication and Information

Confronting the White Supremacy Culture of D&D
This session will pose the question: how does the field of D & D encounter the culture of white supremacy? Using a combination of individual reflection, small group, and whole group discussion, participants will be asked to reflect on questions about how white supremacy manifests itself within the thinking and practices of dialogue and deliberation as well as how D&D has confronted the challenges of white supremacy.

Frank Dukes, PhD
Distinguished Institute Fellow, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Tanya Denckla Cobb
Director, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Selena Cozart, PhD
Community Facilitator, Institute for Environmental Negotiation

Bridging Divides through Dialogue and Digital Narratives
We all know how digital media too often distracts/detracts from constructive dialogue. How can digital narrative production be used instead to promote individual self-awareness, empowerment of underrepresented voices, and dialogue across difference? This workshop highlights a multi-step, dialogic process for just that, as utilized by the national Story Center in recent collaborations with groups at the University of Colorado. Students and staff together will share sample narratives and lead participants in exercises and discussion around lessons learned and methods for productive dialogue.

Ashmi Desai
Postdoctoral Associate, University of Colorado – Boulder

Jim Walker
Norlin Teaching Faculty, University of Colorado – Boulder

Daniel Weinshenker
Director, Midwest Region, Story Center

People’s Movement Assembly for Envisioning an Inclusive Democracy Movement
Democracy begins at the community level, and it requires intentionality to create inclusive spaces that bring together as many voices to the conversation. Since 2010, Move to Amend has facilitated Peoples’ Movement Assemblies as a mechanism to promote democratic dialogue and deliberative problem solving for democratizing the US Constitution. PMAs will help participants to develop a shared analysis of the current crises we face, create a shared vision of the world we want to build, and collaborate strategically across social movements and fronts of struggle towards coordinated action.

Keyan Bliss
Grassroots Volunteer Coordinator, Move to Amend

Jessica Munger
Program Director, Move to Amend

Designing Community Deliberation in College Courses
The design of public deliberation and dialogue varies depending on community needs, goals, context, and audience. Presenters will provide deliberative pedagogy models and syllabi for involving students in research, design, facilitation, assessment, and reporting of different community dialogues and deliberations. Through examples of integrating deliberation into college curricula and the accompanying student learning outcomes and community results, participants will develop strategies for bringing college curricula and deliberation theory into effective, sustainable community-based practice.

Leila R. Brammer
Professor/Chair/Co-Director, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Gustavus Adolphus College

Pamela Conners
Associate Professor/Co-Director, Public Deliberation and Dialogue, Gustavus Adolphus College

Brandon Anderson
Visiting Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College

Addressing Coercive Power in Dialogue and Deliberation
Facilitators may encounter interactions that leave a dialogue participant feeling uncomfortable, silenced, or even feeling their identity is threatened. We call these interactions instances of coercive power. This workshop raises awareness about instances of coercive power in dialogue settings and provides a chance to workshop responses to two cases of coercive interactions. We conclude by sharing the facilitator’s actual responses and analyzing effects of their intervention. You will develop a nuanced understanding of coercive power and build a deeper repertoire of ways to respond.

Roudy Hildreth
Associate Director, CU Engage: Center for Community Based Learning and Research, University of Colorado – Boulder

Karen Ramirez
Director, CU Dialogues, University of Colorado – Boulder

Alison Kadlec
Founding Partner, Sova Solutions

Pilar Protsko 
Assistant Director for Coordination and Outreach, CU Dialogues, University of Colorado – Boulder

Jennifer Pacheco
Graduate Student, School of Education, University of Colorado – Boulder 

ELEVATE: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Develop a New Strategic Plan
How do you develop a community-driven strategic plan with a large, diverse group of people? Adams 12 Five Star Schools, north of Denver, spent a year using the Appreciative Inquiry process to bring together over 7,000 parents, community members, students and staff from 49 different schools to develop a five-year strategic plan to elevate student success. Learn about the Appreciative Inquiry process and how it can be used to mobilize and motivate diverse groups of stakeholders to achieve a collective effort in developing organizational goals.

Mark Poshak
Culture and Engagement Coordinator, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Barbara Lewis
Principal, Rocky Mountain Center for Positive Change

More to come soon!