Sharing Best Practices of D&D – Inspiration for 2019

Great way to start off the new year reading this excellent write-up by NCDDer, Kevin Amirehsani, on the recent 8th National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation. He shares some of the best practices in our field and highlights several gems from the conference. We are proud to work amongst such talented, dedicated, and inspirational individuals, and can’t wait to see the new heights this field will go! We encourage you to read Kevin’s piece below and find the original version on the UNC School of Government Blog here.


Sharing Dialogue and Deliberation Best Practices: NCDD 2018

Within the community engagement community, best practices are sometimes hard to identify.

The context of, say, a small-scale event dealing with restorative justice differs greatly from a packed city council meeting covering zoning permits. The message, audience, program design, and feedback mechanisms can be completely different, which makes standardizing a set of guidelines an oft-impossible task.

Still, there are a few gatherings that bring together enough diverse, experienced, and motivated engagement practitioners that something approaching best practices can be found across many of community engagements’ subfields, from productively navigating race relations to developing responsive digital platforms.

The National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is probably the best example. Lucky for me, Denver (my home), hosted their most recent annual conference in November of last year.

With more than 70 workshops and sessions available to choose from across four days, the hardest part was figuring out where to spend my conference time.

Here are some highlights from three sessions I attended.

Day 1 – D&D for Everyone: How do we get everyone to participate?

I decided to dive right into one of community engagement’s most difficult questions – how on earth do we maximize participation?

This session was relatively unstructured, which allowed small groups to come up with numerous ideas that were then shared with the room. One key takeaway many of us arrived at was on an issue that is often glossed over: language.

Language and Ideology – Who “Welcomes Dialogue”?

Let’s face it: community engagement and D&D initiatives are usually carried out by progressive/liberal practitioners. While this may have something to do with the innate differences between many conservatives and progressives, what it means is that much of the language we use to publicize our events, conduct them, and gather feedback from them may be imbued with a liberal bias.

Terms like “diversity”, “safe space”, or even “dialogue” itself are often viewed in a partisan light, which may skew the demographics of who shows up and who participates more frequently.

Luckily, there are some resources that can help us be more aware of our language, like the online Red Blue Dictionary or a growing number of political dialogue courses offered at universities.

Can we Dialogue with our Passion and Frustrations?

Another issue I found useful to discuss was the degree to which participants are encouraged or expected to check their frustrations and convictions at the door.

On paper, engagement projects often encourage a diversity of viewpoints, but some may be implicitly accepted more than others through, say, the responses that the facilitators choose to emphasize, or even the way a participant who expresses an unpopular opinion is glared at by others.

Many of us have probably witnessed well-intentioned D&D practitioners define numerous topics as “problems,” which implies that somebody’s at fault. This can be at odds with encouraging feedback from participants who may be afraid of being blamed if they speak up.

Day 2 – Don’t Avoid, Don’t Confront: Dialogue Skills for Anti-Racism Allies

I have never been to an anti-racism workshop, so I thought a workshop led by David Campt, the founder of the White Ally Toolkit, would be a great place to start.

As a veteran of the Clinton White House’s Initiative on Race and America Speaks, David knows how to distill a lot of information on how to have effective conversations on race into a short time period while keeping everybody in the room entertained. And he certainly did not disappoint.

While his anti-racism trainings are typically given to white participants, this was a mixed-race crowd that engaged him as he spoke on concepts ranging from the empirical – e.g. racial anxiety – to more practical tools, like the types of icebreakers that can be useful in reducing some of the tension that envelopes meetings on difficult topics (such as race).

One key takeaway that I walked away with was David’s quippy but powerful advice to find the “chocolate in the trail mix” of what a person is saying.

When we’re dealing with community members who have views that may be antithetical to ours, there are almost always remarks they make that we can relate to. For those of us who keep abreast of the literature, the power of small talk should not be a surprise. But David went a step further and emphasized the importance that positive acknowledgement has in ultimately changing people’s views.

Simply pointing out things you agree with by others who share an individual’s race, ethnicity, or politics, for example, markedly increases that person’s willingness to continue talking to you and, ultimately, their openness to gradually changing their views on thorny subjects.

Day 3 – Elevating Voices and Building Bridges: Community Trust and Police Relations

Finally, I capped off an inspiring time at NCDD 2018 with a discussion on police-community relations, in part since I sit on Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen’s Community Advisory Board.

The session saw a pair of practitioners – one from the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the other from Illinois’ Attorney General’s Office – speak in depth about 14 “community roundtables” they organized across Chicago as part of the city police department’s ongoing federal consent decree. They were followed by Chief Pazen and Denver Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) Community Relations Ombudsman Gianina Irlando, who described a novel program breaking down some of the barriers between police officers and youth.

Design – Sharing Ground, Empathy and Feedback Mechanisms

My impression after hearing these success stories was that both sides in some of the most intractable disputes can substantively cede some ground and gain some empathy for the other side if community meetings and the feedback mechanisms which follow them are effectively designed.

In the Chicago example, the meeting organizers spent a considerable amount of time recruiting participants from affected communities, hiring translators for each table, training facilitators, and designing the layout of their World Café-type engagement model so that everybody knew what ideas each table was bringing up, without fears of “problematic” points of view being forgotten.

Closer to home, the Denver collaborative model between law enforcement and their civilian oversight body emphasized how empathy-building can be quantitatively shown to increase if officers are given enough classroom training, local community leaders (and, in this case, a hip hop artist) help conduct the sessions, and youth are encouraged to participate through strategically placing them with officers in a safe environment whom they have had no personal contact with.

You can find the original version of this article on the UNC School of Government Blog at https://cele.sog.unc.edu/sharing-dialogue-and-deliberation-best-practices-ncdd-2018/.

End-of-the-Year Message from the NCDD Board of Directors

What does it mean to be a proponent of dialogue and deliberation in society today?  

In the past, we might have been seen merely as civics educators – reminding people of some quaint responsibility to uphold abstract norms essential to abstract-sounding things like “civil society” and “democracy.” Back then, people might have been forgiven for scratching their head and wondering what’s the point of focusing so much on such things.    

Not anymore.  Heated partisan rhetoric and political divides have highlighted more than ever the value of the ideals that NCDD upholds: listening, seeking understanding, humility, pluralism, and respect.  In communities across our dynamic, diverse country, people like you are standing up and seeking ways to further support more dialogue and deliberation. NCDD exists to meet this need – and serve those seeking this support.   

As the board of NCDD, we feel acutely the responsibility to ensure NCDD’s work thrives into the future. And we are writing today to ask your help to make sure that happens.  

As you’ve heard already, we’re working hard to raise $15,000 dollars in our end of year fund drive – so we can amplify our collective voice in the new year. If you have benefitted from this network in the past, can you offer something to help it continue?  

Go here to support this end of year campaign at www.ncdd.org/donate/2018-funddrive As always, your donations and membership dues are tax deductible. Another thing you could do that could help is join/renew your membership, if it’s lapsed! We’d also love your help in encouraging friends and colleagues you know to consider joining NCDD as well.  

We believe the challenges of our day call for a healthy dialogue and deliberation movement – growing, compelling, and powerful.  Let’s make sure that happens!

Thank you in advance for your support.  

Sincerely,

NCDD Board of Directors:

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

Support NCDD’s Fundraiser and Win One of Our Giveaways!

NCDD is so very thankful to everyone who has donated, joined, and renewed their membership as part of NCDD’s End-of-the-Year Fundraiser! This week, we’re pulling out all the stops to help us meet our goal of raising $15,000 by the first week of January – by offering those who make a donation a chance to win a number of exciting giveaways!

Everyone who donates $50 or more to NCDD by December 31st will be entered into a drawing for one of the following 17 prizes from NCDD’s staff and some of our amazing members:

  • NCDD Member Mark Gerzon has contributed 5 copies of his book, The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide.
  • Free registration for NCDD Organizational Member Essential Partners’ Dialogue Across Differences workshop (there are two times it will be offered next year)
  • Three print copies of Essential Partners’ Nuts and Bolts Guide – a must-have!
  • D&D Care Package from Sandy – There will be a few surprises in here for you, but Sandy will put together a wonderful package of books, tools (like card decks!), and NCDD goodies.
  • D&D Care Package from Courtney – Courtney will put together a collection of books and NCDD swag for the winner!
  • Goody Bag for Organizing Freaks from Sandy – Some people are a little weirder about organizing than others, and Sandy has a fun goody bag in store for this winner – with cool sticky notes, notebooks and journals, books on managing chaos, and Action Stickers.  If you like organizing and planning, you’ll have fun with this prize.
  • Five special NCDD notebooks – an orange moleskin-style notebook with the NCDD logo embossed on the cover!

Winners will be drawn from donations received between Monday, December 17th at 9am Eastern and Monday, December 31st at 11:59pm Eastern. Winners will be notified the week of December 31st. Click here to support NCDD!

We are so excited to offer these giveaways during our end of the year fundraiser and we hope you will consider supporting NCDD into the new year. Remember all contributions are tax-deductible and if you’d like to join our ranks as a member instead of donating – that’s wonderful too! Learn about the benefits of being an NCDD member and join here!

Webinar Roundup Featuring Cities of Service and more!

Another roundup of webinars coming your way! We are thrilled to share the following list of webinars happening this week from the NCDD network, including NCDD members National Civic League and Living Room Conversations, and Cities of Service. We know there is a lot of great work going on in the field, and like we mentioned last week, we will be doing more roundup-style posts of webinars going on in order to keep up with all the great D&D happenings.

NCDD works to strengthen our network by being a resource center and hub for those passionate and working under the wide umbrella of dialogue, deliberation, and engagement work. We strive to support our coalition with posts such as this that elevate our members work and help to keep folks in our field informed on what’s going on.

We have a lot of vision for how NCDD can be of better service for our members, the D&D field, and our society. If you appreciate the work NCDD does and would like to support us (and invest in this vital field!), then please make a tax-deductible donation to NCDD today during our End-of-the-Year Fundraiser!

Do you have a webinar coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Webinar Roundup: Cities of Service, Living Room Conversations, and National Civic League

Cities of Service webinar – “How Tulsa’s Residents Increased the City’s Capacity to Address Public Problems”

Wednesday, December 12th
11am-12pm Pacific, 2-3pm Eastern

This spring, Cities of Service named the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma one of three winners of our Engaged Cities Award. Among several successful strategies to engage citizens, the city established the Urban Data Pioneers program made up of citizens committed to helping solve public problems by analyzing specific data.

This webinar will focus on a new city program called Civic Innovation Fellowship. This program takes citizen engagement in public problem solving even deeper. The program relies on citizens to shape the public problem, collect data around it, prototype solutions, and present the best ones to the city for budget considerations. James Wagner, City of Tulsa’s Chief of Performance Strategy and Innovation will talk through the process of the Civic Innovation Fellowship highlighting lessons and impact to date.

REGISTER: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3077404798140506637

Living Room Conversations webinar – “Media and Polarization”

Thursday, December 13th
3:30-5 pm Pacific, 6:30-8pm Eastern

Join us for a free online (using Zoom) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Media and Polarization. Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include:

  • How does the media impact you, your friends, and your family?
  • How often do you talk politics with your friends and family?
  • Has polarization impacted your relationships? What happened?

You will need a device with a webcam to participate (preferably a computer or tablet rather than a cell phone).

Please only sign up for a place in this conversation if you are 100% certain that you can join – and thank you – we have many folks waiting to have Living Room Conversations and hope to have 100% attendance. If you need to cancel please return to Eventbrite to cancel your ticket so someone on the waitlist may attend.

A link to join the conversation and additional details will be sent to you by no later than the day before the conversation. The conversation host is Lewis G.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/living-room-conversation-media-and-polarization/

National Civic League Webinar – “Engaging the Public in Fiscal Matters”

Wednesday, December 19th
11:30 am Pacific, 2:30 pm Eastern

Can the public really help local governments make solid budget decisions? Of course!

Two communities – Hampton, Virginia, and Placentia, California – will share how residents have contributed their views on budget matters. In Hampton, City Manager Mary Bunting will discuss the I-Value effort in Hampton. In Placentia, Rosanna Ramirez, the city’s director of administrative services, will talk about the city’s Citizens Fiscal Sustainability Task Force.

This webinar is part of the All-America City Promising Practices series and we shared more information about this offering earlier on the NCDD blog – read it here!

REGISTER: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aac-promising-practices-webinar-engaging-the-public-in-fiscal-matters-tickets-53114553058

Tap into our Winter D&D Podcast Compilation!

It’s amazing how fast time has gone by since the last time we did a round up of our favorite D&D podcasts! Since it is such a great time of year to pop on a podcast and hibernate, check out the recent list we compiled dedicated to dialogue, deliberation, democracy, and engagement work, to boost you through the chilly months. We’ve added several more podcasts from our D&D community that we’ve found along the way since our compilation last time. Let us know in the comments below what podcasts you’ve been listening to lately and/or share some of your longtime favorites!

Podcasts focused on D&D:

  • NCDDers Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart host the podcast, The Outside, a joint conversation to bring in the fresh air necessary for large-scale systems change and equity. Listen here.
  • NCDD member Reva Patwardhan hosts the Dialogue Lab podcast and offers conversations to inspire listeners to thrive while making an impact. Listen here.
  • Conversations With People Who Hate Me by Dylan Marron, was recommended to us by Sage Snider as their favorite dialogue podcast. Check it out here.
  • The McCourtney Institute for Democracy, an NCDD member org, has been running their podcast, Democracy Works, with hosts Michael Berkman and Chris Beem on various democracy issues and interview people working in democracy. Listen to it here.
  • NCDD member organization, the National Institute for Civil Discourse, has several podcasts related to dialogue and NICD’s work, which you can listen to by clicking here.
  • Real Democracy Now! is a podcast based out of Australia and has several seasons that you can listen to here:
  • Engaging Local Government Leaders has a podcast about local government called Gov Love, which you can find here, and their goal “is to tell informative and unique stories about the work being done at the local level”.
  • Center for Civic Education has a podcast 60-Second Civics, which is a “daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution, and our history”. Listen here.
  • The Aspen Institute has a podcast which you can listen to here, and is “working across the globe, bringing together people from different backgrounds, experiences, and points of view, to work together and find solutions to our world’s most complex challenges”.
  • The Civil Conversations Project is hosted by Krista Tippett from On Being, and “is a conversation-based, virtues-based resource towards hospitable, trustworthy relationship with and across difference”. Listen here.

Standalone episodes related to D&D:

  • The Private Side of Public Work featured CEO Matt Crozier of Bang the Table in this episode on their work and how to motivate people to be engaged. Listen here.
  • Conversations that Matter featured Valerie Lemming of NCDD member org, the Kettering Foundation. Via CTM: “In Episode 1 of our 7-part series on Democracy and the Media, Stu sat down with Valerie Lemmie of the Kettering Foundation to explore the current state of citizen engagement, the role that it plays in protecting Democracy, and how it has come under fire as the bombastic politics of the United States bleed over into the political mindsets of other nations.” You can read the article here and listen to the podcast on iTunes.
  • Shared with us via the EngagePhase Weekly newsletter:
    • “The latest episode of the No Jargon podcast features John Gastil, a professor at Penn State, in a discussion about citizen juries and some of the latest research into their inner workings and effectiveness”: Episode 117: The Citizen Expert
    • “A recent episode of the Reasons to Be Cheerful podcast featured guests James Fishkin (Stanford University) and Sarah Allan (Involve UK) in a discussion about various democracy innovations”: Episode 20. Rescuing Democracy: From Ancient Athens to Brexit

Don’t forget to check out the NCDD podcast too!

  • Episode One featured NCDD Managing Director, Courtney Breese and our former Board Chair Barbara Simonetti, on a powerful metaphor she realized which compares the D&D field to a multi-purpose public utility – click here to listen!
  • Episode Two told the story of Conversation Café by stewards of the process, co-creator Susan Partnow, past steward Jacquelyn Pogue, and NCDD staffer Keiva Hummel – click here to listen!
  • Episode Three was on the opportunities for D&D in Congress with Brad Fitch of the Congressional Management Foundation and our own Courtney Breese – click here to listen!
  • Episode Four had  Journalism that Matters Executive Director Peggy Holman and Board President Michelle Ferrier discuss their thoughts about connecting journalists and public engagement practitioners – click here to listen!
  • Episode Five featured Julie Winokur of Bring it to the Table and their work on bridging political divides and healing partisanship – click here to listen!

Stay tuned to the blog as we work to release more NCDD podcasts in the future! We recently launched our end-of-the-year fundraiser and one of our main asks is to fund the NCDD podcast. We have a lot of great ideas in store that we would love to share with you and we encourage you to consider donating to NCDD in show of support to the larger dialogue and deliberation community or join as a member!

Webinar Roundup Featuring MetroQuest, Living Room Conversations, and more!

As the NCDD network continues to grow, we are coming across more and more exciting webinars that we are thrilled to share with you! Because we try to only post on the blog once a day, we are going to be doing more weekly roundups of webinars happening in the field in order to keep sharing more D&D events for you to tap into. This roundup includes several NCDDers that we encourage you to check out in the post below and register in the links provided. This week we are featuring MetroQuest (and are proud co-sponsors of this webinar!), PACE (this webinar is co-hosted with Media Impact Funders and includes our NCDD2018 sponsor, the Democracy Fund), Living Room Conversations (register ASAP for this one as the webinar is tomorrow) and the Zehr Institute.

Do you have a webinar coming up that you’d like to share with the NCDD network? Please let us know by emailing me at keiva[at]ncdd[dot]org, because we’d love to add it to the list!


Webinar Roundup: MetroQuest, Living Room Conversations, and PACE

MetroQuest webinar – “Transforming Public Apathy to Revitalize Engagement”

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

Apathy is all around us. Most people have become disengaged not only from politics, but also from the government agencies that make decisions that directly affect their quality of life. Increasingly, leaders are asking themselves “How do we boost public participation?”

Join TED Talk celebrity, Dave Meslin and MetroQuest Chief Engagement Officer, Dave Biggs as they explore proven techniques for building a culture of engagement. They encourage us to recognize apathy as a web of barriers that reinforce disengagement – and show us how we can work together to dismantle the obstacles to revitalize public engagement.

This in-depth journey will combine humour with many examples of best-practices. The strongest cities have learned how to tap into the collective creativity, passion, and knowledge of their constituents. This webinar will chart the course.

REGISTER: http://go.metroquest.com/Transforming-Public-Apathy-to-Revitalize-Engagement.html

Living Room Conversations webinar – “Peace Building in the United States”

Friday, December 7th
2-3:30 pm Pacific, 5-6:30 Eastern

Join us for a free online (using Zoom) Living Room Conversation on the topic of Peace Building in the United States. Please see the conversation guide for this topic. Some of the questions explored include:

  • How do the “us and them” divisions impact you?
  • Who is us and who is them?
  • How many friends do you have in other groups?
  • What should we expect from our leaders in terms of healing divisions?

You will need a device with a webcam to participate (preferably a computer or tablet rather than a cell phone).

Please only sign up for a place in this conversation if you are 100% certain that you can join – and thank you – we have many folks waiting to have Living Room Conversations and hope to have 100% attendance. If you need to cancel please return to Eventbrite to cancel your ticket so someone on the waitlist may attend.

A link to join the conversation and additional details will be sent to you by no later than the day before the conversation. The conversation host is Shakira M.

REGISTER: www.livingroomconversations.org/event/online-living-room-conversation-peace-building-in-the-united-states

Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement – “Re-Envisioning America’s Public Square”

PACE LogoMonday, December 10th
9 am Pacific, 12 pm Eastern

America’s public square–the institutions, networks, and spaces where Americans engage in the critical issues facing our democracy–is facing a paradigm shift. #Infogagement–a term that describes the recent collision of media, technology, and civic engagement–is fundamental to that shift. A combination of economic impacts, advances in technology, and social change are re-shaping how we access and engage with the information that connects us to civic life. To respond, we must come together to re-envision and rebuild our public square so it serves all members of our democracy.

This webinar will bring together thought leaders from across the Infogagement landscape to engage with participants in answering several questions:

  • What are some of the institutions and spaces that created our public square?
  • What caused the paradigm shift we’re experiencing today?
  • What kind of public square best serves all members of our democracy?
  • How can we reconfigure existing institutions and build new infrastructure to rebuild our public square to serve all members of our democracy?

Speakers:

  • Ashley Alvarado, Director of Community Engagement at KPCC
  • Sarah Alvarez, Founder and Lead Reporter, Outlier Media
  • Kristen Cambell, Executive Director, PACE =
  • Eli Pariser, Founder and CEO, Upworthy
  • Josh Stearns, Director, Public Square Program, Democracy Fund

REGISTER: www.pacefunders.org/webinar-re-envisioning-americas-public-square/

Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice – “Transforming Violence: Restorative Justice, Violent Crime, and an End to Mass Incarceration”

Wednesday, December 12th
1:30pm – 3:30pm Pacific, 4:30pm – 6:30pm Eastern
Guest: Danielle Sered
Host: Howard Zehr

Sered will discuss the use of restorative justice in cases of serious violent crime such as robbery and assault. Common Justice, the organization she leads, operates a restorative justice program that serves as an alternative to prison in the adult criminal justice system. Sered proposes that responses to violence should be survivor-centered, accountability-based, safety-driven, and racially equitable. She will explore the potential of restorative justice applications through each of those lenses, discuss the program’s partnership with the district attorney’s office, describe the violence intervention model the program employs, and invite conversation regarding the potential for more diversion of violence in the movement as a whole.

REGISTER: www.zehr-institute.org/webinars/transforming-violence.html

Catapult NCDD into 2019 with End-of-the-Year Fundraiser!

Yesterday, we shared with you our most recent NCDD champions and if you are looking to join ranks with these incredible people… well, great news! You still can support NCDD as we launch our end-of-the-year fundraiser!

This year marks the sweet 16th birthday of NCDD, which provides us a great time to reflect and be intentional in our vision for the future. The 2018 National Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation was a phenomenal experience that gave us inspiration, connection, and a drive to continue to build this Coalition. While this was our largest and most diverse conference yet, there is still so much room to grow and do better – and we are excited to rise to that challenge.

We believe in the power of the collective. Since 2002, NCDD has served as a hub, resource clearinghouse, and facilitative leader for the dialogue and deliberation community. Together, we have achieved extraordinary connection and progress across our field and beyond.

Our whole purpose is to support the work you all are doing and create space for the D&D field to flourish. Which is why we encourage our members’ active participation in this co-created organization, that is NCDD. So if you haven’t already, we invite you to join NCDD as a member! There are a lot of fantastic benefits to being a member, like heightened visibility in a robust network, better access to jobs & internships, discounts on our conferences and with some member organizations (the membership often pays for itself with the discounts alone), and more!

As we move into the new year, 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. An honest fact is it’s really tough for organizations like NCDD to fundraise and be sustainable because it is a network of organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. Most of the members understandably have to focus on their own organizations and efforts. But networks like NCDD are critical to build a community of practice and grow the field.

In this light, we are asking you to contribute to the organization’s end of year fund drive. It begins today and will run through the first few days of 2019. Our goal is $15,000 and will greatly help NCDD start 2019 off on the right foot.

We hope you’ll consider NCDD’s accomplishments and potential and then follow this link, www.ncdd.org/donate/2018-funddrive 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.
  • We have created cross-sector partnerships with journalists, librarians, museums, and more, in order to expand D&D beyond the traditional field and make it more accessible.
  • 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 NCDD site improves the wider public access to D&D through our Beginner’s Guide, our Engagement Streams Framework, the 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement, and other essential resources.
  • Building the Emerging Leaders Program to help cultivate the next generation of leaders in dialogue & deliberation.
  • And more!

Our Vision

With this end-of-the-year fundraising drive, we have many exciting goals in mind that we’d like to share with you. Please let us know in the comments section below what are your visions for NCDD in the coming year…

  • “More-time” staff – right now, the reality is that Courtney, Sandy, Joy, and I run this organization part-time while also working other jobs to financially support ourselves (ah, the nonprofit reality!). We’d like to be able to focus more of our energies on NCDD and continue to build this organization to be the robust network that we envision it to be.
  • More staff – we hope to be able to bring on more staff to NCDD and have folks dedicated to various parts of our programming that we wish we had more energy to focus on. A big part of this is recognizing that we need to expand the diversity of NCDD staff, which is something we are working to be intentional about changing.
  • New website – there is SO MUCH excellent content on the NCDD site and we are hoping to raise funds to revamp the website completely. With all the great resources and happenings on the blog, the site can be a bit clunky to get through, so we hope to hire someone to create a beautiful and more streamlined website in the effort to continue to make D&D accessible and be of better service to you!
  • Emerging Leaders Initiative Program – if our field is to continue to survive, we need to invest in those who will be leading the field in the future. The ELI program seeks to foster the next gen in D&D and increase the on-ramps into this field. We would love to bring on someone dedicated to driving this program!
  • NCDD podcast – a wonderful project that we’d love to have more capacity to do. We envision monthly podcasts on the hottest D&D subjects and illuminating the work of leaders and innovators in the field.
  • Building the Coalition – just like in organizing, NCDD would love the ability to do some deep base building, particularly in the areas of the country we need to build our network. We know there are a lot more practitioners to connect with, and the more folks doing this work that we can bring in, the better and stronger our Coalition will be!

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! Please share the fund drive with your networks and consider asking your favorite angel donor to contribute as well. Help us reach our $15,000 goal, and thank you so much, in advance, for supporting NCDD!

Huge Thank You to Our Giving Tuesday Champions!

Please join us in a HUGE round of applause for the individuals who donated to NCDD last week as part of Giving Tuesday! It is thanks to these incredible champions of dialogue and deliberation that we were able to raise almost $3,300! We recognize you have a lot of great organizations to support on Giving Tuesday and so we are even more humbled and grateful for the support. NCDD is a small operation and we truly mean it when we say, that the Coalition thrives because of support like this! Thank you so much to the following folks for their generous contributions…

Paula Atkinson
Lisa Beutler
Ulf Bley
Barbara Brown
Martin Carcasson
Susan Stuart Clark
Lark Corbeil
Cobie DeLespinasse
Linda Denton
Julie Marett Forbush
Michael Freedman
Cheryl Graeve
Ellen Griffin
Sandy Heierbacher
Jacob Hess
Peggy Holman
Betty Knighton
Mette Kreutzmann
Jen Lade
Steve Lee
Diane Miller
Avril Orloff
Bill Potapchuk
Jeff Prudhomme
Bettye Pruitt
Christine Plourde Reed
Christine Whitney Sanchez
Carol Scott
Landon Shultz
Bruce Schuman
Stephen Silha
Lisa Singh
Jim Snow
Helen Spector
Allan Steiner
Gail Stone
Mary Thompson
Vicki Totten
Linda Urban
Jay Vincent
Wendy Willis

Thank you all so much! We love you!!

In addition to how phenomenal the D&D field is in general, #NCDD2018 was an incredible opportunity to convene hundreds of amazing people dedicated to furthering dialogue and deliberation, which left us absolutely inspired and positively fired up for the new year! We here at NCDD have some really exciting goals in store for 2019 and we can’t wait to share them with you – so stay tuned to the NCDD blog!

Join Free Webinar on NY Public Library Community Conversations Program, 12/5

Last year, we announced a two-year partnership with the American Library Association on a new initiative, Libraries Transforming Communities: Models for Change, which sought to train librarians in dialogue and deliberation processes with the goal of turning libraries into spaces of civic engagement and community discussions. We invite you to join a free one hour webinar on December 5th on how the New York Public Library created their Community Conversations series pilot to support the community in addressing important issues. In this webinar, you’ll learn how they developed the 11-month training program for librarians in 16 branches, tailored the conversation series to what the community needed, and implemented the series to deepen the libraries’ role as civic centers. You can read the announcement below and sign up to join the webinar here.


Community Conversations Across Neighborhoods: Dialogue-Driven Programming

Libraries have the potential to inspire local dialogue on timely issues across communities, positioning library staff as trusted facilitators. Join us for this free one-hour webinar to hear how New York Public Library created a conversation series on important issues in the diverse communities they serve.

In February 2017, the New York Public Library (NYPL) launched a Community Conversations pilot with the goal of further establishing branch libraries as key civic convening centers, providing space, information and quality discussion for communities to better understand and problem-solve around local issues.

Aligning with the ALA Public Programs Office’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative, NYPL’s Adult Programming and Outreach Services (ORS) Office developed an original 11-month training program with staff from 16 branch libraries that resulted in a series of unique, community-led programs.

Program boundaries were kept flexible enough for branch staff to be able to design programs with their own diverse neighborhood communities in mind. Branches experimented with a variety of tactics to ensure community focus, including community issue voting boards, a public planning committee, community-mapping and final program sessions that invited attendees to discuss next steps.

Participants of this session will learn:

  • Best practices and lessons learned from NYPL’s Community Conversations programming
  • How to launch successful location-based Community Conversations initiatives that build partnerships and engage staff in new ways
  • Specific dialogue-driven program models that can be used as templates for programs in libraries across geographic locations

Presenters
Alexandra Kelly Berman is the manager of adult programming and outreach services at the New York Public Library, where she works with library staff across 88 neighborhood branches to introduce programs for local adult communities, including the recent Community Conversations pilot. Alexandra began at NYPL by developing and leading the successful multi-branch Community Oral History Project. Before working at NYPL, she was a facilitator at StoryCorps and received an M.A. from the School of Media Studies at The New School, where she also acted as director of student services + engagement. She has also launched several youth media projects around New York City, including an oral history project in Crown Heights, The Engage Media Lab program at The New School, and a documentary filmmaking project at Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Andrew Fairweather is a librarian at the New York Public Library’s Seward Park branch in the Lower East Side. He is fervent in his belief that the library can serve as a unique platform for discussion about tricky issues and current events. He enjoys painting and drawing when not occupied with library work. Andrew’s interest in any one subject is incredibly unfaithful — he will read (most) anything as a result.

Nancy Aravecz is a senior adult librarian at the Jefferson Market branch of The New York Public Library. In this role, she focuses on providing top-notch discussion-based programming to the Greenwich Village community, centered around information literacy, technology, current events and classic works of literature. She is a recent graduate of Kent State University’s MLIS program, where she studied digital libraries. She also holds a previous MA degree in English Language and Letters from New York University, where her studies centered around literary theory and criticism, postcolonial studies and the digital humanities.

Related Learning Opportunities:

You can find the original version of this announcement on the Programming Librarian website (part of the American Library Association Public Programs Office) at www.programminglibrarian.org/learn/community-conversations-across-neighborhoods-dialogue-driven-programming.

Support NCDD this #GivingTuesday!

Want to join us in supporting a good cause? This #GivingTuesday the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) is asking for your support in our mission to bring together and support people, organizations, and resources in ways that expand the power of discussion to benefit society.

NCDD envisions a future in which all people–regardless of income, position, background or education–are able to engage regularly in lively, thoughtful, and challenging discussions about what really matters to them, in ways that have a positive impact on their lives and their world. We envision a society in which systems and structures support and advance inclusive, constructive, dialogue and deliberation.

NCDD is a small outfit, with just four part-time staff, and we rely on the support of our network and friends to help us continue to educate people on dialogue and deliberation, and to build this national coalition. Your contribution will make an impact, whether you donate $5 or $500.

For today only, Facebook and PayPal will match a total of $7 million in donations. Starting at 8am Eastern/5am Pacific, donations made through our Facebook page, will be matched – so please give what you can and help NCDD continue to support this network of innovators!  If you don’t use Facebook, you can always make a donation of any amount on our donation page.

Everyone who contributes to NCDD’s Giving Tuesday fundraiser will be thanked on our website and in our November newsletter. Additionally, the first 15 people to donate $50 or more will get a special NCDD notebook as a thank you for your support.

For sixteen years, NCDD has worked hard to gather visionaries and practitioners dedicated to raising the quality of discourse across many key issues and questions. Many of you have been a part of that – and we’re grateful for you!

As you reflect back on your years of association, we’re curious: how much has this network meant to you? Has it made a difference for good in some way? In what ways can we continue to drive NCDD together to support each other doing this work?

Please consider a #GivingTuesday donation to help us continue this work into the new year. More than ever before, we could use the help and support – and would be so grateful for your assistance!

We recognize there are a lot of fantastic organizations out there to donate to on Giving Tuesday, but we hope you consider donating to NCDD, which plays such a critical role in building capacity for improved democracy, conversation, and connection (which, we argue, is actually the most important issue we face right now as a country). It is really tough for organizations like NCDD to fundraise and be sustainable because it is a network of organizations, practitioners, and volunteers. Most of the members understandably have to focus on their own organizations and efforts. But networks like NCDD are critical to build a community of practice and grow the field. 

If you don’t know very much about us, we encourage you to check out some of the great benefits of NCDD and become a member. If you are already connected, please consider donating, even just a little bit, especially since it can be matched this morning.

Thank you for your support this Giving Tuesday!