We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman about a new report about Middle-East Peace Camps that is now available online. In January 2005 26 camp leaders — Palestinians, Israelis, Americans, Canadians — met in Kalamazoo, Michigan for the first time as guests of the Fetzer Institute. Their shared experiences were distilled into a report that will hopefully improve peace camps and energize relationship-building activities everywhere. To learn more about the meeting, and to download the report visit traubman.igc.org/campconf.htm
Archives for June 2005
This Fall, The People Speak convenes a third nationwide discussion on America’s role in the world. From September 1- November 30, 2005, the People Speak invites everyone to connect with their communities and develop a deeper understanding of international affairs by organizing their own The People Speak discussion. The official theme of The People Speak 2005 is Building a Safer World: Defining the U.S.-U.N. Relationship for the 21st Century. Participants will address this question in the topic areas of Poverty, Hunger, and Health; War and Conflict; Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism; or the Environment. For discussion resources or to register to host a discussion visit www.thepeoplespeak.org. Email any questions to [email protected] or call (202) 887-9040.
We just heard from the Study Circle Resources Center about a new resource for recruiting ESL students into Study Circle programs. To prepare adult students in the English as a Second Language program for a study circle summit on education, the communications department of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board in Hamilton, Ontario, developed a curriculum titled �Prepare to Participate.� The curriculum package includes a series of classroom activities to help students increase their self-confidence, group discussion experience, and decision-making skills. With minimal adaptation, this curriculum can be used in any community. Download it from SCRC�s web site: www.studycircles.org/pages/hap.html#esl
NCDD member Adam Kahane has recently published a book entitled Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities, published by Berrett-Koehler. Based on Adam’s extensive experience solving complex problems in conflictual and changing environments all over the world, he offers a “simple but not easy” approach to problem-solving. Using examples from families, corporations, governments, and nonprofits, Kahane explores the connection between individual and systemic transformation, and shows how to move beyond politeness and formal statements, beyond routine debate and defensiveness, towards deeper and more productive dialogue and action. To contact Adam, visit his website: www.generonconsulting.com email: or call (978) 232-3500 ext. 30.
Find similar posts: resources & tools
Patricia Bonner just informed us about the Initiative on Nanotechnology and Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which conducted a citizens’ consensus conference during April 2005 and has just posted a report online with citizen recommendations. Writes Patricia, “I read the report over the weekend and felt pretty darn good about the recommendations “ordinary citizens” developed with help from UWI staff.” To check out the Initiative’s work, visit their website: www.lafollette.wisc.edu/research/Nano/forumrelease. From there, follow the links to the full report with citizen recommendations. To read media coverage of the consensus conference go to www.madison.com/tct/mad/business//index.php?ntid=38025
Find similar posts: headlines & inspiration
The Deliberative Democracy Consortium (www.deliberative-democracy.net) has recently launched a website for the new Deliberative Democracy Handbook. The Handbook is the first volume to bring together the best practices and thinking on citizen participation processes. It aims to help readers figure out which method of engagement is right for them and guides them through using the appropriate method. A top flight collection of experts critiques a wide range of deliberative practices to improve readers understanding of the best ways to bring citizens together to engage in thoughtful, respectful discussion of complex public issues. To read excerpts from the book, learn about the contributors, or connect with other deliberative democrats, visit www.deliberative-democracy.net/handbook/. To order a copy of the book online, visit the publisher’s website: http://www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-078797661X.html
We just heard about a new CIRCLE (www.civicyouth.org) Working Paper by Shelley Billig, Sue Root, and Dan Jesse of RMC Research Corporation that examines the impact of service-learning on civic engagement. The study compared more than 1,000 high school students who participated in service-learning programs with those who did not participate in schools matched for similar demographics and student achievement profiles. It found that service-learning students were significantly more likely to say they intended to vote and that they enjoyed school. Importantly, the study suggests that the way service learning is implemented matters: students who were involved for at least a semester in a program that was linked to standards, involved more direct contact with service recipients, and had cognitively challenging reflection activities were more likely to be civically engaged than those in other types of service learning. For the full report, click this link: http://www.civicyouth.org/research/areas/serv_learn.htm
David Schoem, University of Michigan Professor and member of the NCDD Steering Committee, has published a new book, “College Knowledge: 101 Tips for the College-Bound Student.� Unlike most books of this type, David emphasizes dialogue, diversity, civic involvement, and engagement with learning. Through lively tips and compelling student stories about life at college, the book offers thoughtful, practical information for every student who wants to make a successful transition from high school to college. Examples of tips include: Expand your comfort zone; Be a thinker and an activist, Take responsibility for the world around you, Participate in Intergroup Dialogue, Think about social justice, Take democracy seriously, and Be a boundary-crosser.
Bill Corbett, from Citizen Sovereignty (www.CitSov.org), a group working to spread citizen deliberation in the United States, drew our attention to a couple of new articles about deliberative polling in China. Read about this exciting development in the New York Times here, and in Time magazine here.
We just heard that the first volume of the Journal of Public Deliberation (JPD) is now available online. The JPD received a grant from the Deliberative Democracy Consortium in 2003, and with the leadership of Ted Becker, has a dynamic set of articles in its first edition. Click here to read the first edition of the journal. Click the link below to see the contents of this edition.
Each year Do Something (www.dosomething.org), a national not-for-profit organization honors six outstanding leaders age 18 and under and three outstanding leaders between the ages of 19 and 25 who take action that measurably strengthens their communities in the areas of community building, health, or the environment. Each of the 18 and under winners is awarded a $5,000 higher education scholarship and a $5,000 community grant, to be directed by the award winner to the not-for-profit organization of his or her choice. Winners in the 19 to 25 category each receive a $10,000 community grant. All winners receive pro bono services, and all winners attend the annual Brick Awards Gala event in New York City, where their accomplishments will be celebrated. In addition, Do Something works closely with Brick winners to generate local and national media coverage of their work, and to spotlight what young people can achieve. Applications are due November 1, 2005. Apply online for a Brick Award at www.dosomething.org/awards/brick/.
Find similar posts: funding, jobs & awards
We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman about one person who is making a big difference to dialogue on the Middle East in Ottawa, Canada. Qais Ghanem () is a Yemeni-born professor of medicine at the University of Ottawa. He was inspired to start “Potlucks for Peace” after attending a panel on the Middle East that quickly descended into a shouting match. Seeking to promote civil dialogue on the issues, he extended his hands (and his living room!) to both Arabs and Jews in Ottawa, the capital of Canada in early 2003. Today in Spring 2005, “Potlucks for Peace” — 60 women and men — continue to recruit new Arab and Jewish members. Many of the participants had had little or no contact with members of the other group before coming to their first meeting. Visit the Potlucks for Peace website for more information on this group www.potlucksforpeace.org.
We just heard about an interesting experiment being run by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation (www.theharwoodinstitute.org). Richard C. Harwood, President and Founder of The Harwood Institute has often claimed, “When I’m talking with a group of citizens, and I close my eyes and listen, I find it impossible to tell whether the person speaking is a Republican or a Democrat, where they live, or what socioeconomic class they belong to.” A new interactive feature on The Harwood Institute’s website puts this claim to the test. Take a look at quotes from recently conducted focus groups, one in a heavily Republican suburban district, and one in an urban Democratic stronghold, and see if you can tell Red from Blue. Click here to try it out!
The Center for Collaborative Policy has a new e-newsletter out. A quarterly publication, The Collaborative Edge covers all kinds of issues related to collaborative policy making, and invites submissions to the newsletter from anyone working in this area. To subscribe, email their subscription manager () with the text “subscribe” or “unsubscribe” in the heading or body of your message. Newsletter archives are available online at http://www.csus.edu/ccp/newsletter/archives/index.htm. And click on the link below for a summary of the Spring/Summer 2005 issue.
Find similar posts: research & articles
The San Francisco-based Agape Foundation (www.agapefn.org) is a nonprofit public foundation that raises and distributes funds to nonviolent social change organizations committed to peace and justice issues. To that end, the foundation has established the Agape Peace Prizes in order to bring recognition to Northern California peacemakers, organizations, and individuals. The Long Haul Prize honors a Northern California peace- maker who has made a sustained effort to create peace in their community, nationally, or internationally. The Rising Peacemaker Prize recognizes a peacemaker making a critical difference who has been working for peace for five years or less. Winners will receive a $500 cash prize and capacity building assistance from Bay Area experts and trainers. Nominations are due by June 25. For more details and a nomination form, visit the Agape Foundation website: http://www.agapefn.org/ppnom/ppform.html.