The New York City-based Network for Peace through Dialogue (NPD) is pleased to announce its June 15-16, 2007 conference “Why Dialogue: and when and how and where?” which will gather local and national groups to share ways they are using dialogue in various situations and to provide newcomers and experienced practitioners opportunities to learn skills and build networks. The conference, held in collaboration with MarymountManhattan College and co-sponsored by NCDD, will feature interactive sessions led by groups including Public Conversations Project, the Dialogue Project, the Compassionate Listening Project, and NCDD.
For a complete schedule and to register, go to www.networkforpeace.com/conference.htm. Registration is only $175 before June, and only $50 for students! For additional info, call 212-426-5818. Since 1985 NPD has developed programs related to critical social issues in its living room dialogues and international conferences.
On Thursday, April 5, 2007, thousands of people all across the country will come together in living rooms, basements, back yards, community centers, schools, and places of worship to work towards immigration reform that restores basic civil liberties and human rights, protects core American values of fairness and justice, and defend due process for everyone. The Korean Resource Center and the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium are inviting people to act as hosts for one of these conversations. They hope participants to share their stories and the values they would like to guide immigration reform. By April, Congress will have a bill for comprehensive immigration reform either in their committees or even being debated on the floor. These conversations are an opportunity to reflect on core values, compare them to our current immigration system, and come together to bring our laws back in line with those values. (more…)
Initiatives of Change is sponsoring a national forum this June 15-16 at the University of Dayton, OH. With a theme of “Building Trust in America” the forum will explore how to build trust, transform relationships and create healthy inclusive communities. The program will include sharing stories fom the IofC national network, panels and discussion on trust-building in community partnerships, education, the media, interfaith dialogue, and regionalism. For more information see their website at www.us.iofc.org/opportunities where you can download registration forms and check for updated program information.
World Café European Gathering is taking place 3-5 May 2007 in Dresden, Germany. Using a variety of formats, this Gathering will foster knowledge sharing and enable participants to actively experience conversations that build collective intelligence. The purpose is to provide a European forum to stimulate collective dreaming, conversation and action within and between organizations and communities about questions that matter across Europe. A wide spectrum of participants are invited to participate in this Gathering: leaders and change agents in private businesses and the non-profit sector, activists and community leaders, young future leaders, consultants, and individuals who are passionate to help bring about meaningful change in his/her environment. The 1st World Café European Gathering is one of a number of regional efforts all over the world designed to foster conversational leadership. For more see the website: http://worldcafe.kono.de/.
Martin Sheen, Larry Hagman, Desmond Tutu and several other celebrities launched a “Refunds for Good” campaign today (see www.refundsforgood.org) to benefit the PeaceJam Foundation and two other leading non-profit organizations. Due to five recent court rulings, $10 billion is owed by the IRS to American businesses, and another $10 billion to individual citizens. This refund is only being offered during this current tax season. The average individual refund will be between $30 to $60, and businesses could be eligible for potentially tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. The “Refunds for Good” website was created to address this historic opportunity, and to make it easier for the American people to learn about this court-mandated refund. (more…)
The Taos Institute Workshop “Transformative Dialogues” is coming up June 24-29, 2007 at the University of New Hampshire and early registration ends this week. Kenneth Gergen, Mary Gergen, Harlene Anderson, Sheila McNamee and other internationally known experts in therapy, Buddhist psychology, appreciative inquiry, organizational consulting, education, social work, and social constructionism will be leading a learning vacation for pariticipants in an idyllic setting. Families are welcome and student registration rates are available. Visit: www.taosinstitute.net for information and registration.
Tennessee Valley Mediation Association (TVMA) is organizing a Mediation Training In Nonviolent Communication with Ike Lasater and John Kinyon on April 13 &14, 2007. Participants will learn how to identify what is truly motivating disputes, new skills for shifting thinking and speaking, facilitate each party feeling heard and understood to their satisfaction, support the development of lasting win-win solutions and as a mediator, re-establish centeredness and presence when “triggered.” For more information about TVMA, visit their website: www.tnmediators.com. Cost of the workshop is $300; to inquire about scholarships contact Marsha Hupfel at with the subject: Scholarship. More information and a registration fom is available on the TVMA website. Mail registration with fees to: TVMA-Spring Celebration, PO Box 51884, Knoxville, TN 37950, (865) 588-8862.
The Free Press (www.freepress.net) is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to reform our media system. They are currently expanding their staff in order to work on an array of exciting campaigns for media reform. They now hiring for eleven (!) positions for offices in Northampton, Mass., and Washington, D.C. They are seeking dynamic, highly organized, self-directed people who are fun to be around for the following positions: (more…)
The Peace Alliance Campaign has just announced the Third Annual Mother’s Day National “Piece of the Pie” Action Day. On May 11th, (the Friday before Mother’s Day), gather members of your community to take pies to your local Congressional offices, letting your members of Congress know that “Peace wants a Piece of the Pie,” (i.e., the federal budget). This is a creative way to get out the word about the Department of Peace and to let Congress know that we want our government to make peacebuilding a national investment priority. For information on participating and activities in your area, and on how to contact your congressional office and the medai visit www.thepeacealliance.org/content/view/297/1/.
Lejla Mavris of Global Majority (www.globalmajority.net) just wrote us about the upcoming event “Promoting Peace through Dialogue”, a training seminar and an international conference to be held in Amman, Jordan on June 10-24, 2007. The event is organized by Global Majority in partnership with the Palestine-Israel Journal and the United Nations University – International Leadership Institute. The training seminar on Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution will take place from June 10-24. Seminar topics include understanding the Middle East region, an introduction to interest-based negotiation and mediation and cultural and gender aspects of conflict resolution. The conference will be held from June 22-24, and will explore the current situation in Palestine/Israel, the Middle East and the world. Conference info is available on the Global Majority website.
We just received the latest update on Common Sense California’s (www.commonsenseca.org) recent conference on deliberative democracy. By all accounts, the February 23, 2007 conference appears to have been a great success, with seventy-eight civic leaders, journalists, elected officials, foundation officers, academics and students in attendance at the conference hosted by the Pepperdine School of Public Policy and Common Sense California with additional sponsorship by the New America Foundation. For updates, visit CSC’s website above, and to see an excerpt of their report, read on… (more…)
An exciting effort in citizen-led political reform in Philadelphia is currently underway at www.reformballot.org. Using the power of wikipedia, this experiment in deliberative democracy that was launched on March 13 gives citizens the opportunity to edit, contribute, and vote on a R.E.F.O.R.M. Agenda for Philadelphia’ s May 15, 2007 municipal elections. The idea is to collectively articulate what it means to be a reformer and to collaboratively develop a reform political agenda. Until April 3rd, the reform agenda will exist in “wiki” form so visitors can make changes instantly as they can in wikipedia. After April 3rd, all reformers who have signed onto the R.E.F.O.R.M. Compact will be able to vote on the principles comprising the final R.E.F.O.R.M. Agenda that will be presented to candidates for Mayor and City Council on April 15th for their consideration. Finally, on May 1st, the site will unveil the candidates’ responses so Philadelphians can understand who is for this public agenda — and who is not. Keep a lookout for the results of this innovative experiment!
You can sign up now for email updates on a grant competition in the works at the Case Foundation. Case’s “Igniting Civic Engagement” Grants will support citizen-centered approaches to meet community needs, and they plan to send out more details in late spring (eligibility criteria, application guidelines, timelines, etc.).
Last year, the Case Foundation released a great article by Cynthia Gibson titled “Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement,” which suggests that getting citizens more involved in the civic life and health of their communities must begin with citizens themselves. A citizen-centered approach is a subtle, yet powerful, shift from the way service and civic engagement generally operate. Rather than asking people to “plug into” existing pre-determined programs, initiatives, or campaigns, citizen-centered approaches help people form and promote their own decisions, build capacities for self-government, and develop open-ended civic processes.
A great new resource on dialogue and deliberation is now available, and I’m encouraging everybody to check it out. Our friends Bettye Pruitt and Phillip Thomas have been working on a phenomenal “Handbook on Democratic Dialogue,” which is now freely downloadable from the web.
This 242-page handbook is a joint effort of CIDA, International IDEA, OAS and UNDP (the UN Development Program), receiving valuable input from a wider network of organizations (including NCDD). This handbook is the result of a joint initiative to provide decision-makers and practitioners with a practical guide on how to design, facilitate and implement dialogue processes. It combines conceptual and practical knowledge, while providing an overview of relevant tools and experiences. NCDD highly recommends this handbook. Learn more at www.thataway.org/exchange/resources.php?action=view&rid=2685.
On April 2, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. (Central Time) Marla Crockett, trained National Issues Forums moderator, veteran public radio and television journalist, and John Doble, seasoned reporter of public thinking based on National Issues Forums, will lead a second online citizen journalism workshop for members of the Texas Forums and NIF network. The purpose of this workshop is to prepare volunteers to observe and report on NIF forums. Participants will learn how to identify deliberation, listen for common ground and points that are unresolved, conduct post-forum interviews and write a quality report that will be used for the national report. For our first workshop, we will use the NIF Energy Issue as a guide. (more…)