Here’s a report to the NCDD community from Courtney Breese, an NCDD member who is an up-and-coming leader in our field. I asked Courtney to represent NCDD at a conference at Clark University on dialogue in higher ed a couple of weeks ago.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a conference titled Inviting Dialogue: Renewing the Deep Purposes of Higher Education. Organized by Sarah Buie, Director of the Difficult Dialogues Initiative at Clark University, and Dave Joseph, Vice-President of Programs at the Public Conversations Project, this small conference was attended by approximately 50 individuals from colleges and universities and professional dialogue practitioners from the Northeast Region.
I was invited to attend as a representative of NCDD (thanks, Sandy!) to provide people with information on the coalition and also to report back about my experience at this conference. From a quick browse through NCDD’s members, I think it’s a safe estimate that about 25 percent of conference attendees were members of the Coalition. However, in introducing myself and NCDD in conversations and workshops, it appears that many more of the people present were familiar with and supportive of NCDD. Some pointed out that most of the people in the room were probably familiar with NCDD (or should have been). For those who weren’t familiar, I found a great deal of interest in the access to resources and other practitioners, researchers, and organizations that can be found through NCDD. Hopefully we will be adding some new members to our ranks in the days to come!
As a practitioner in the dialogue/deliberation and conflict resolution field with the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution and Public Collaboration, an institute of the University of Massachusetts Boston, I was excited and curious to see what kind of dialogue work is being done on other college and university campuses, as our office continues to work to incorporate dialogue into the university curriculum. From integrating dialogue into curriculum, engaging faculty and staff in dialogue, to addressing larger issues of diversity, there is a lot going on in this region! Below is a brief recap of just some of the content of this conference. (more…)