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July's community page is packed with great info, resources, and ideas for dialogue leaders. We've got info and links to help keep you informed about the fight for reparations, info about a new global non-violent peaceforce that you can become involved in, and ways you and your groups can take action against racial profiling. We've got great new intergroup relations books and guides, terrific online resources you'll want to know about, and excellent training opportunities. And of course, since it is the summer, you'll be kept informed of myriad dialogue-related conferences and forums that are going on. Enjoy! And please let us know what you think ().

Is America Ready for Reparations?

The idea of reparations for African Americans is getting a lot of attention these days. People are discussing it heatedly at work, major newspapers are examining the concept, groups are engaging in dialogue about it.

As Ron Daniels states in an article for The Black World Today, in Durban, South Africa, this September, the U.N. is hosting "what could be one of the most momentous events of the 21st century, the World Conference on Racism?…. People of African descent and other people of color from the developing world are anxious to discuss the past and present effects of the castigation and oppression of groups of people on the basis of skin color."

The U.S. and many European nations, however, "are casting a leery eye towards the conference for fear that the issue of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the demand for 'restitution' will become a dominant theme of the proceedings. Indeed, the United States is taking extraordinary steps to prevent the slave trade and the question of reparations from appearing on the agenda at all."

Easier said than done. Organizations and activists are working together to ensure that restitution is not only on the agenda, but that a resolution is brought to the Conference that officially declares the Trans-Atlantic slave trade "a crime against humanity." Since crimes against humanity are not shielded by a statute of limitations, the implications of such a resolution are not minor. "Without question, the passage of this resolution will provide an unassailable moral foundation for the call for reparations."

This is an important and timely topic for dialogue groups to discuss, and an issue they may want to take action on. For more information, visit the N'COBRA (National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) website, or read the articles listed below.

Declaring the Slave Trade a Crime Against Humanity: The Moral and Legal Basis for Reparations by Ron Daniels

Slave Reparations Divides U.S., World Conference Against Racism by Candice Choi

Reparations Move Mainstream: Is America Ready for the Conversation? by Linda Wallace

Become Part of a Global Non-Violent Peaceforce

A newly-formed and ever-growing Global Nonviolent Peace Force (GNPF)
dedicated to unarmed intervention in areas of political repression and violence
seeks to mobilize and train a multicultural, nonviolent, standing peace force.
The Peace Force will deploy to conflict areas to help create the space for local groups to struggle, dialogue, and seek peaceful resolution while protecting human rights and preventing death and destruction.

Currently focused on research and planning, GNPF hopes to deploy field troops by 2003. These troops would be sent to trouble spots when requested by local peace groups. Through GNPF, founders Mel Duncan and David Hartsough hope to create a viable alternative to large-scale military involvement. During the next two years, a multinational planning team will develop, organize, recruit and train a global peace force. Interested people are invited to join in creating the Global Nonviolent Peace Force.

Click here to read more about the GNPF, or call 651-487-0800. Email to receive the GNPF email newsletter. Or click here to read an excellent article on the project called Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Nonviolent Activists are Being Deployed in Trouble Spots Around the World.

New Book on Improving Intergroup Relations

Walter and Cookie Stephan's new book Improving Intergroup Relations will be released later this month ($29.95 paperback from Amazon.com). The book is a comprehensive review and evaluation of various techniques for improving intergroup relations. Intergroup dialogue is examined, among many other techniques.

New Guide to Connecting Communities
through Reconciliation

An excellent guidebook was developed by MRA: Initiatives for Change and Hope in the Cities in time for the Connecting Communities forum which took place last month in Washington, DC. The guidebook, which is also called Connecting Communities, was written by Robert Corcoran and Karen Elliott Greisdorf, and can be ordered by calling MRA at 202-872-9077 ($10, plus $5 for shipping). Connecting Communities features key lessons and insights from people working in the field of racial reconciliation, a guide to organizing an intergroup dialogue on race, and much more.

Youth Magazine Promotes Peace in the Middle East

Crossing Borders, a courageous, cooperative youth publication from the Middle East, has sustained its publication against all odds in these difficult past months, and is now being made available to others who are interested. Crossing Borders is a bimonthly regional youth newspaper (in English) whose readers are Israeli, Palestinian, and Jordanian young people.

Throughout the publication, Israeli (Jewish and Palestinian), Jordanian, and Palestinian youth write articles and opinion pieces about political, cultural, social, and youth related subjects. It is a vehicle of communication between the youth of the region in English, and serves as a platform to exchange ideas to promote just and lasting peace.

Crossing Borders is part of a regional project called: "Learning to live together in the Middle East," which was initiated by the International People's College (IPC) in Elsinore, Denmark. For more information, and to obtain a copy of the last issue email Shimon Malka at .

New Book on Interethnic Conflict

Edited by Mohammed Abu-Nimer, Assistant Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University, Reconciliation, Justice, and Coexistence: Theory and Practice provides lessons and insights for post-settlement peacebuilders.

Abu-Nimer has brought together scholars and practitioners to address questions such as: Do truth commissions work?; What are the necessary conditions for reconciliation?; Can political agreements bring reconciliation?; and How can indigenous approaches be utilized in the process of reconciliation? Essays focus on the conflict dynamics in regions such as Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine, South Africa and Rwanda.

Abu-Nimer is also the author of Dialogue, Conflict Resolution, and Change: The Case of Arabs and Jews in Israel (1999). To order, contact Lexington Books (800-462-6420 or www.lexingtonbooks.com).

New Listserv for Dialogue Leaders Gaining Momentum

DialogueLeaders, the new listserv (email discussion list) for organizers, facilitators, and researchers of intergroup dialogue, is now over 100 members strong, and growing every day! For info on how to join the list, which was developed by the Dialogue to Action Initiative to provide a forum for people in the dialogue field to network with one another and share important information, click on the DialogueLeaders icon.

Tolerance.org Launched, with U.S. Map Resource

The mission of Tolerance.org is to create a national community committed to human rights. A web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, the site is structured for easy access to news, solutions, and exercises that teach and prompt personal soul-searching.

Along with fabulous sections on instances of intolerance (and how people have handled them), practical, proven action steps to take, online space for discussing events and issues about Tolerance and hate, and an online activity for examining your own level of tolerance, Tolerance.org provides a clickable map of human rights groups across the U.S.
Click here
for the online map.

Higher Ed Site for Strengthening Democracy

Teaching Democracy is an online meeting place and resource center for college faculty and students who are interested in strengthening democracy. Those interested in civic education-and especially on 'deliberative discourse' will want to check out this site. Teaching Democracy is a designed to be a "collaborative work in progress," dependent on the participation of those interested in and working on these issues. The organization shares the results of research on the pedagogical and political impacts of public deliberation in various university settings.

Online Directory of Anti-Racism Groups in the Works

AntiRacismNet is developing a new online directory of anti-racism organizations. The goal of this database is to help organizations across the U.S. and around the world to find the anti-racism resources they need in one directory. From the local to the international, organizations will be able to build coalitions, find needed expertise, and reach out to the anti-racism community. If you represent an anti-racism organization, you are encouraged to fill in your organization's information online.

Strategies for Integrating Dialogue With Action

My Master's thesis for the School for Int'l Training is available online (on this website!) in a user-friendly, condensed format as part of the Dialogue to Action Initiative website. I interviewed leaders of dialogue programs, examined materials in the related fields of conflict resolution, community building, and social change, and conducted an in-depth study of existing dialogue materials and resources. I found there to be nine broad strategies that are useful in organizing dialogues that have a greater capacity for inciting effective community action. You can also get a feel for the entire Dialogue to Action Initiative by visiting the Contents Page on the Initiative's website.

Take Action Against Racial Profiling

Whites who participate in intergroup dialogues on race are often taken by surprise when they hear personal stories about People of Color who have been taken aside at airports, pulled over on the highway, or even searched while taking a walk, all for no discernable reason besides the color of their skin.

In response to the growing realization that racial profiling is pervasive in our communities, hundreds of police departments have begun to voluntarily collect detailed records of traffic stops. Nine states have adopted legislation requiring their police departments to collect data, including the gender and perceived race and ethnicity of the person stopped as well as whether a search was initiated and if any warning or citation was issued.

Until now, Congress has failed to act on this injustice. Recently, some Senators and Representatives introduced the End Racial Profiling Act of 2001 which would, among other things, concretely define racial profiling and declare it illegal.

Here is an easy way for you and your dialogue participants to support the End Racial Profiling Act of 2001. The ACLU's website features a free mechanism which allows anyone in the U.S. to fax their Congress members, urging them to support this legislation, in only 2 clicks. To read more about the proposed legislation or fax your Congress members, click here.

They say that faxes are 1,000 times more effective at influencing politicians than emails are, but letters are 1,000 times more effective than faxes, and personal visits are even more effective. If your dialogue participants want to take more concrete action on this issue, you could organize a letter-writing session or even set up a group meeting with a Congressperson.

Acknowledging Ordinary Whites' Role in Past Racism

In a special June 17 OpEd article to The Sun entitled Ordinary Complicity, law professor Sherrilynn Ifill challenges communities to look at the role that everyday people played in condoning white supremacy and violence. Ifill suggests that, in order to identify the lasting effects of past racial violence on both black and white communities, we should create our own Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (like South Africa's TRC). Our TRCs would provide "locally based opportunities to engage in cross-racial dialogue."

"In these TRCs, local communities could explore the effect of racial violence on their communities. Community members could identify lingering sources of distrust and disaffection. Together, community members could create reconciliation plans, identify initiatives that would help bring healing and foster respect between and among blacks and whites."

Sherrilyn A. Ifill is an associate professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law. She is writing a book about the 1930 lynching of Matthew Williams in Salisbury. Please email for information on how to obtain the entire article.

New Maine Law Requires Local Native American Culture Be Taught in Schools

After a year of legal struggle, Native American tribes in Maine have won one battle. Maine public schools will now be required to teach about the Wabenaki confederation, which encompasses the state's four tribes. "Chiefs and governors of the tribes gathered in the state capitol for a signing ceremony with Maine Gov. Angus King, who remains a determined foe on the issue of tribal sovereignty.

"The bill requires an American Indian studies component in the already mandatory Maine studies curriculum. It will also set up a 15-member commission to develop material and advise educators in setting up the course?…. In the course of the year's legal battles, tribal members have often deplored the lack of public knowledge about their history and even their existence." Click here for the full text of this June 20 Indian Country Today article by Jim Adams, which overviews a policy change which may inspire your dialogue groups to work for similar legislation.

Unique Project Unites Urban and Rural Communities

Founded in 1996, the Victory Gardens Project is attempting to bridge the divide between oppressed urban and rural communities while merging the struggles for black liberation and earth liberation. The Victory Gardens Project was inspired by the survival programs of the Black Panther Party and the nature-based philosophy of the radical ecology and anarchist movements. The Victory Gardens Project provides healthy food to inner city community groups and brings volunteers up from these urban communities to work on the garden. Click here for an article about this interesting project.

Upcoming Trainings for Facilitators

The Public Conversations Project (PCP) in Watertown, MA offers two affordable trainings which are excellent for dialogue facilitators.

PCP's excellent Power of Dialogue workshop gain an understanding of the principles and practices underlying PCP's approach to dialogue facilitation through experiential exercises and faculty presentations, and by design and facilitation of a complete PCP-type dialogue in an extended simulation. This workshop (approx. $450) will be held in Boston, MA on October 18-20 and in Los Angeles, CA on November 15-17. William Madsen, Ph.D. and Sallyann Roth, M.S.W. will be facilitating this workshop.

Inquiry As Intervention focuses on how to ask the kinds of questions which open the 'stuck places' to more constructive communication. According to PCP, the choices a facilitator makes about which questions to ask at a particular time "have an enormous impact on the quality of the relationships, listening, and information that emerge in subsequent discussion." This one-day workshop ($150), offered in Watertown on September 13, 2001, is facilitated by Sallyann Roth and Bob Stains.

Visit www.publicconversations.org to find out more or to register for these workshops, or call 617-923-1216.

EPA Hosts National Online 'Dialogue'

On July 10-20, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is organizing a national online public discussion on improving public involvement in EPA decision-making. Participants and a revolving panel of experts will discuss specific topics drawn from EPA's newly drafted Public Involvement Policy.

Approximately 500 participants will have the chance to select the topics which interest them at times which are convenient to them. Among the topics that will be discussed are identifying and involving the public, including those hardest to reach; providing information to the public; creating effective public involvement opportunities during rulemaking and permitting; and encouraging collaborative processes.

The Dialogue is an excellent opportunity for citizens, representatives of industry, environmental groups, small businesses, states, local governments, tribes, and other groups to learn more about the draft Policy and to share their thoughts and concerns with EPA. It is also a unique opportunity to observe how large-scale dialogues and discussions can be organized online.

Click here to learn more about the Dialogue and to register to participate. For more info, email Patricia Bonner at U.S. EPA () or Information Renaissance () or call 888-638-5323.

National Council of La Raza Conference This Month

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest constituency-based national Hispanic organization in the country, is holding its 2001 Annual Conference on July 14-18 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The NCLR Annual Conference, considered by many to be the premier Hispanic event of the year, attracts over 15,000 participants, bringing together some of the nation's foremost community, government, and business leaders.

This year's theme, Hispanics in the Midwest: The Heart of America, recognizes that the Midwest is increasingly becoming a center of the nation's Latino community. Conference workshops provide attendees the opportunity to receive the latest information on the key issues facing the growing Latino community. Workshops, Latino Expo USA, and Latino Faire are free of charge and open to the public. For all other events, there is a registration fee. For more information, please visit www.nclr.org.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Conference

FPMI Communications has announced a one-day conference devoted to alternative dispute resolution, which has become popular for resolving workplace grievances, EEO complaints and other issues. The conference, called ADR: Key to Effective Resolution in the Workplace, will be held in Arlington, Virginia on July 19.

Participants will learn how to establish a new ADR program, facilitate fact-finding, find and certify mediators, use outside mediators, and much more. To learn more about the conference or to register, click here or call FPMI at 256-539-1850.

NAME Conference to be Held in November

The 11th Annual National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) Conference will take place on November 7-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This year's theme is High Stakes: Achievement, Assessment and Advocacy Through Multicultural Education. There will be over 150 concurrent sessions, keynote addresses from some of the leading experts in the field, exhibits, entertainment, film festival, cultural tours, chances to network and discuss your work, NAME chapter meetings and much more. Click here for more information about the conference.

World Indigenous Peoples Conference

The 6th World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education will be held in Alberta, Canada on August 4-10, 2002. The Conference is hosted by the First Nations Adult and Higher Education Consortium, and welcomes all generations of First Nations to share their successes in the preserving and perpetuating of their languages and culture in all areas of their lives. The Consortium is now calling for papers, and will give highest priority to those utilizing "the wisdom of our ancestors to liberate ourselves from the yoke of oppression and the effects of colonialism will be given highest priority."

Call 403-258-1775, email , or click here for more information.

Black Radical Congress Southern Regional Conference

The Durham-Chapel Hill Organizing Committee is holding their first Black Radical Congress Southern Regional Conference this month. 'Black radicals' who are interested in and organizing around issues affecting Blacks in the U.S. (especially the South) are encouraged to attend.

Registration is only $25 for this event, which will take place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on the campus of the University of North Carolina on July 20-22. There are still slots available for presenters and facilitators. If you are interested in presenting, contact Chandra Ford at 919-929-7401 or email . To find out more about the event and the Black Radical Congress, call 212-969-0348 or go to www.blackradicalcongress.org.

The Black Radical Congress promotes dialogue among African American activists and scholars on the left in order to discuss critical issues that pertain to the Black community; to explore new strategies and directions for progressive political, social and cultural movements; and to renew the Black radical movement through increased unified action.

Rainbow/PUSH Coalition Conference Next Month

The 2001 Rainbow/PUSH Coalition & Citizenship Education Fund Conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois, August 8-12. Founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition is working to move the nation and the world toward social, racial and economic justice. For more info, click here, call 773-373-3366, or email .

National Urban League 2001 Conference

The National Urban League's 2001 Conference will take place July 28 to August 1 in Washington, DC. Over 15,000 attendees engage in dialogue with the new Administration, new Cabinet Secretaries and Members of Congress on key policy issues of concern to the African American community (education, employment, housing, technology, and economic self-sufficiency), empowering the African American community for political action, and much more. To find out more about the conference, contact the National Urban League by calling 212-558-5385, emailing , or going to www.nul.org.

September Conference on Racism and Public Policy

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) will hold a 3-day Conference on Racism and Public Policy to coincide with the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa.

UNRISD is inviting social scientists, historians, and legal scholars from various regions of the world who have studied racism, xenophobia, and public policy to present papers and lead discussions at its conference. The UNRISD research and conference (which will be held September 3-5) focus on four themes: the social construction of race and citizenship; the social dynamics of racism and inequalities; organized responses to cultural diversity; and the impact of public policies on race relations. Go to the UNRISD site for more info. Papers prepared for the conference will be available on the website.

World Conference Against Racism

World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance will take place in Durban, South Africa from August 31 through September 7, 2001.

For specific inquiries, you can contact the Development and Human Rights Section of the United Nations by calling 212-963-3771 or emailing . You can also go to www.igc.org/igc/gateway/arn/worldconf/ or www.un.org/WCAR/ for more details.

Have Suggestions for the August Community Page?

We update Dialogue to Action Initiative's Community on a regular basis, so we invite you to bookmark this page and return frequently. If you know of some news or a resource that should be mentioned here, or you have a site or project you'd like us to feature, please let us know about it by emailing us at .

- a production of www.thataway.org -
?2001 Sandy Heierbacher