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For June's Community page, we're featuring lots of conferences (it's the conference time of year, I guess), as well as an online resource for higher-ed folks, resources from the National Issues Forum, a new study on what youth around the world think about democracy, and much more! We hope you enjoy and benefit from this page, and keep coming back each month.

College Faculty and Students Sought for Online Forum on Racial and Ethnic Tensions

Jim Knauer, Professor of Political Science and Director of the honors program at Lock Haven University, is looking for college faculty interested in helping to create a racially and ethnically diverse online forum by involving students at schools across the country.

The online forum will run for about four weeks, probably in October 2001. Early collaborators will help shape the timing and format. For more information, or to become a collaborator in this project, email Jim Knauer at . For an example of a similar online forum on a smaller scale, click here.

Nat'l Forum on Connecting Communities Coming Soon!

There are only a couple of weeks left until the forum "Connecting Communities for Reconciliation and Justice" is held in Washington, DC. Held on the Howard University Campus June 20-24, the forum will highlight and encourage partnerships which bridge the usual divisions of race, culture, economics and politics.

Plenaries, workshops and panels will address: working for racial justice in our cities; sustaining dialogues and community action; personal responsibility, trust building and community transformation; the role of acknowledgment, repentance, and restitution in healing racial history; and ethical business practices. For more details, check out the conference website or call 202-872-9077.

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.

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.

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 75 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 icon.

Rhetoric & Democracy in the Internet Age

An interdisciplinary conference organized by Trinity College in cooperation with the Intercollegiate E-Democracy Project, Rhetoric & Democracy in the Age of the Internet, will take place June 22-24 in Hartford, Connecticut.

The conference will bring together teachers, students, researchers, journalists, commentators, activists, and others interested in the contemporary state of public discourse and the complex role of education in preparing active citizens for the electronic democracies of the future. Discussion groups will offer participants the opportunity to have conversations across academic disciplines, public roles, professional lives, and geographic areas, from the local to the global.

Topics such as these will be explored:

- deliberative democracy and cultures of argument
- the shaping of the online public commons
- service learning and civic engagement
- dialogic literacies and new educational technologies
- activism and protest in the new public square
- the Internet and Information Society

Email , Conference Director, for more information or explore the website.

Reparations Conference in Harlem this Month

A Reparations Education & Mobilization Conference will be held at City College of New York on June 29 and 30. All who are ready and willing to work in a national and international campaign to educate people about the necessity of black reparations are invited to attend and help initiate this historic education and mobilization campaign.

The Conference is being organized by the Reparations Mobilization Campaign Coalition. Click here or contact Sam Anderson ( or 718-270-6287) for more info.

Read more about reparations by following this link to an article by Dr. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz entitled Slavery and the Genocide Treaty.

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.

As an institution concerned with the study of social development, the institute has carried out extensive research on ethnic conflict, public policy, and development. In 1994, UNRISD organized a major international conference at UN Headquarters on Ethnic Violence, Conflict Resolution, and Cultural Pluralism as a contribution to preparations for the World Summit for Social Development.

Go to the UNRISD site for more info. Papers prepared for the conference will be available on the website.

Harboring Hope in a Sea of Change

The Taos Institute, the University of New Hampshire, and the Portsmouth Family Institute will hold an interdisciplinary conference on June 15-17, at the University of New Hampshire. Harboring Hope in a Sea of Change: Transforming Families, Communities, Organizations, and Education will follow a number of intensive pre-conference courses, including:

- Renewing Systems from Within for the Public
- Relational Practices in Education and Training
- Client Change Through Facilitation Processes
- Therapeutic Collaboration

Go to the conference website for more information, or email for further information or telephone 603-862-1900.

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 . Here are the two websites I found with the most info on the conference:


The Economics of War and Peace

CODEP (the Conflict, Development and Peace Network) will hold a conference called The Economics of War and Peace: Addressing the Dilemmas will be held in London June 18-20, 2001. Participants will explore the impact of the global economy on conflict and peace, and the response of civil society at local, regional and international levels.

The conference will provide a forum for presentation and debate of current thinking and practice on the economics of war and peace, as well as in other aspects of the work in conflict situations, including impact assessment. Participants will include activists, analysts and decision makers from academic institutions, government departments, donor agencies, and development and humanitarian NGOs from the UK, their partners and other key networks and organizations from throughout the world.

CODEP was founded in the UK in 1993 as a multi-disciplinary forum for academics, organization, and practitioners involved in exploring the causes of conflict and its impact on people's lives. For more information, click here or .

Globalization & Cross-Cultural Development

The Race and Ethnic Studies Institute of Texas A&M University will hold its 3rd International Summer Conference, July 19-28, in New Delhi and Bangalore, INDIA. The theme of the conference is 'Globalization and Cross Cultural Development: Society, Policy, Economics, Public Administration and the Environment.'

The Race and Ethnic Studies Institute's mission is to conduct and disseminate--at regional, national, and international levels--interdisciplinary and policy research pertaining to race, ethnicity, gender, and social class in the areas of education, economics, the environment, health, and other social/policy issues.

Email , Director of the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute, for more info, or go to the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute website.

NAACP Convention to be Held Next Month

This year's NAACP Convention will be held in New Orleans July 7-13, 2001. In its 92nd year, the organization expects over 15,000 members, civil rights leaders, volunteers, policy makers and corporations to meet in order to share models for civil rights advocacy and strengthening communities. This year's convention theme, Speaking Truth to Power, underscores the challenges facing communities of color across the country.

Founded in 1909 in New York City by a group of black and white citizens committed to social justice, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) considers itself the largest and strongest civil rights organization in the U.S.

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.

Resources from the National Issues Forum

National Issues Forum (NIF) is a nationwide network of educational and community organizations that deliberate about nation-wide issues. In 2000, three books were published that should interest organizers in the dialogue field: Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Should We Do?, Money and Politics: Who Owns Democracy?, and Violent Kids: Can We Change The Trend?

Some of the NIF's reports might also be of interest, such as Public Schools: Are They Making The Grade?, Mission Uncertain: Reassessing America's Global Role, Our Nation's Kids: Is Something Wrong?, and Governing America: Our Choices, Our Challenge.

Housing Activist News from Across the Nation

For those of you who are integrating dialogue with community action, here's a resource for those organizing for safe, affordable housing. The Housing America site provides examples of successful housing activism, facts on the housing crisis, and a means for publicizing your housing-related action. Housing America also provides twice-monthly housing updates gleaned from thousands of sources to help inspire and inform activists. To receive the newsletter, email with the word 'subscribe' in the subject line.

Where to Go for Help with Police/Community Relations

(1) The Study Circles Resource Center offers an excellent new guidebook for communities interested in engaging in dialogue and taking action on this issue. Click here to view or download Protecting Communities, Serving the Public or email SCRC at or call (860-928-2616) to order the guidebook for $5.00 per copy.

Need more info? Read an April 16, 2001 DiversityInc.com article about how Cincinnati could benefit from having police and citizens meet in study circles, or check out other SCRC guides, such as: Building Strong Neighborhoods for Families with Children (2001) and Facing the Challenge of Racism and Race Relations (1997).

(2) The U.S. Department of Justice's Community Relations Service, which assists communities with crisis management and violence reduction, offers a 38-page handbook entitled Police Use of Excessive Force: A Conciliation Handbook for the Police and the Community. Click here to download this excellent document, or such others as:

- School Disruptions: Tips for Educators and Police
- Preventing Youth Hate Crime
- Responding to Hate Crimes and Bias-Motivated Incidents on College/University Campuses
- Police and Urban Youth Relations: An Antidote to Racial Violence.

How Inclusive is Your Community?

Is there a proactive, comprehensive way to create a more inclusive community? How does a community know that it is progressing forward? Maggie Potapchuk's new book Steps Toward an Inclusive Community Across America begins with the story of how Clarksburg, a moderately-sized community in West Virginia, responded to a KKK rally by conducting a counter-rally which, in turn, led to the Clarksburg Unity Project.

The latter part of the book includes a tool to help predominately white, moderate-sized towns assess their process of becoming inclusive. The Inclusive Community Assessment Tool is one step in understanding a town's current state of race relations. It also includes suggestions for next steps based on a community's current inclusivity stage. Maggie Potapchuk is Senior Program Associate for NABRE and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. Click here for more information or to order.


What Do 14-Year-Olds Think About Democracy?

The executive summary of results from the study, Citizenship and Education in 28 Countries: Civic Knowledge and Engagement at Age Fourteen, was released recently. The study explored what young people around the world think about democracy, what they know about how democratic institutions work, and to what extent they expect to get involved in civic activities once they are adults.

The summary elaborates on 12 major findings. A few of the findings of the study are that students with the most civic knowledge are most likely to be open to participate in civic activities; schools that model democratic practice are most effective in promoting civic knowledge and engagement; youth organizations have untapped potential to positively influence the civic preparation of young people; and patterns of trust in government-related institutions vary widely among countries.

Click here to learn more about the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, the organization which released the study. Click here to learn more about the study, or here to download the executive summary.

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.


Have Suggestions for the next 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