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Let us know where your program has recently been publicized for our "In the Media" page. Email with details.

Dialogues Promoted on Billboards in Kansas City
(added March 27, 2002)

The United Way of Wyandotte County (Kansas City, Kansas) is promoting its Study Circle program in a very novel way. Ten billboards, in neighborhoods throughout the city, reflect the program's mission of increasing parent and community involvement in the public schools in the northeast section of the city by posing questions such as, "Concerned about our high school drop out rate?" and "How can our taxes be best used to provide a quality education?" Visit the Study Circles website to download and view pictures of the billboards.

San Antonio Express-News - February 17
(added March 27, 2002)

Why We Don't Abandon Mideast Peace By Imam Nadir Faris and Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan

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Palestinian Imam Nadir Faris and Rabbi Julie Hilton Danan met in the successful San Antonio (Texas) Tri-Faith Dialogue. This March, they began the first Jewish-Palestinian dialogue group there. Recently the Jewish woman and Muslim man published an article together, saying: "We cannot stop our grass-roots peace efforts while we wait for more sympathetic leadership."

As Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres suggested in a recent interview, the only positive way to view the situation is that things have reached such a low point that there is nowhere to go but up.

In the midst of despair, some leaders on both sides have begun to speak out for peace. We believe that the time to act is now and that America has the strength and the strategic position to help resolve the conflict.

We worked together on a small interfaith committee of San Antonio Jews, Muslims and Christians ?— initiated by the Rev. Bill Lytle and Dr. Saber Elaydi ?— that composed an open letter to President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Some religious leaders from the local Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, along with a few hundred other citizens, have signed this letter, which will be published in the Express-News. We invite you to add your name by calling the San Antonio Peace Center, (210) 224-4673, by Wednesday. The text can be found on the Peace Center Website.

Local Media Promotes Dialogue On Sept.11 Tragedy
(added March 27, 2002)

WSIU/WUSI, Channels 8 and 16 of Carbondale, Ill., have created a website titled "Facing The Future: The River Region Responds" to inspire community-wide dialogue around the Sept.11 tragedy. The website addresses continuing violence and hate crimes in the Midwest. It provides resources, such as SCRC's Facing the Future: How Should We Respond to the Attacks on Our Nation? discussion guide, for national and local analysis as well as local reaction to recent events through online messaging.

Christian Science Monitor - February 6
(added March 1, 2002)

Seeking Understanding?…One Dinner at a Time By Janet Saidi

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This article, which is the feature story of the "Living" section, focuses on the story of four Arab-Jewish living room dialogue groups in San Diego, California.

This get-together is a once-a-month affair, an opportunity for Jews and Palestinians in the San Diego area to meet over tabouli, falafel, and latkes, and talk frankly - sometimes uncomfortably - about the historic divide that has kept their people at war for two generations.

It's part of Arab-Jewish Dialogue, a grass-roots movement that began in the 1980s and that has picked up new momentum in the United States since the Palestinian intifada began anew in 2000. The idea behind these "living-room dialogues," as they're known, is that Jews and Arabs who come to know one another, who hear all the personal stories and dearly held beliefs, can help to build a will for peace?….

Meanwhile, the Traubmans, organizing their groups in northern California, have also encountered feelings of futility on the part of members over the past 10 years: "People are used to wanting expedient results," explains Mr. Traubman. "But this change is much more profound. We're talking about deep-seated relationships. That change really is permanent. And the action is building relationships.... The number of people in Dialogue has to increase, and this circle of Dialogue participation has to grow. It has to become so powerful, and so intellectual, and so compelling, and so clear, that people will want to live that way."

The National Journal - January 22, 2002
(added March 1, 2002)

Jews and Palestinians Begin to Talk, in America By Martin Davis

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This article is a skillful documentation of the diversity and increasing success of Palestinian-Jewish and Jewish-Muslim dialogue groups in America. This high-level political publication also discusses a few basic principles of dialogue and the public peace process. It illustrates the inextricable interdependence between parallel government and citizen peace processes.

The language and ideas expressed [about dialogue and the public peace process] may sound simplistic and somewhat New Agey. But they are influenced by and rest upon the insights of a seasoned Middle East peace broker -- Harold Saunders, director of international affairs at the Kettering Foundation and a former assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, who was key in negotiating several agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.

Saunders has been working for years, in several areas of the world, on these kinds of people-to-people dialogues. He told National Journal that they play an important role in preparing the ground for peace. 'If there hadn't been 20 years of unofficial dialogues between Israelis and Palestinians,' Saunders said, 'there would not have been a handshake between Arafat and Rabin in 1993.'


Media Tips...

Conversation Cafés Promote Dialogue in Seattle
(added March 1, 2002)

Check out the original and exciting way dialogue is being promoted in Seattle! Dozens of 'Conversation Cafés' are being held regularly in coffee shops, book stores and other public places. Seattle even celebrated a successful city-wide "Conversation Week" last month, involving hundreds of residents in the effort to create a culture of conversation and foster spirited dialogue.

Here are some ideas from the Conversation Café website for upbeat and creative ways you can publicize your dialogue efforts:

Simple, direct descriptions of the program:
"Conversation Cafés are lively hosted conversations among small groups of people with diverse views but a shared passion for engaging with others. Held in public spaces like cafés, restaurants and bookstores, Conversation Cafés provide an open forum to talk about important topics over a cup of coffee or tea."

"It is a one-and-a-half hour hosted conversation, held in a public setting like a café, where anyone is welcome to join. A simple format helps people feel at ease and gives everyone who wants it a chance to speak. At Conversation Cafés, everyone is 'the talk show'-and it's also fine for people to simply listen."

Great tag lines and pitches:
"Tired of small talk? Try some BIG talk!"

"Why Conversation Cafés? Because when you put strangers, caffeine and ideas in the same room, brilliant things can happen. For that very reason, the British Parliament banned coffeehouses in the 1700s as hotbeds of sedition. Might we brew up a similar social liveliness now? With democracy, critical thinking and 'the ties that bind' all under siege, this may be the most radical cup of coffee you ever drink."

"At Conversation Cafés, we will learn together how to create a culture of conversation-which is a culture of intelligence, peace, and political awareness. We are the media. We are the talk shows. We are America, waking up and tuning in."

"Conversation Cafés aren't group therapy-but when you speak, people are all ears. Conversation Cafés aren't the movies-but as BIG talk swirls around the table, the real movie-life-comes alive. Conversation Cafés aren't church, but your soul might stir. Conversation Cafés aren't lectures, but you'll learn a lot from the people who come."

Unique Events that Get People Talking:
"Jan. 13 - 19 was Conversation Week in Seattle! Read about how one community is creating a culture of conversation and fostering spirited dialogue. Hundreds of people joined skilled hosts (and celebrity guests) in lively, small group conversations at two or more locations a day. For information on how to host conversations in your area or organization, the Conversation Café website provides guidelines for hosting a conversation, sample questions to get started, and other resources."

For more information about Conversation Café, which is sponsored by the New Road Map Foundation, a non-profit educational and charitable organization teaching people skills to be effective human beings, citizens and agents of social change, email Project Coordinator Claudia McNeill at or 206-781-5700, or call the New Road Map Foundation at 206-527-0437.

Want to Become More Media Savvy?
(added March 1, 2002)

Improved media coverage can help your dialogue program gain community support, recognition, participants and even funding. Here are three great resources to help you better understand and utilize the media.

Charlotte Ryan writes about how the media works and why you should develop a media strategy that is appropriate for your organization and network in the article Why Take Media Seriously?

Another article by Ryan sheds light on the difference between press advisories, press releases, press statements and pitch letters, and offers a great list of further resources.

For more great links to tools and resources to help you build relationships with media organizations, check out the Media Relations Project of the Benton Foundation's Communications Capacity Building Program.


The original, upbeat ways that dialogue is being promoted in Seattle.

"I see?…dialogue as a chance for people of different cultures and traditions to get to know each other better, whether they live on opposite sides of the world or on the same street."
-Kofi Annan (UN Secretary General)

"People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell."
-Elie Wiesel

"An enemy is one whose story we have not heard."
-Mrs. Gene Knudsen-Hoffman

"It is our task-our essential, central, crucial task-to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures."
M. Scott Peck

Understand the differences; act on the commonalities.
-Andrew Masondo,
African National Congress

Current Issues
Currently featuring some of the best Sept. 11- and Isreal/Palestinian- related resources available for dialogue leaders, educators and peacebuilders.

Why Engage in Dialogue?
Powerful, straightforward reasons quoted from leaders in the dialogue community.

The Dialogue to Action Initiative and www.Thataway.org ?2001 by Sandy Heierbacher and Andy Fluke. ?
Last updated Monday, May 20, 2002 3:19 PM