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Study Circles Resource Center, 2004-2006.
This series by journalist Julie Fanselow tells the stories of people who are using study circles to create real change in their communities. These printed 7x10 inch booklets, most of which are less than 10 pages long, are a great example of how dialogue programs can share their successes with decision-makers, citizens and clients. The booklets introduce the struggles and successes of study circles in Montgomery County, MD, Kansas City, KS, Kuna, ID, Springfield, IL and Vermont.
Benjamin R. Barber. University of California Press, 1985.
Since its appearance 20 years ago, Barber's Strong Democracy has been one of the primary standards against which political science thinking and writing is measured. Defined as the participation of all of the people in at least some aspects of self-government at least some of the time, Strong Democracy offers liberal society a new way of thinking about and of practicing democracy.
Part of a larger community program, a study circle is a group of 8 to 12 people from different backgrounds and viewpoints who meet several times to talk about a critical public issue. In a study circle, everyone has an equal voice, and people try to understand one another's views. They do not have to agree with one another. The idea is to share concerns and look for ways to make things better. A neutral facilitator helps the group look at different views and makes sure the discussion goes well.
The Study Circles Resource Center is the primary project of The Paul J. Aicher Foundation, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. We help communities develop their own ability to solve problems by bringing lots of people together in dialogue across divides of race, income, age, and political viewpoints. The center works with neighborhoods, cities and towns, regions, and states, paying particular attention to the racial and ethnic dimensions of the problems they address. SCRC's website provides downloadable copies of many of their top-notch dialogue guides and other resources, and SCRC often offers organizing clinics and orientation workshops.
Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC).
The Study Circular is a monthly e-newsletter with the latest news on study circle programs, useful resources, and more. SCRC is dedicating to finding ways for all kinds of people to engage in dialogue and problem solving on critical social and political issues. Email [email protected] to subscribe.
Sandy Heierbacher. The Center for Living Democracy and the Corporation for National Service, 1999.
This survey was conducted by Sandy Heierbacher for the Center for Living Democracy and the Corporation for National Service via telephone between the months of July 1998 and February 1999. Seventy-five leaders of U.S. dialogue organizations and dialogue groups were interviewed, the vast majority of whom primarily organize intergroup dialogues on race. This survey eventually led Sandy to initiate (with others) the first National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, and to found NCDD, since it was clear that dialogue practitioners were disconnected from one another and largely unaware of the organizations and resources that were available to them.
Powerful yet simple tools for designing online surveys, collecting responses and analyzing the results. Both 'basic' (free) and 'professional' (pretty affordable) subscriptions available.
Sustained Dialogue is a process for transforming and building the relationships that are essential to democratic political and economic practice. SD is not a problem-solving workshop; it is a sustained interaction to transform and build relationships among members of deeply conflicted groups so that they may effectively deal with practical problems. As a process that develops over time through a sequence of meetings, SD seems to move through a series of recognizable phases including a deliberative "scenario-building" stage and an "acting together" stage.
The Center for NonViolent Communication (CNVC).
This is an Nonviolent Communication (NVC) practice and support group. The list's tag line is "Learn, use, practice nonviolent communication. Enhance communication, mediation, and win/win dispute-resolution skills." Familiarity with NVC is requested of all subscribers. Subscribe using the link below.
Dr. Tom W. Smith, General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago.
Taking America's Pulse III (TAP III) is the third major national survey of intergroup relations conducted by The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ). The survey provides insight into intergroup relations in contemporary America and how, if at all, attitudes have changed in recent years. Data from TAP III demonstrates that, as American society grows more complex, intergroup relations are increasingly critical to social well-being and national progress.
Kathy Cramer Walsh. University of Chicago Press.
More than 400 communities across the country have used dialogue in an attempt to improve race relations. In this 317-page book, the author takes an eye-opening look at this strategy to reveal the reasons behind the method and the effects it has in the cities and towns that undertake it. With extensive observations of community dialogues, interviews with the discussants, and sophisticated analysis of national data, Walsh shows that while meeting organizers usually aim to establish common ground, participants tend to leave their discussions with a heightened awareness of differences in perspective and experience.
Colleen O'Connor, Denver Post Staff Writer. Denver Post, August 29, 2004.
This long article on political polarization in the U.S., which was published in the Denver Post two months before NCDD?s 2004 conference was held in Denver, quotes several NCDDers. Here is an excerpt from the article: ?Most people in both political parties want the same things: safety, security, beauty, liberty, strong families and healthy neighborhoods. The best way to achieve these goals, experts say, is meaningful conversation about tough issues across the partisan divide.?
Mark Freeman, Producer, Writer, Director and Editor.
The cycle of violence in the Middle East may seem to have no end, but in San Diego Jews and Palestinians have united despite the odds. The documentary film ?Talking Peace? takes viewers inside the Jewish Palestinian Living Room Dialogue and tells a compelling story of two sides coming together through the simple act of listening. In the living room of Jim Rauch, a Jew, and his wife Doris Bittar, an Arab, the stage has been set to create an alternative to living with hatred. In their home, Jews and Palestinians share their stories and their pain governed by only one rule: to truly listen to each other.
Anne Fowler, Nicki Nichols Gamble, Frances X. Hogan, Melissa Kogut, Madeline McCommish, and Barbara Thorp. The Boston Globe, January 28, 2001.
For six years, Boston leaders on both sides of the abortion debate met in secret in an attempt to better understand each other through dialogue facilitated by the Public Conversations Project. This Boston Globe article enabled the group, which met together privately for over 150 hours, to publicly disclose their meetings and the impact those meetings had on them for the first time.
Catherine Orland. Capstone paper for the School for International Training (submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Arts in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations), 2006.
The subtitle of Orland's 76-page thesis is "How One Dialogue and Action Program Helped Teachers Integrate the Competencies of an Effective Multicultural Educator." Study Circles, a dialogue and action process, brings together teachers, parents and students from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to talk about the racial achievement gap. This study asks "How does the experience of participating in Study Circles bring teachers closer to integrating the competencies of the effective multicultural educator?"
Maurianne Adams, Lee Bell, Pat Griffin. NY: Routledge, 1997.
This much-acclaimed sourcebook is aimed at educators working in the field of social justice education. It addresses theoretical and practical issues that confront teachers who introduce diversity and social justice issues in their classrooms.
Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance provides educators with free educational materials that promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity in the classroom and beyond. Our magazine and curriculum kits have earned Oscar nominations, an Academy Award, and more than a dozen honors from the Association of Educational Publishers (EdPress) including the Golden Lamp Award.
The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, 2003.
Change happens in communities when people change the story they tell about themselves and others. Stories of self-trust and hope help us to see the community and ourselves differently. This kit helps get youth telling their stories - to each other, to the community, to themselves.
Institute for Local Government.
This 2-page document was used as a handout for the workshop entitled "Collaborative Governance in Local Government: Choosing Practice Models and Assessing Experience" given by Terry Amsler, Lisa Blomgren Bingham, and Malka Kopell at the 2006 NCDD Conference. While most public involvement strategies offer positive results for all, some efforts are not as effective as sponsors and participants would like. Outlined in this two-page document are a few of the 'hot spots' where extra attention may mean the difference between success and failure.
Texas Forums, a program of the LBJ Library and Museum, was launched in 2002 and is a network of individuals and organizations working together to revitalize the civic spirit of Texas and improve civic discourse. Using the National Issues Forum (NIF) model for community conversations, Texas Forums has trained over 100 people in Central Texas on how to engage others in their community in thoughtful conversations about important public issues.
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