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Archives for January 2009

Online Courses in Peace and Development Studies    

TRANSCEND Peace University (TPU) announces that its first semester of 2009, which offers 23 online certificate courses in Peace and Development studies, will start on March 9th, 2009.  The online courses will last for 12 weeks, until May 29th. Applications are received until February 25th, 2009. TPU faculty is drawn from amongst the leading peace scholars and practitioners in their fields internationally. For more info, visit or email [email protected].

Obama Memorandum Calls for Public Engagement and Collaboration    

On his first full day on the job (January 21st), President Obama signed two Executive Orders and three Presidential Memoranda. One of his memoranda (below) gives me hope that NCDDers’ work will soon become not the exception but the norm in this country. Given this incredible window of opportunity, it is my hope that we can work together to make sure this Open Government Directive includes the important work represented by the dialogue and deliberation community.

Click “more” to see the full memo… (more…)

Nominate Someone for a Community Development Award    

The Community Development Society (CDS) presents awards to members and non-members of CDS in recognition of outstanding achievements in Community Development.  The 2009 Awards will be presented at the CDS Annual Conference in Memphis July 26-29.

The award categories are Duane L. Gibson Distinguished Service Award, Community Development Achievement, Student Achievement, Friend of CD, Outstanding Program, New Professional, Innovative Program, and the Ted K. Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award.

More information, including nomination forms, is available on the CDS website at The process is not difficult! Questions?? Contact John Gruidl, Awards Committee Chairperson at [email protected].  The deadline to submit a nomination is March 15, 2009.

Millennials Rethink U.S. Constitution and Compete in Convention    

We asked NCDD member Alexander Moll to share his reflections on the recent (January 9-11, 2008) Constitutional Convention that our friends at held for young activists in Philadelphia…

We sought to upgrade our democracy. Like well-trodden explorers looking for adventure, we came to Philadelphia last weekend to answer the beckoning call from our Founding Fathers rolling in their graves. “The town hall is dead,” was a whisper from the annals of history we could not shake as we set foot upon the soil of the National Constitution Center.

Joined by some of my collaborators, we networked with others of our Millennial generation interested in continuing the conversation about how we can establish a new vision of American Democracy. Were we being revolutionary, reformist, or just flippantly remiss? Time would tell. Collectively, we all engaged in a conversation, but not exactly in a way we here at NCDD are accustomed to seeing. Instead of the focus being squarely on public dialogue and deliberation as a means of civic engagement, a competition was the means of engaging each other to re-think our vision of what it means to upgrade our democracy.

For two days, everyone listened to a few guest speakers who inspired us to reconsider the “self” in “self-government.” Last Friday, Dr. Beeman’s lecture spoke to me in such as way as to remind me that to secure our rights—consistently—requires an active and informed participation in our government. In fact, is not the word ‘government’ misleading? Should we not characterize this aspect of our culture as ‘governance,’ something we all have a responsibility to share? Dr. Beeman’s recount of the summer of 1787, whereby the 55 Framers helped forge a Constitution, revealed an unusual amount of cooperation, forbearance, and consensus. These qualities of leadership would be essential to the collaborative process of making a shared document that would reflect a youthful “We The People.” Perhaps, if democracy is an unfinished project, then can the Summer of 1787 shed light on what we can find that still remains to be finished? Is the Constitution a perfect document, even today? What are the lessons of 1787? Four months of intense debates and deliberations to create the Constitution…what if we tried that at the National Constitution Center or in a local café on my neighborhood block? These questions remained with me deep into the night. (more…)

Accomplishments of Najeeba Syeed-Miller Celebrated    

I just received this announcement from the Western Justice Center, which will be recognizing NCDD Board member Najeeba Syeed-Miller‘s accomplishments as their Executive Director on the 29th…


Najeeba Syeed-Miller served as the Executive Director of the Western Justice Center Foundation from 2004 through 2008, and is being recognized for her invaluable contributions to building a premier institution dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflicts.  Her accomplishments will be celebrated at a community reception from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 29th at the headquarters building of the Western Justice Center Foundation, 55 South Grand Avenue in Pasadena. (Contact Abbie Genzink at [email protected] by Tuesday January 27th if you would like to attend; I was asked to RSVP but I’m not sure how open it is).

During her tenure, Ms. Syeed-Miller established numerous programs that provided models for teaching conflict resolution skills development and mediation practice to children and youth.  In addition, she provided leadership in designing and implementing training programs that introduced local law enforcement and community leaders to the process of problem-solving through mediation and she oversaw the expansion of WJC programs and demonstration projects in the areas of gang violence, environmental land use issues and critical interracial community relations. The work of the Western Justice Center Foundation expanded so that the organization’s core mission to increase peaceful conflict resolution and to displace the power of violence in society was achieved in schools, in community-based organizations, and local government.

According to Board Chair, Judge Dorothy Nelson of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, “Najeeba was an integral and essential part of the successful development of an organization that has always aspired to bring substantive skill-building opportunities to children and the community at large, so that conflict prevention and resolution can be understood and practiced effectively.  We wish her success in her future pursuits and truly appreciate the time she spent with the Western Justice Center Foundation.”

For more information contact
Abbie Genzink

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