NCDD Commentary - May 06, 2004

A Regional Gathering, on a Shoestring (of course): the First Annual Northern CA Dialogue & Deliberation Conference

Submitted by Katie Howard,
Manager of the Civic Engagement Initiative of
the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, on 05/06/04.

Katie Howard talking to her dialogue group at NCDD?’s 2002 conference.

In 2002, while sitting at one of many round tables at the 1st Ever National Dialogue and Deliberation Conference, it struck me. "I have to do this regionally." The thought buzzed in my head, reemerging each time I thought it had passed. The thought was persistent. I knew that I valued the experience I was having, and speculated that bringing the many strands and contexts of the dialogue world together in Northern CA would stimulate a tapestry of rich conversations and new opportunities. I wanted to see the faces of others who do this work, and give us time to talk with and learn from each other, sharing our insights and challenges. I wanted us to have a chance to get to know each other so that our work might grow, and that we might find new friends and colleagues to support us in our endeavors. I mentioned this idea to Sandy, and others, many, many times before getting anything off the ground, and really appreciate all of the good thinking and work that has emerged so far.

A snapshot from the December 2003 Bay Area Palestinian Jewish Dialogue Season of Light Gathering.

So, the conference, this day-long gathering, is happening. I pulled together a planning team from different sectors, with different experiences, and we got to work. I am very grateful to the Peninsula Community Foundation's support of the work (which has given us a _very_ small budget), and their encouragement. The conference itself (which our ambitious planning team has dubbed "The First Annual Northern CA Dialogue & Deliberation Conference") will be held at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, CA, a liberal-arts university on the San Franciso Peninsula. We're hoping that you'll join us on Friday, June 11th for this unique opportunity, to learn from, share with, and explore each other. I'll keep you all posted on how things develop!

If anyone else is considering a regional or local gathering, I am happy to connect, and share my thoughts and experiences so far.

Event: First Annual Northern CA Dialogue & Deliberation Conference Date: 6/11/04
Time: 9am - 5pm
Location: Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont CA
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