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2008 NCDD Conference Participants, Everybody!, Southern California

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My Personal Info
Full Name: Najeeba Syeed-Miller J.D.
NCDD Member Since: Feb. 16, 2004
Contact For: Center for Civic Engagement and Dialogue
About Me: Najeeba is Executive Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Dialogue, which is focused on promoting engagement of communities in decision making and improving human relations.
My Interest Areas: civic engagement, intergroup dialogue
My Work
Organization Name: Center for Civic Engagement and Dialogue
Title / Position: Executive Director
Description: There is an increasing awareness of the need for a concerted effort to create spaces for dialogue. The Center for Civic Engagement and Dialogue is the vehicle to coordinate, convene and produce the necessary outcomes for ameliorating intergroup relations on campus, the surrounding community and throughout the world. Negotiation, problem solving and consensus building are keys for students’ long-term success in the worlds of business, law, social welfare, education and related professions.

The Center for Civic Engagement and Dialogue will work at three tiers: 1) Campus focused activities
2) Community and public sector
3) International network activities

The campus climate is an indicator of the health of the university community, especially as it relates to minority student achievement and social involvement (Hurtado 1992). Isolation is a risk that can have minor consequences or far more dire effects for any student evidenced by recent incidences campus violence across the nation. There are alternatives to accepting polarization and exclusion as necessary elements of the university experience. . It is clear that if such efforts follow best practices and are evaluated effectively that there can be a great impact and intergroup work can serve to democratize higher educational institutions (Nagda, Gurin, Sorenson and Zuniga 2007). Programs should be experiential, engage diverse constituencies, be based on sound theoretical frameworks and be led by those who are most aware of the particular campus climate. By redefining identities as multi-layered, beyond the notion of separation and into a sense of community it is possible to transform both the interpersonal and inter-group relations within the campus setting.


The Center provides the necessary technical assistance and coordination in the areas of intergroup relations, dialogue design, conflict resolution education and prevention. Specific programs that could be housed and coordinated through the Center include:

1. Student and staff training in crisis management. The Center will train a cadre of staff and students who will be utilized for establishing a crisis response network and coherent plan to deal with outbreaks of conflicts on campus.

2. Long-term engagement circles: There are perennial conflicts that tend to be manifested on univerisity campuses. In the interest of creating a sustained and problem solving approach instead of just a reactive set of actions, the Center would hold leadership training for students who are interested in moving conflicts forward. One component of the training would be the creation of problem solving maps and dialogue design sessions throughout the course of the academic year to provide a proactive approach to complex and divisive issues through dialogue design sessions throughout the course of the academic year to provide a proactive approach to complex and divisive issues.

3. Student driven programming in residence halls, for campus student groups and academic classes: The Center will develop experiential, co-curricular modules in the area of diversity, civic engagement and dialogue design that can be implemented by students for students upon request as well as integrated into the training of residential life staff, student leadership for campus groups and relevant academic classes.

1. Service learning and reflective practices: Los Angeles is one of the most outstanding laboratories for diversity training in the world. The Center will engage students in the community on specific projects involved collaborative governance, race relations or related topics.

2. Community engagement, private and public sector training: The Center will offer training in dialogue design, civic leadership and participation for community partners, corporate and governmental entities in order to build capacity in these areas on critical issues such as race relations, community/police relations, urban land disputes and gang violence prevention. The focus will be on co-creating public engagement procedures that enhance and democratize policy development by including the views and voices of those most affected by the decisions and promote collaborative problem solving.


1. Model international university engagement centers and network: The model international university program will partner with six universities around the world to share practices and research on the university as a model, which can serve as the focal point for dialogue, improving religious tolerance and serve as an agent for public diplomacy and intergroup relations. Eventually, there will be an effort to host an international conference that will bring together the different campuses for in person discussion. Until that is feasible, existing technology will serve as a means for dialogue and exchange.

2. International clearinghouse on the university as a center for civic engagement and dialogue: This digital portal can be utilized by universities around the world to access technical assistance on establishing programs in dialogue and civic engagement.

Other Organizations: I am on the Board of National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation, Center for International Conciliation and Arbitration, Interfaith Interventions, and Vice Chair of the Pasadena Commission on Status of Women
Where to Find My Work: My organizational link:!/group.php?v=info&ref;=mf&gid;=60013687691

You can follow me on twitter:
My Favorite Links:!/group.php?v=info&ref;=mf&gid;=60013687691
My Contact Info
Email: [email protected]
Website URL:!/group.php?v=info&ref;=mf
City: Pasadena
State/Province: CA
NCDD Involvement
Member Type: Organizational Member (dues-paying)
NCDD 2008 Attendee: Yes
NCDD 2004 Attendee: Yes
NCDD 2002 Attendee: Yes
Mentorship Program: N/A
Other involvement: am on the Board of Directors

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