e. current events & issues


Peace It Together Gala Event Coming Up in Vancouver

Peace it Together is an important youth program that brings ten Israeli, ten Palestinian and ten Canadian youth together to discuss conflict in the Middle East. Together they will create short films that will help them and their audiences struggle with, and come to terms with the escalating violence that continues to impact their lives. After getting to know each other for a few days in the city, the youth will gather on Galiano Island at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School. Activities will focus on dialogue and listening exercises, leadership training, outdoor and wilderness experiences, and film-making. In small and culturally-mixed groups, the youth will collaborate on creating drama, documentary or animated short films about how the conflict impacts their lives, hopes and fears. The summer program will culminate in a public screening of the films in Vancouver. All are invited to the Peace it Together Gala on Sunday, August 20th at the HR MacMillan Space Centre, 1100 Chestnut Street, at 7:00 PM. For more information, visit the program's website: www.creativepeacenetwork.ca/camp/2006.htm

Added by Amy Lang on July 25, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Air Innovations Conference Coming Up in September

The fourth annual Air Innovations Conference will be held September 6-8, 2006 in Denver, Colorado. This event is sponsored by EPA in collaboration with the Department of Energy. Last year, more than 300 attended this successful conference and this year promises to be even better. The theme for this year's conference is Integrated Approaches for Environmental Results. The conference will provide the latest information on new and innovative approaches and technologies to achieve clean air goals. For further information on specific topics and to register, see the conference Web site,
www.cleanairinfo.com/airinnovations.

Added by Amy Lang on July 20, 2006??-??Link to this entry

New Publications from Public Conversations Project

The Public Conversations Project (www.publicconversations.org) has two new publications. Fostering Dialogue Across Divides: A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project is an extensive resource describing PCP's core principles and practices, offering advice about working with conveners and planning committees, and providing step-by-step suggestions for multi-session as well as single-session dialogues. PCP's new guide also includes sample formats, sample invitations, and suggested questions on a range of topics. Second, Constructive Conversations About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Guide for Convening and Facilitating Dialogue in Jewish Communities in the US was written in close collaboration with the Jewish Dialogue Group in Philadelphia, which has had extensive experience in the field using PCP's general approach and methods in Jewish communities on the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It includes an appendix on Jewish texts and dialogue. Both guides are available at PCP's website as pdf downloads for a voluntary donation. Nicely printed and bound copies of both guides can be purchased at www.cafepress.com/pcp_press. The multi-issue dialogue guide is $21 plus shipping & handling and the intra-Jewish dialogue guide is $18 plus shipping & handling. The intra-Jewish dialogue guide also is available from the Jewish Dialogue Group, www.jewishdialogue.org. You can also take a workshop offered by the lead author of the guides this November - to learn more, click below.

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Added by Amy Lang on July 18, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Agape Foundation Fund for Nonviolent Social Change Invites Grant Applications

The Agape Foundation Fund for Nonviolent Social Change (www.agapefn.org) is a nonprofit public foundation whose purpose is to fund nonviolent social change organizations committed to peace and justice issues. The Agape Foundation's board of trustees makes grants twice a year (in April and October) to California-based grassroots organizations working for nonviolent social change. Organizations that receive grants must be no more than five years old, with annual budgets under $100,000. For the Fall 2006 grant cycle, Agape will fund tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations or fiscally sponsored groups that address the following issue areas: Peace -- alternatives to militarism, anti-war and anti-nuclear power, weapons, and waste; Human Rights -- defending civil rights, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender rights, and women's rights; Environmental Protection -- defense of the environment, ecological restoration, and environ- mental justice; Economic Justice; Racial Justice; Building economic alternatives, nonviolent conflict resolution, and alternatives to violence; Progressive Arts & Media; and Grassroots Organizing Support. The foundation also supports media activism by California-based media producers. Agape supports distribution of media projects that support grassroots organizing and promote peace and justice. Grants range from $500 to $2,000. Visit the Agape Web site for complete program guidelines and application materials. The deadline for this competition is August 1, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on June 26, 2006??-??Link to this entry

James Irvine Foundation Seeking Applications for Community Dialogue Grants

The James Irvine Foundation's (www.irvine.org) New Connections Fund provides grants of up to $50,000 over one or two years to eligible organizations with projects that fit within the foundation's core program priorities. One of the core priorities, called "California Perspectives," aims to promote dialogues between under-represented communities and public officials. The program supports projects that foster dialogues between people in underrepresented communities and public officials for the dual purpose of improving public officials' understanding of the interests and concerns of their constituents and facilitating opportunities for people in underrepresented communities to participate in public decision-making. To be considered for a grant from the New Connections Fund, an organization must meet all of the following requirements: have 501(c)(3) status or an established relationship with an approved fiscal sponsor; have a California focus; generate no more than 50 percent of its revenue from government sources; have annual revenue of at least $100,000; request a grant amount totaling no more than $50,000 or 10 percent of its annual organizational budget; and have no active grant or outstanding reports due to the foundation. Visit the Irvine Foundation's Web site for complete program guidelines, application procedures, and an FAQ. The deadline for applications is August 9, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on June 25, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Soros Justice Fellowships Program Announces Call for Applications

The Soros Justice Fellowship Program seeks applications from outstanding individuals, including lawyers, advocates, grassroots organizers, activist academics, journalists, and filmmakers, to implement innovative projects that address one or more of the criminal justice priorities of the Open Society Institute's U.S. Justice Fund (www.soros.org/initiatives/justice). These fellowships may be of particular interest to NCDD researchers and practitioners involved with restorative justice, victim-offender mediation and alternative dispute resolution. The deadline for applications is September 13, 2006. Visit the OSI's Web site for complete program guidelines and information on the U.S. Justice Fund criminal justice priorities. Click on the link below to read more about this program.

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Added by Amy Lang on June 24, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Public Conversations Project Has a New Executive Director

The Public Conversations Project (www.publicconversations.org) has hired Cherry Muse as its new executive director. Cherry brings impressive experience in all aspects of non-profit leadership as well as understanding of and commitment to PCP's mission. Laura Chasin, PCP's co-founder and executive director of 17 years, is shifting into the role of chair of PCP╣s board of directors. To read more about this transition, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on June 13, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Green Communities Announces Charrette Grants Program

Created by Enterprise Community Partners in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Green Communities (http://enterprisefoundation.org/resources/green/) is a five-year, $555 million initiative to build more than 8,500 environmentally healthy homes for low-income families in the United States. Green Communities is now offering charrette grants of up to $5,000 each for green affordable housing developers who want to convene intense working sessions with the development team and others who share an interest in promoting health and livability. A Green Communities charrette will involve an intense working session that brings together a diverse group of housing development professionals as well as funders, policy makers, and community stakeholders (where possible) to integrate sustainable green design principles into affordable housing developments. Enterprise will award grants to cover the cost of facilitating a charrette during pre-development and to cover the cost of facilitating a post-construction sustainability training session. The charrette grant program is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, public housing authorities, and tribally designated housing entities; for-profit entities; and for-profit entities participating through joint ventures with qualified organizations. Visit the Enterprise Web site for complete program information and application materials. The deadline for applications is open.

Added by Amy Lang on May 07, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Meeting on Using Public Dialogue for Health Care Reform Coming Up in Californa

The Center for Healthcare Reform at St. Joseph Health System is planning to convene folks from around the country who are actively engaged in healthcare reform issues using a public dialogue model. The meeting is set for 12-4 p.m. Oct. 16, 2006, preceding the third American Health Care Congress at the Ontario (California) Convention Center on Oct. 17. The gathering will give participants an opportunity to consider the basis of social change, share their strategic directions and plans to build this foundation, and look at specific materials/processes used to affect such change. An example of this approach is www.ourhealthcarefuture.org. For more information contact .

Added by Amy Lang on April 25, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Laura Jane Musser Fund to Support Collaborative Process in Environmental Decision Making

Through its Initiative to Promote Collaborative Process in Environmental Decision Making, the Laura Jane Musser Fund (www.musserfund.org) will support projects by public or not-for-profit entities that undertake consensus-based activities in environmental stewardship or dispute resolution in rural areas. Applications are accepted in following two funding areas: 1) The Environmental Stewardship Program will support programs that work to manage resources (whether of ecological, economic, or aesthetic values) where a broad range of community members and stakeholders are involved in both planning and implementation. 2) The Environmental Dispute Resolution Program will support programs that engage in a collaborative process that works to build consensus instead of confrontation, particularly where both the environmental health and
economic livelihood of a community are at stake. The fund provides support for programs in their first three years, as well as projects in the planning or implementation phase. The program does not support capital expenses, general operating support for organizations, or ongoing program support. Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, start-up organizations with a tax-exempt fiscal sponsor, and units of government at the local level are eligible to apply. Organizations must be located in and serve the population of the United States. Up to six grants of up to $35,000 each will be made through the Environmental Initiative this year. Visit the Laura Jane Musser Fund Web site for complete program information and application procedures. The deadline for applications is September 5, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on April 15, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Alaska Conservation Foundation Announces Conservation for the Majority Grant Docket

The Alaska Conservation Foundation's (www.akcf.org) Conservation for the Majority Grant Docket is designed to fund projects that foster among the majority of Alaskans respectful, open discourse and action toward an Alaska where integration of economic development, environmental stewardship, and the well-being of all Alaskans is assured. Possible areas of interest include developing opportunities that enhance the economy and protect the environment; renewable energy and energy efficiency; climate change; incorporating green planning principles in Alaskan communities; and environmental health. ACF accepts requests for funding from incorporated, tax-exempt organizations and non-incorporated organizations. In some instances, individuals may be considered for project funding. The maximum funding request is $25,000. Complete program guidelines and application procedures are available at the foundation's Web site. The deadline for Letters of Inquiry is May 15, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on April 13, 2006??-??Link to this entry

National Issues Forums Celebrates 25 Years With New Discussion Guide on Democracy

National Issues Forums is celebrating 25 years of convening forums to help put people's voices back into politics. As part of their celebrations they have extended an open invitation to become part of the National Issues Forums network and to use their newest issue book on "Democracy's Challenge: Reclaiming the Public's Role." This book tackles head-on the obstacles and issues people face in a democracy that appears to have nudged its citizens onto the sidelines. Democracy's Challenge forums encourage citizens to think about what they can do to strengthen the relationship that a democracy demands between the government and its people. The issue book presents three perspectives on the problem, each of which suggests a somewhat different course of action. Right now NIF has a limited time offer for free materials to use for convening a Democracy's Challenge forum. For information on how to order, and how to become part of the National Issues Forums networks, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on April 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda President publishes opinion piece on Immigration Issue

Ruth A. Wooden, president of Public Agenda (www.publicagenda.org), a non-partisan public opinion research organization that publishes an online issue guide on immigration, has just published an opinion article on the immigration debate. To read the article, called "What a Civil Discussion of Immigration Would Really Sound Like," click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on April 06, 2006??-??Link to this entry

New Discussion Guide On Poverty Available Onlinne

The Study Circles Resource Center and the Northwest Area Foundation have produced a new discussion guide called Thriving Communities?—Working together to move from poverty to prosperity for all. The guide is designed to help communities involve people in conversations that lead to community change. Field tested in 16 communities by more than 500 participants, the five-session discussion guide helps people look at poverty in their community and discuss what it looks like, why it exists, and what can and should be done about it. Jackson, Minn., a field-test site, already is seeing results. The community has acted on seven of the 15 ideas for change identified by participants in the study circles, including forming a new community foundation that already has contributions, and establishing a resource room where people can drop off items and pick up basic necessities such as dishes, pots, and pans. Thriving Communities is available for purchase from SCRC in English and Spanish. The publications can be downloaded for free at www.studycircles.org. SCRC is offering assistance to communities across the country that are using this guide.

Added by Amy Lang on April 06, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Strategic Conversation "Reimagining New Orleans" Coming Up in May

"Re-imagining New Orleans" after Hurricane Katrina is a four-day "council of elders" from May 25-28 at the Wildacres Retreat Center in western North Carolina that uses Appreciative Inquiry as an experiment in citizen democracy. Check out their news release
www.secondjourney.org/katrina/katrina_release.htm and the series of webpages, including a registration form at www.secondjourney.org/NewOrleans.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on April 05, 2006??-??Link to this entry

NIF and Kettering Contribute to Debates About Immigration Reform

[From the Kettering Foundation?’s latest ?“Friday Letter?”]

Immigration is THE topic in Washington these days. The good news is that National Issues Forums (NIF) and the Kettering Foundation (KF) are there, too. Forums on an issue titled The New Challenges of American Immigration: What Should We Do? were held all across the country in 2003-2005. KF published a report on the forums last November and convened a roundtable in Washington to talk about it. Copies of the KF report will go to the offices of each of the U.S. Senators on the Judiciary Committee next week. What will they learn? Click on the link below to find out!

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Added by Amy Lang on April 03, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Patagonia Offers Support for Environmental Work

Patagonia (www.patagonia.com), the outdoor clothing and gear company, provides support for environmental work through grants to nonprofit organizations. Patagonia funds only environmental work, and is most interested in making grants to organizations that identify and work on the root causes of problems and that approach issues with a commitment to long-term change. The company funds work that is action-oriented; builds public involvement and support; is strategic in its targeting and goals; focuses on root causes; accomplishes specific goals and objectives that can be effectively measured; and takes place in countries where Patagonia has retail stores or an international office. The company does not fund organizations without 501(c)(3) status or a comparable fiscal sponsor; general environmental education efforts; land acquisition, land trusts, or conservation easements; research (unless it is in direct support of a developed plan for specific action to alleviate an environmental problem); environmental conferences; endowment funds; or political campaigns. Most grants are in the range of $3,000 to $8,000. Patagonia accepts proposals for programs that fit its grant guidelines during the months of April or August. Only one proposal from an organization will be considered per year. Please Note: Organizations based in a community in which Patagonia has a retail store or an international office should submit their request to the store. Retail store applications are accepted year-round. Visit the Patagonia Web site for complete program information and grant application procedures. Deadlines: April 30, 2006 and August 31, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on March 31, 2006??-??Link to this entry

PCI Meets with Civic Leaders in New Orleans, Participates in Emergency Preparedness Analysis in California

Policy Consensus Initiative (www.policyconsensus.org) recently invited a group of civic leaders from New Orleans to meet with PCI to share their perspectives on what is needed to begin the recovery and restoration process. In addition to an extensive catalogue of resource needs, they cited the need for collaboration. To PCI's question about what has to occur to bring about collaboration they answered: Collaboration can begin when the necessary parties are willing to come to the table to establish a common goal and begin working together to achieve it. Given the magnitude of the disaster, they need local, state, and federal governments at the table. The civic leaders believe that this is the time to get people galvanized so that all the necessary parties are willing to come together to develop solutions. PCI left New Orleans with the view that there needs to be a convener of stature to lead the recovery and restoration efforts. The civic leaders who met there believe the federal government needs to play that role. PCI says this is an example of a situation where collaboration is not yet possible. Using collaborative governance to address a problem of this nature requires all affected governments and agencies to be ready to find mutual agreement on purpose and objectives. The necessary partners for recovery and restoration in Louisiana first need to agree upon a framework for combining their efforts. For more news on collaborative policy-making, click on the link below.

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Added by Amy Lang on March 29, 2006??-??Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Hosts Health Care Meetings in Los Angeles and Albuquerque

AmericaSpeaks convened two meetings on national health care policy in March on behalf of the Citizens?’ Health Care Working Group. On Saturday, March 4, we brought together more than 500 participants in Los Angeles for the day-long meeting. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa welcomed participants and shared his perspective on health care in America. Throughout the day participants identified the values they associate with health care and weighed in on suggested improvements to our health care system. Topics included preferred models of health care coverage and components of a benefits plan, difficulties in accessing care, methods of financing coverage, and the tradeoffs participants are willing to make. USA Today covered and wrote about the LA meeting. For a limited time you can view the article at www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2006-03-14-health-debate-usat_x.htm. On Monday, March 20, more than 150 residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico met for a very successful three hour meeting on the same topic. The diverse participants included several local decision makers, including State Senator Dede Feldman, four New Mexico State Cabinet Secretaries, representatives from the Governor and Lieutenant Governor?’s offices as well as staff from the offices of Senator Dominici, Senator Bingaman, and Congresswoman Wilson. Once again participants identified shared values and participated in small group discussions on benefits, access, financing, and tradeoffs in health care. The suggestions gathered during these meetings will be used to create recommendations to improve our health care system that will be sent to Congress and President Bush.

AmericaSpeaks is still seeking facilitators for all of the health care meetings (Hartford, CT on April 6; Las Vegas, NV on April 11; San Antonio, TX on April 19; Fargo, ND on April 22; Lexington, KY on April 25; Cincinnati, OH on April 29; Little Rock, AR on April 29; Sioux Falls, SD on May 6). If you?’re interested in serving as a volunteer table facilitator for the Cincinnati meeting on April 29, please sign up online by selecting the Cincinnati registration link at the Working Group?’s community meeting site www.citizenshealthcare.gov/register. Any questions should be directed to Diane Altman Dautoff at or by phone at (206) 320-1169. If you are interested in serving as a facilitator for any of AmericaSpeaks?’ other health care meetings, please contact Mike Ravvin at , or (202) 775-3939 x1007.

Added by Amy Lang on March 26, 2006??-??Link to this entry

National Online Discussion about Health Care from March 22-April 5

Go national with your opinions about health care in America by visiting www.AmericansDiscussHealth.org from March 22 to April 5. Join citizens from around the country and post your opinions in a personal blog, explore your ideas in the discussion forums and get vocal about health care. This web-based public forum is a part of more than thirty meetings of varying sizes being convened across the United States by the Citizens?’ Health Care Working Group (www.citizenshealthcare.gov). The purpose of the meetings and the online dialogue is to discuss health care benefits and services, getting health care, financing, and tradeoffs and options. This feedback from these meetings will help develop recommendations which, bylaw, the President is required to respond to and upon which Congress will hold hearings. The two-week national online discussion about health care will begin with a March 22 webcast meeting: "What?’s Your Health Worth?" held from 7:00 to 9:00 pm at http://mc.umich.edu/clients/vpcomm/healthmeeting/. Visit this site after the meeting to view an archived version of the event.

The Citizens Health Care Working Group has also lined up a series of small and large-scale public meetings aimed at engaging the American public in establishing the values and priorities that must drive health care reform in 2008 and beyond. The first large-scale forum, designed and facilitated by AmericaSpeaks, was held March 4 in Los Angeles and engaged more than 500 residents from the across the city. Between January and May of 2006, more than 30 public have been scheduled across the country. To learn more about this initiative, please visit www.citizenshealthcare.gov.

Added by Amy Lang on March 22, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Garrison Institute Seeking Director of Environmental Programs

The Garrison Institute (www.garrisoninstitute.org) is seeking a Director of Environmental Programs to help expand its reach and impact in the coming years by deepening the Institute's current environmental programs and conceiving of and implementing new, innovative programs. This position reports to the Senior Vice President of Programs and works in close collaboration with a distinguished steering committee of highly respected leaders in the field and members of the Institute?’s board of directors. This is an ideal opportunity for an individual committed to the environment to bring, through contemplative practices, more thoughtful and long-lasting approaches to systemic problems. The scope of responsibilities for the Environmental Program Director includes but is not limited to: research, program development, design and execution of events at the Institute, budgeting, fundraising, day-to-day program management including supervision of staff, oral and written presentations, and networking in the field. Reporting to the Program Director will be an Assistant, with other staffing determined by additional future funding. Confidential applications and nominations are due by April 28, 2006, but will be reviewed as received. Please send a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and salary history. Applications should be sent to: ; in order to assist in our internal sorting and reviewing process, please write your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail. The Garrison Institute is an equal opportunity employer. For more information about this position, visit www.nonprofitprofessionals.com/searches/garrison-epd.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on March 15, 2006??-??Link to this entry

PhD Position Available in Urban Planning

The Program in Urban Affairs and Planning, School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech has an open position in "Improving Collaborative Decision-making Through Learning Networks." Faculty in the Program in Urban Affairs and Planning and in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech are seeking qualified doctoral applicants for the PhD in Environmental Design and Planning program who are interested in pursuing research on learning networks, an innovative collaborative approach to restoring ecological health at the landscape scale. Specifically, we are partnering with The Nature Conservancy to examine social learning, organizational design, and diffusion of innovation within TNC?’s national Fire Learning Network (http://tncfire.org/training_usfln.htm). They currently have multi-year funding to support a new candidate to join a faculty ?– graduate student team pursuing this research. In addition to receiving financial support, successful candidates will co-author journal articles with project PI?’s, receive training in grant-writing, have the opportunity to teach at the undergraduate level and attend at least one academic conference each year. Criteria for Selection include a background in interpretive social science research, including interviewing and discourse analysis, as well as environment and natural resources are strongly desired. Candidates with master?’s degrees in planning, environmental studies, public policy, public administration, sociology, as well as the human dimensions of natural resources or related fields are strongly encouraged to apply. Successful applicants must have strong academic credentials and be accepted into the doctoral program. Research will begin as early as summer 2006. Contact Bruce Goldstein via email () to discuss the position.

Added by Amy Lang on March 14, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Join the OrangeBand Anti-Apathy Campaign

The OrangeBand initative (www.OrangeBand.org), a group dedicated to promoting civil conversations about important issues, is challenging 10,000 people to add their voice to the new online OrangeBand Mosaic. You will also be able to start a profile in the new OrangeBand Online Community. Visit http://orangeband.org/profile/image.php to sign up to participate in the anti-apathy campaign.

Added by Amy Lang on March 13, 2006??-??Link to this entry

News About Visual Dialogue on World Aids Day

[via Deliberative-Democracy.net] On World AIDS Day (December 1st) 2005, the "visual voice" of more than 1,200 young people affected by, living with or concerned about HIV/AIDS in over a dozen countries was exhibited at sites around the world. Part of the first International Peace Tiles Project World AIDS Day initiative, young people who participated in arts and discussion workshops in advance of World AIDS Day contributed more than 100 wood "tiles" on which they had created intimate collages. These personal works of narrative art, when combined with others from around the world, created powerful messages of hope, prevention, and advocacy. Murals were installed in South Africa, India, and at the Global Fund in Geneva and exhibited on World AIDS Day. For more information about this unique visual dialogue, please visit: www.telecommunity.us/peacetiles/wad

Added by Amy Lang on March 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

CDC Wraps Up Delibarative Consultation on Pandemic Flu

[From keystone.org via Deliberative-Democracy.net] In one of the most exemplary recent US government efforts to engage the public around an urgent issue, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a series of public consultations on pandemic flu in the last quarter of 2005. According to one of the project's sponsors, "To conduct this public consultation, the sponsors engaged stakeholders from various organizations with an interest in pandemic influenza (the National Stakeholder Group), and individual citizens-at-large from the four principal regions of the United States, including Georgia (South), Massachusetts (North East), Nebraska (Midwest), and Oregon (West)...The purpose of the Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza (PEPPPI) was to inform decision-makers about the public's priorities for the use of pandemic influenza vaccine during a period of anticipated shortage. This information is intended to lead to a sounder, more supportable decision and to demonstrate that citizens can be productively engaged in informing vaccine related policy decisions thereby leading to more public engagement in the future." According to Patty Dineen of the National Issues Forums Institute, "This is the best public engagement project and report that I have seen. I really think that what you've done is groundbreaking and should be required reading for all of us who are involved in - or care about?—public engagement." To view a report of the consultation, please visit the Study Circles Resource Center, which carries an excellent article and links: www.studycircles.org/en/Article.393.aspx. The official PEPPI Report is available for viewing on The Keystone Center?’s website at www.keystone.org/spp/health-pandemic.html. The section of the Department of Health and Human Services?’ pandemic flu plan mentioning the work of PEPPPI can be found at www.hhs.gov/pandemicflu/plan/appendixd.html/.

Added by Amy Lang on March 11, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Fund for Wild Nature Invites Proposals

The Fund for Wild Nature ( http://fundwildnature.org/ ) provides money for campaigns to save and restore native species and wild ecosystems, including actions to defend wilderness and biological diversity. The fund supports advocacy, litigation, public policy work, development of citizen science, and similar endeavors. It does not support basic scientific research, private land acquisition, individual action or study, or conferences. The fund will only support media projects that have a clear strategic value and a concrete plan for dissemination of the final product. The fund supports biocentric goals that are premised on effective and intelligible strategies, and will give special attention to ecological issues not currently receiving sufficient public attention and funding. All proposals must be highly cost effective. The fund supports projects only in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and rarely supports proposals from organizations with annual budgets greater than $250,000. Visit the Fund for Wild Nature Web site for complete grant guidelines and application procedures. Deadlines are: April 28, 2006 and November 3, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on March 08, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Do Something Invites Young People to Apply for Community Project Grants

Each fall and spring, Do Something (http://dosomething.org/) awards grants of $500 each to ten young people who submit creative proposals for solving local problems. Members of Do Something's Youth Advisory Council evaluate the proposals and award grants to the most deserving projects in three areas: community building, health, and the environment. An applicant must be 25 years old or younger on May 1, 2006, to receive a 2006 Do Something grant. Applicants also must have a mentor to apply for a grant. A mentor can be a friend, relative, teacher, coach, or anyone 18 years old or older who is willing to help the applicant with his or her project. Applicants may apply for a grant either individually or on behalf of a group or team. Visit the Do Something Web site for complete program information and application procedures. Deadline: May 15, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on March 05, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Proposals Sought for Pilot Public Consultation on Genes and Environment

The National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health has just issued a Request for Applications (RFA), "Public Consultation to Inform the Design of Possible Large Scale Studies of Genes and Environment in Common Disease." (See http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HG-06-008.html). The purpose of this RFA is to provide support for a specialized center to conduct a pilot public consultation study to obtain wide societal input to inform the design of a possible large U.S.-based longitudinal cohort study of the role of genes and environment in health and disease. Letters of intent for the RFA are due April 10, 2006. The application receipt deadline is May 10, 2006. If you are interested in applying or would like more information, please contact Dr. Jean McEwen at or (301) 402-4997.

Added by Amy Lang on March 01, 2006??-??Link to this entry

New Discussion Guide on End-Of-Life Decisions Published by NIF

National Issues Forums (NIF) has just published a new discussion guide about end-of-life decisions. The discussion guide, titled Life and Death Decisions: Who Decides? presents information about aspects of end-of-life decisions that are currently at issue in the country, and three possible approaches for consideration. The approaches are "Preserving Life," which states that as long as there is the ability to maintain life, our skills should be employed in sustaining it; "Maintaning Quality of Life" which states that sometimes withdrawing life support is appropriate even when further treatment would help the patient live longer; and "My Choice, My Right" which states that People should all have the right to decide whether they want to live or die. To download or order the guide, visit www.nifi.org/discussion_guides/guides.aspx?catID=12.

Added by Amy Lang on February 26, 2006??-??Link to this entry

AmericaSpeaks Seeking Facilitators and Participants for California Dialogues

NCDD member Lars Torres sent the following message to the NCDD listserv asking for volunteers. AmericaSpeaks is organizing and facilitating a series of meetings this spring on health care policy for the Citizens' Health Care Working Group (www.citizenshealthcare.gov). The recommendations that result from the citizen engagement process will be presented to Congress and the President, whose response is required by law. For more information on this initiative and AmericaSpeaks' role, please visit www.americaspeaks.org/spotlight/?p=28

The first community meeting will take place in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, March 4. With less than 2 weeks to go, AmericaSpeaks are in urgent need of more facilitators and participants. If you can, please take a few minutes to encourage anyone you know in the Los Angeles area who may be interested in participating or facilitating to register as facilitators or participants for this meeting. Registering for the meeting is pretty easy and can be done on-line at
www.citizenshealthcare.gov/register or by phone at 1-800-679-3684. If you have questions, would like more information, or would like to sign up, please contact Surjeet Ahluwalia at AmericaSpeaks: (t) 202-775-3939, x1006 (f)202-775-0404; email or visit the AmericaSpeaks website above.

Added by Amy Lang on February 22, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Open Society Institute Announces Katrina Media Fellowships

The Open Society Institute (www.soros.org) has announced a fellowship competition in response to critical issues exposed by Hurricane Katrina. By supporting in-depth journalism and media projects, OSI aims to stimulate and sustain a national conversation on these issues. The Katrina Media Fellowships will support dynamic print and radio journalists, photographers, and documentary filmmakers in the creation, and improvement, of media coverage of issues exposed by Katrina. Applicants should propose projects that will expand and deepen the public's understanding of race and class inequalities in the United States. Applicants may also propose projects that will address the government's response to problems caused or illuminated by Katrina, the use or misuse of public funds, the role of private contractors, the effectiveness of clean-up and rebuilding efforts, citizen involvement in these efforts, and lessons learned that should inform the handling of future natural and man-made disasters. In addition, applicants may propose projects that draw attention to OSI's current or past programmatic priorities, using Katrina as the frame. These priorities include access to legal services and government assistance, criminal justice reform, improving end of life care, and access to healthcare and education reform. OSI expects to award twelve to fifteen one-year fellowships. Fellows will receive between $15,000 and $35,000 to carry out projects in print, radio, photography, and documentary film and video production. Award amounts will cover a stipend and project expenses and will vary depending on the project duration, medium, and costs involved. The fellowship term begins June 15, 2006. Applicants must be mid-career or veteran print or radio journalists, photographers, or documentary filmmakers with proven track records as serious media-makers. OSI will give special consideration to applicants who have been displaced from or are residents of the Gulf Coast region. The Katrina Media Fellowships are a one-time competition and will not be offered in subsequent years. Fellowship guidelines and application instructions are available at the OSI Web site. The deadline for applications is March 31, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on February 05, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Harwood Leading a National Conversation On 'The State of Our Union'

This week, The Harwood Institute is asking everyone interested in forging an alternate path for politics and public life to join Rich Harwood for a national conversation on "The State of Our Union." Rich wrote a series of articles this week for his blog, Redeeming Hope, that are designed to address some of the fundamental questions we face as a society of people who have retreated from the public square. The conversation leads up to the president's annual State of the Union Address, which is scheduled for next Tuesday, Jan. 31. Rich's writings are based on his 20 years of travel across the country, listening to the authentic voices of ordinary Americans. What he has found is that people have retreated from politics and public life because leaders no longer reflect the reality of our daily lives in their words and actions. In some cases, they even purposefully distort that reality for political gain. The result is that people feel enraged but also powerless to do anything about it, which leads to an overwhelming feeling of being trapped. The authentic voices of Americans tell us a far different story from what we hear from the media, political pundits, many academics, and political leaders, all of whom believe we have simply become a more divided society. Unfortunately, the political strategies pursued under this false analysis force people to retreat farther and farther into their close-knit circles of family and friends. Blog entries for this week include:

* On Monday, Rich wrote about the notion of "truth" and what it means to people.
* On Tuesday, he discussed the role our political leaders play in shaping the State of Our Union.
* Wednesday's blog concerns the need for all of us to step forward and begin to see one another.
* On Thursday Rich wrote about the pursuit of "happiness" and where that is leading us as a society.

To engage in a conversation about the State of Our Union, visit Rich's blog at www.theharwoodinstitute.org/rcharwood/weblog/

Added by Amy Lang on January 27, 2006??-??Link to this entry

2006 Season for Nonviolence Starts January 30

The 2006 Season for Nonviolence is upon us. As you may know, this 64-day event runs from January 30-April 4, and was founded to celebrate the visions of nonviolent activists Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Mahatma Gandhi. To celebrate, PuddleDancer press will be offering the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Starter book package at a 50% discount. The package includes great seasonal activity ideas, information on NVC workshops and trainers in your area, a free, inspiring Speak Peace postcard or eCard, and more. To learn more, visit www.nonviolentcommunication.com/snv/index.htm. Or contact Tiffany Meyer at PuddleDancer Press at 503-880-5308 or at [email protected]. For more information on the Season of Nonviolence movement, go to www.agnt.org/snv02.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on January 22, 2006??-??Link to this entry

Public Conversations Project Profiled in O, the Oprah Magazine

Public Conversations Project (www.publicconversations.org) was recently featured in the November 2005 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine in the article Us & Them (p.264). PCP Executive Director Laura Chasin speaks candidly with writer Aimee Lee Ball about the fiery national abortion debate which gave birth to new dialogue. "What PCP has developed, Chasin says, is most useful in bridging deeply polarized issues." Read on at: www.oprah.com/omagazine/200511/omag_200511_understanding.jhtml

Added by Amy Lang on January 02, 2006??-??Link to this entry

EPA Announces Air Innovations Grant

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just posted a series of Air Innovations Grant announcements on their website at epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html. In particular, the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (OAQPS) is seeking applications from states, territories, Indian Tribes, and possessions of the U.S., including the District of Columbia, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions, which propose projects with significant technical merit and relevance to EPA's Office of Air and Radiation's mission. For certain competitive funding opportunities, the Agency may limit eligibility to a particular subset of eligible applicants consistent with the Agency?’s competition policy. Applicants have until 5:00pm January 6, 2006 to submit applications/proposals. Visit the weblink above for details.

Added by Amy Lang on December 10, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Free Discussion Materials on "Privacy, Security and Community Concerns"

The Fall 2005 Preview Forum (www.previewforum.com) still has discussion kits available on the topic of "Privacy, Security and Community Concerns." Four years after 9/11, four years after the Patriot Act, and several years into a data-industry revolution how can communities respond to the changing balance of privacy, security and freedom of information? And how can journalists help us to better assess the tradeoffs? In local discussions throughout the country, communities will consider these issues. Preview Forum offers a free, multimedia kit of materials to participating communities, featuring excerpts from the following films and television programs: ?“Peter Jennings Reporting: No Place to Hide,?” ?“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,?” ?“Frontline: The Persuaders,?” ?“The Cost of Freedom,?” ?“ Secrecy,?” ?“ NOW on PBS: Whistleblowers,?” and ?“Democracy on Deadline.?” If you are interested in one of the remaining information kits, please contact Julia John, as soon as possible at Roundtable, Inc.; 8 Common Street, Suite 1A; Waltham, MA 02451; telephone 781.893.3336 x24; fax 781.893.7772; email . For more information on this issue, click on the link below.

Read the rest of "Free Discussion Materials on "Privacy, Security and Community Concerns""

Added by Amy Lang on December 09, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Udall Foundation Invites Applications for Environmental Public Policy and Conflict Resolution Dissertation Fellowship

The Morris K. Udall Foundation (www.udall.gov) annually awards two one-year fellowships of up to $24,000 to doctoral candidates in the U.S. whose research concerns environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution and who are entering their final year of writing their dissertation. Dissertation fellowships are open to scholars in all fields of study whose dissertation topic has significant relevance to U.S. national environmental public policy and/or environmental conflict resolution. Previous fellows' fields of study include political science; economics; government; environmental science, policy, and management; ecology; environmental justice; regional planning; geography; natural resource policy; and environmental analysis and design. Cross or inter-disciplinary projects are particularly welcome. Each applicant must have completed all coursework and passed all preliminary exams; have approval for the dissertation research proposal by February 3, 2006; be entering the final year of writing the dissertation; and be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or U.S. national. Ph.D. candidates who hold a fellowship for the purpose of writing the dissertation during the year preceding or coinciding with the Udall Fellowship are not eligible. Fellowships are intended to cover both academic and living expenses from July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007. Visit the Udall Foundation Web site for complete program information and application procedures. The deadline for this fellowship application is February 3, 2006.

Added by Amy Lang on December 08, 2005??-??Link to this entry

EPA Calls for Proposals for Community Involvement Conference

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently is soliciting presentation proposals for its 2006 Community Involvement Conference and Training. This annual conference offers a unique opportunity to network with, and learn from, public participation and community involvement professionals from EPA and its federal, state, tribal, and community partners. The conference will offer participants original, engaging, and interactive presentations focusing on ways government can effectively interact with communities to achieve environmental results. The theme for the 2006 Conference is "Something Good is Brewing: Achieving Environmental Results Through Community Involvement." The conference will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from June 27 - 30, 2006. If you are interested in submitting a proposal, visit the conference web site at www.epa.gov/ciconference. All presentation proposals are due close-of-business January 18, 2006. Questions about the conference can be directed to Pat Carey, Chair of the EPA Conference Planning Committee, at or 703-603-8772, or to Lisa Gebler, Conference Coordinator at [email protected] or 301-589-5318.

Added by Amy Lang on December 07, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Opportunity to Particpate in the Citizens Health Care Working Group

The Citizens' Health Care Working Group recently announced the start of a
nationwide discussion on health care to find solutions that will lead to health care that works for all Americans. This exciting endeavor is a direct result of the Health Care that Works for All Americans law (Public Law 108-173, section 1014) proposed by Senators Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden and passed by the U.S. Congress. The law mandates the creation of the Working Group and tasks it with organizing a national public debate on ways to improve the health care system so every American has the ability to obtain quality and affordable health care coverage. The feedback generated from this process will be used to develop a citizens' road map of recommendations which the President is required to respond to and upon which Congress will hold hearings.

The Working Group invites all organizations to participate in this incredible citizen engagement effort by helping to extend its reach to as many Americans as possible. Potential ways to help include hosting community meetings, driving traffic to the website; and highlighting this opportunity in your newsletters and networks. If your organization is interested in helping to spread the word about this unprecedented effort, and especially if you are interested in hosting a community meeting, the Working Group wants to hear from you! Please contact Jessica Federer at 301-443-1521 or

AmericaSpeaks (www.americaspeaks.org) will be partnering with the Working Group to engage thousands of Americans through small and large scale face-to-face meetings, self-initiated community meetings, and web-casts. For more information on this exciting initiative and to download the recently released Health Report to the American People, which provides a
basic set of information to help start a national discussion on health care, visit the Health Care That Works for All Americans website: www.citizenshealthcare.gov


Added by Amy Lang on November 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

World Citizens To Debate Urban Sustainability Online, Dec. 1-3, 2005

Habitat JAM, an unprecedented online global dialogue on urban sustainability, will be held for 72 hours from 1-3 December, 2005. Sponsored by the Government of Canada, in partnership with UN-HABITAT and IBM, the Habitat JAM promises to engage, empower and stimulate tens of thousands of global citizens, rich and less fortunate alike, with the ultimate goal of turning ideas into action on critical issues related to urban sustainability. The Habitat JAM is a preparatory event to the third session of the World Urban Forum being held in Vancouver in June 2006. The World Urban Forum is an initiative of the United Nations Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) held every two years to debate ideas and issues about sustainable development in today's context of rapid urbanization. Topics for discussion will include improving the lives of people living in slums, access to water, environmental sustainability, safety and security, finance and governance, and the future of our cities. The Habitat JAM will bring together academics and students, planners and builders, politicians, governments, the private sector and ordinary citizens from across the globe in real time, all contributing ideas and expertise during the 72-hour global problem-solving session. Moderators will include government leaders, renowned experts, and key thinkers. To ensure the most inclusive event possible, grass root organizations, institutions, women, youth groups and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are helping to bring people to the technology who might otherwise not have access or opportunity to share their experiences and ideas with others around the world. To name just a few examples, the Habitat JAM is teaming with the:

* World Bank Institute to offer access to many of their satellite-based Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) to enable people living in regions with inadequate or no Internet access to participate in the Habitat JAM.
* Huairou Commission and GROOTS Canada to bring the voice of non-English speaking women into the Habitat JAM.
* World Urban Forum and Youth Organizing Committee (WUFY) who will hold over a dozen World Urban Cafe JAM Sessions to engage communities in slums and impoverished human settlements in Asia, Africa, India and Latin America.

For additional information on Habitat JAM and to register for the event, visit www.habitatjam.com.

Added by Amy Lang on November 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Consensus Building Tools for New Challenges at the State and Local Levels

Mediate.com has just put out its latest e-newsletter and one of the featured stories details consensus building methods that have been used at state and local government levels. To read all about it, visit www.mediate.com/articles/pciJones1.cfm

Added by Amy Lang on November 15, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Watch PBS Deliberation Week On Thursday Nov. 10

PBS will broadcast nationally on Thursday November 10 at 9:00 pm EST (check local listings) By the People: PBS Deliberation Week. By the People is a special project organized by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions to bring the views of informed, "ordinary" citizens to a national discussion on the important issues of the day. The broadcast highlights citizen deliberations organized by By the People, sixteen PBS affiliates and local partners during Deliberation Week, October 22-29, 2005. These events focused on healthcare or education, two issues prominent on the national agenda.

As part of Deliberation Week, the Stanford Center for Deliberative Democracy (cdd.stanford.edu) conducted an online Deliberative Poll on health care and education. For five weeks, participants engaged in weekly small group dialogues with trained moderators, discussed balanced briefing materials and posed questions to experts representing different points of view. The participants?’ views changed significantly about policy options, about public officials and about each other. The project was conducted online with a nationally representative sample that discussed the issues using voice rather than text (employing microphones for interaction) and software designed to facilitate group discussion. Online Deliberative Polls offer lower costs than face-to-face deliberation when bringing together representative sample groups of large or national populations. CitizenSovereignty.org is a new, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to educate people about the importance of participating in political life, through efforts such as the use of Deliberative Polls in public policy development. For more information about CitizenSovereignty, contact Bill Corbett at .

Added by Amy Lang on November 06, 2005??-??Link to this entry

White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation Focuses on "Shared Governance"

Federal officials working for environmental, land-management, and wildlife agencies gathered in August with state, local, and tribal officials; nonprofit conservation organizations; and private landowners and businesses for the fourth-ever White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation. The first such conference was convened by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 and set a 40-year course for conservation in the United States. This year?’s theme, ?“Strengthening shared governance and citizen stewardship,?” sought to celebrate what Interior Secretary Gail Norton called a new chapter built on "communication, consultation, and cooperation, in the name of conservation." The three-day conference was organized by the Council on Environmental Quality, and co-hosted by the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, and the Environmental Protection Agency. A number of facilitators, including PolicyConsensus Director Chris Carlson and NPCC Director Greg Wolf, led discussions around nine key topic areas such as expanding the roles of states, tribes, and local governments in cooperative conservation. In her opening remarks, Interior Secretary Norton described an initiative to develop cooperative conservation legislation to submit to Congress, though few details were offered about what the legislation would contain. Two days later, at the concluding plenary session ?– after Norton and other cabinet members had been summoned to Washington, D.C., to coordinate the emergency response to Hurricane Katrina ?– federal officials issued an invitation to conference participants to provide input on the proposed legislation. For updates and more information on the conference, visit PolicyConsensus.org.

Added by Amy Lang on October 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

San Diego Dialogue to Host 20th Forum Fronterizo

San Diego Dialogue has just announced its 20th Forum Fronterizo luncheon, "Borderless Innovation: A New Vision for Regional Competitiveness Through Crossborder Collaboration." The luncheon will serve as the venue for the release of research conducted during 2004 and 2005 by San Diego Dialogue, and its partners CENTRIS and CICESE. The research results - to be distributed in a report at the event - will highlight how closer collaboration between San Diego and Baja California in science and technology-based clusters holds the promise for increased competitiveness and prosperity for our region. The report examines selected high value-added economic clusters, including biomedical device manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and clinical research, marine biotechnology, aerospace and defense, software and information technology, as well as other emerging clusters of opportunity. The luncheon will be held on Friday, November 4, 2005 from 12:00 - 2:00 PM at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina 333 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101. For more information, contact San Diego Dialogue, University of California, San Diego; Division of Extended Studies and Public Programs; 9500 Gilman Dr, MC: 0170-D; La Jolla, CA 92093-0170-D; phone (858) 534-8638; fax (858) 622-4842 or visit their website: www.sandiegodialogue.org

Added by Amy Lang on October 03, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Fetzer Institute Sponsoring Conference on Democracy

The Fetzer Institute (www.fetzer.org) will be sponsoring the Second Conference on Democracy in America, this December 1-4, 2005 in Colorado. The conference is co-sponsored by the Christian Coalition of America, Moveon.org and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. Facilitators include Mark Gerzon, President, Mediators Foundation (Chief Facilitator, Bi-Partisan Congressional Retreats) and William Ury, Director, Global Negotiation Project, Harvard Law School (co-author, "Getting to Yes"). Three day facilitated dialogue among 20-24 leaders of national political/civil associations, 1/3 generally perceived left, 1/3 generally perceived right, 1/3 generally perceived unaligned. The purpose is to build bridges of trust, respect and communication among leaders of national political and civil associations from across the political spectrum by engaging in a facilitated dialogue about a) the values that unite us as Americans, b) how to expand upon the recent successful left-right-center cooperation in the area of civil liberties, privacy, and constitutional protections, and c) other areas of potential left-right-center cooperation. For more information on this initiative, visit www.democracycampaign.org

Added by Amy Lang on September 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

C2D2 Invites Participants for Online Forum About the United Nations

The First Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) invites you to participate as an Observer or a Participant in a large-scale, international e-forum regarding the United Nations. This event will involve between 300 - 500 participants from around the world and will be hosted by Politalk in partnership with C2D2, the Canadian Commision for UNESCO, and the US Atlantic Council. There is no charge. C2D2 registrants can participate or observe the online e-forum "Building a Safer World: the UN in the 21st Century" will take place (in English) between October 12 and 25. C2D2 will hold a follow-up session during C2D2. For more information on this event, contact . And for more information on C2D2 or to register, visit www.c2d2.ca.

Added by Amy Lang on September 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Update on Call for Department of Peace

A few days ago, we blogged about the Peace Alliance campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace (see here). We just got an update with some great news. At a meeting with Peace Alliance youth leaders in D.C., Senator Mark Dayton from Minnesota agreed to help "move this forward" on behalf of our children. It is a huge milestone in the campaign and for the future of this legislation to have a member of the Senate to express such interest. The Peace Alliance is asking for everyone's support to help us keep up this momentum with Senator Dayton. Call Senator Dayton's office today at 202-224-3244 and thank him for his interest and support on behalf of our children. The Peace Alliance is also encouraging children to call their Senators and Representative to ask them to support a Dept of Peace. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: (202) 224-3121. You can find your representatives at: www.vote-smart.org. The new bill number in the House of Representatives is HB 3760. On the House side, the bill already has three new co-sponsors and much interest from others. This is great news!

Added by Amy Lang on September 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News About By The People's Upcoming Deliberation Week

By the People (www.pbs.org/newshour/btp) has just announced grant awards to the community groups and PBS stations in sixteen cities across the country that will convene Citizen Dialogues and produce companion television programming during Deliberation Week, October 22-29, 2005. Through these events, they anticipate more than 1,000 citizens nationwide will join in a common deliberation about one of two critically important issues before the nation: healthcare and education. The discussions, which will be national and local in scope, will reach an even larger audience when they are featured in a national PBS broadcast airing on November 10, 2005, at 9:00pm ET. To read a list of participating groups and stations, click on the link below.

By The People is also organizing a number of other participation venues. Five community colleges around the country will engage their students and local communities in dialogues on healthcare and education during Deliberation Week and throughout the fall. Topics for discussion include healthcare for the uninsured, hospital personnel shortages, education ethics, and teaching challenges in a diverse classroom. (To read a list of participating colleges, click on the link below). And more than 300 citizens will participate in a national online conversation about By the People?’s Deliberation Week issues-- healthcare and education-- in September and October 2005. A representative sample of citizens nationwide will participate in weekly small group discussions to become more informed. The resulting shifts of opinion will reveal what these participants think about healthcare and education as they learn more about these issues. The experiment will be conducted for By the People by the Stanford Center for Deliberative Democracy and Polimetrix. The online process will mirror face-to-face conversations taking place during Deliberation Week. The online deliberators, who will be a national representative sample, will meet online in small groups and participate in discussions conducted through voice rather than text. Results of the online Deliberative Opinion Poll« will be available on the By the People website in November.

Read the rest of "News About By The People's Upcoming Deliberation Week"

Added by Amy Lang on September 15, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Participants Needed in Massachusetts For Public Engagement on Sept. 17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with 7 other participating organizations are currently conducting the Public Engagement Pilot Project on Pandemic Influenza. Their goal is to demonstrate that they can attract a large, diverse group of citizens without financial incentives to learn about a technical subject in public health, interact respectfully in gave and take discussions, and reach a productive outcome by ranking goals and populations related to the use of scarce influenza vaccine (rationing) in the early days of a worldwide outbreak of a new influenza virus. They have already held two successful public consultations with citizens-at-large in Atlanta and with stakeholders in Washington DC in the past month, and are scheduled to travel to Marlborough Massachusetts this coming Saturday September 17, 2005 to obtain citizen feedback on the preliminary report from the two previous meetings.

They are currently having difficulty recruiting at least 100 Massachusetts citizens-at-large to attend the consultation this Saturday morning. If anyone has access to Massachusetts citizens 18 and over who might be successfully recruited to attend, please let the organizers of this event know immediately know right away. Contact Jennifer Logan Coyle in Massachusetts at or call 617-620-9615. They will be repeating the feedback sessions in Omaha on Sept 24 and in Portland Oregon on October 1, 2005 and could use help in recruiting there also, but Massachusetts is the priority for now.

Added by Amy Lang on September 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

After Hurricane Katrina: Online Resources to Learn, Discuss and Offer Aid

In the wake of the recent devastation in the South, our friend and colleague Tom Atlee put together a list of resources for everyone to keep talking, thinking and taking action to help those affected. Below, you will find a list of websites and resources summarizing the event, tools for opening up discussion and places to make donations. Please share this list widely.

Read the rest of "After Hurricane Katrina: Online Resources to Learn, Discuss and Offer Aid"

Added by Amy Lang on September 12, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Join Preview Forum to Discuss Access to Information

?“Preview Forum?” is a national media and dialogue initiative that brings together news professionals, leaders, and citizens in local forums to discuss social issues relevant to the community. This fall, Preview Forum focuses on who has access to what information? Four years after 9/11, four years after the Patriot Act, and several years into a data-industry revolution, have we found the right balance between security, privacy and freedom of information? And how can journalists help our communities better understand the tradeoffs? They invite organizations of all sizes to become local partners and host forums in their communities. Roundtable will provide FREE RESOURCES (including videos, topic guides, publicity materials, and more) to organizations that sign on as partners. Supplies are limited. For more information, contact Julia John at or 781-893-3336 x24. Visit the Web site at www.previewforum.com

Added by Amy Lang on September 11, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Participate in the September Project

The September Project is a grassroots effort to encourage public events on freedom, democracy, and citizenship in libraries on or around September 11. Libraries around the world are organizing public and campus events, such as displays about human rights and historical documents; talks and performances about freedom and cultural difference; and film screenings about issues that matter. Although primarily organized for September 11, events will take place all throughout the month of September. A list of events is available at: www.theseptemberproject.org/events.htm. To see a map of all the countries taking part, visit www.drizzle.com/%7Eklockner/cgi-bin/tsp/2005/map.cgi. And to read about the September Project in the Chronicle of Higher Education, visit here:chronicle.com/free/2005/09/2005090801t.htm.

Added by Amy Lang on September 10, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Online Resource for Discussing Impact of Katrina

NCDD member Carrie Stewart recently sent us a resource for discussing the the recent events in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as for other traumatic events. Jo Nelson, the originator of the conversation had this to say about it: "This conversation is based on one I had created for Art of Focused Conversation for Schools, and was adapted after 9/11. I used it in a facilitator network meeting, and it was helpful to articulate and work through the trauma we were all experiencing." See the conversation model here:
ica-associates.ca/Education/satw/satwdebriefing.cfm.

Added by Amy Lang on September 07, 2005??-??Link to this entry

"How To Talk About Race" Article Available at Tolerance.Org

Sandy H. recently found a great article on dialogue about race that?’s featured at Tolerance.org. Its home is tolerance.org/news/article_tol.jsp?id=1295. The article includes some quotes from NCDD Board member Martha McCoy (E.D. of the Study Circles Resource Center) as well as links to SCRC?’s race and racism dialogue guide and a new Call to Action written by Martha. The article has already stirred up quite a lot of debate on the NCDD Discussion list - to see the discussion so far, visit www.edgateway.net/cs/ncdd/forum/cs_disc/915. The article has also been added to NCDD's D&D and Katrina clearinghouse on the Thataway Forum at www.thataway.org/discussions/forum/.

Added by Amy Lang on September 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

EPA Adds New Engagement Resources to Website

The US Environmental Protection Agency's public involvement web pages (www.epa.gov/publicinvolvement) have recently been expanded to include new materials and links to useful information about tools and techniques in use all over the world. The site also includes a new Feedback section with ready-to-use surveys for activities such as hearings, meetings, listening sessions, FACA groups, community advisory groups, small group discussions and stakeholder negotiations. (Visit www.epa.gov/publicinvolvement/feedback). In addition, the Public Involvement Resources and Training (PIRT) database, previously on EPA's intranet, is now publicly available. Check it out at www.epa.gov/publicinvolvement/pirtdatabase. Not only can you use the information it contains, you can suggest additional resources, conferences and trainings.

Added by Amy Lang on August 22, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Online Article Tackles Public Confidence in US Foreign Policy

The September/October issue of Foreign Affairs will feature a major article by Public Agenda Chairman Daniel Yankelovich. In the article, "Poll Positions," Dan analyzes data from the Public Agenda Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index and finds America split in two along religious and party lines. Across this chasm, however, significant majorities are starting to come together based on discontent with the war in Iraq, U.S. relations with the Muslim world, and illegal immigration. Public Agenda's Confidence in U.S. Foreign Policy Index is a new tracking project designed to explore the public's long-term judgments and beliefs about America's role in the world. For those who are not subscribers, the editors at Foreign Affairs have graciously made Dan's article available to Public Agenda friends and supporters via the following link - www.foreignaffairs.org/previews/1949/20050901faessay84501/daniel-yankelovich/poll-positions.html. The complete findings of the Public Agenda Confidence In U.S. Foreign Policy Index are available at www.publicagenda.org.

A reminder: Public Agenda has a lot of great resources for engaging citizens. Visit their website and click on "Public Engagement" to access all the resources they have made available.

Added by Amy Lang on August 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News From Israel-Palestine Peace Camps

Len and Libby Traubman just sent us an update about the many summer peace dialogue camps on the Israel-Palestine conflict taking place across North America this summer. These youth camps are designed to create engaged citizens on both sides of the conflict, who refuse to see each other as "enemies." The final camp of the year, from Sept. 16-18 in California will bring together families from the Middle East and North America to dialogue and deepen their connections. For more information on these peace camps, visit traubman.igc.org/camps. And check out this article on the Building Bridges for Peace camp that recently appeared in the Denver Post: www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_2944412.

Added by Amy Lang on August 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Grant Available for Community-Based GLBT Initiatives

The Equity Fund of the Maine Community Foundation ( http://mainecf.org/) is seeking grant proposals for projects related to supporting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) programs in Maine. The mission of the fund is to strengthen GLBT organizations in Maine and promote community-based initiatives that address GLBT issues and needs. Project grants and capacity-building grants are both encouraged. A total of $15,000 is available this year. Applicants must be nonprofit, 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organizations, public schools, public agencies working for the State of Maine, or Indian tribal governments (and their political subdivisions) recognized by the Department of the Interior, or have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3) organization, public school, or public agency. Applications are due September 15, 2005. For information on applying, check the Maine Community Foundation website above.

Added by Amy Lang on August 18, 2005??-??Link to this entry

SCRC Introduces New Guide on Civil Liberties and Homeland Security

As Congress debates rewriting provisions of the PATRIOT Act this fall, many people want to know what they can do locally to strike a balance between civil liberties and homeland security. The Study Circles Resource Center has put together a discussion tool called Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities, developed as part of a project of the League of Women Voters Education Fund. This discussion guide gives everyday people a chance to talk about ways they can keep their community safe while protecting people's individual rights. Download the guide free of charge at www.studycircles.org/pages/issues/civilliberties.

Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Richard Posner Article Examines Media and Deliberative Democracy

In a recent New York Times article that riffs off Jon Stewart's (The Daily Show) stunning appearance on CNN's "Crossfire" earlier this year (in which he said shows like Crossfire are "hurting America"), Richard Posner tackles the question of whether the media really is destroying America and the prospects for deliberative democracy. "Journalists," Posner writes, "are reluctant to confess to pandering to their customers' biases; it challenges their self-image as servants of the general interest, unsullied by commerce. They want to think they inform the public, rather than just satisfying a consumer demand no more elevated or consequential than the demand for cosmetic surgery in Brazil or bullfights in Spain. They believe in ''deliberative democracy'' - democracy as the system in which the people determine policy through deliberation on the issues." Deliberation naturally turns on a public that wishes to be informed and does so. But, writes Posner, "The public's interest in factual accuracy is less an interest in truth than a delight in the unmasking of the opposition's errors." For the full article, visit www.nytimes.com. Thanks to the Deliberative Democracy Consortium for bringing this to our attention!

Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Community Based Collaboratives Conference Coming Up in November

The Community Based Collaboratives Research Consortium's Conference, "Putting Knowledge to Work," is coming up this Nov. 17-19, 2005 in Sedona, Arizona. The conference will have a major focus on applying knowledge from both research and from field-based experience about collaboration for environmental protection. Researchers, community collaborative groups, state and federal agencies, local governments, facilitators, and environmental organizations will gather to learn about new research findings from Consortium projects and from leading researchers from across the U.S. and Canada. To learn more, view the conference agenda and download registration forms visit www.cbcrc.org. If you have questions, send an email to

Added by Amy Lang on August 05, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Call for Papers on Community Based Collaboratives

The Community-Based Collaboratives Research Consortium Journal has just announced a call for articles on recent research and/or direct collaborations pertaining to successes or failures of recent collaboratives, environmental outcomes gained as a result of a collaboration process, new methodology on strengthening collaboratives and other relevant issues. They also welcome photographs, submissions with book titles related to community collaboration with a brief summary and ordering information, short (three to five paragraphs) articles of new research still in progress, and information on upcoming conferences and workshops scheduled for next year. The Journal will be released in time for CBCRC's fall conference in Sedona, NM on November 17-19, 2005. Submit abstracts and articles by August 19, 2005 to . Visit the Journal's website for more information: www.cbcrc.org/journal.html.

Added by Amy Lang on August 04, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Community Resource Management Grants Available

Sand County Foundation's Community Based Conservation Network has just announced a new grant program. Scholars, practitioners and landholder communities are invited to submit proposals to test and assess innovative ways to overcome constraints associated with land rights and resource values. SCF is offering grants in the range of $10,000 - $20,000 to demonstrate and assess Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) innovations. Awards will be available from September 2005. Individuals or organizations working in CBNRM in North America or eastern and southern Africa are invited to apply; special consideration will be given to proposals submitted by or on behalf of Lake Associations in 2005. To read the complete request for proposals visit www.sandcounty.net/programs/cbcn/search/. Send your proposal to Kevin McAleese at by 31 August 2005.


Added by Amy Lang on July 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Community Collaboratives Research Conference Deadline Approaching

The Community Based Collaboratives Research Consortium's is holding a conference this Nov. 17-19, 2005 in Sedona, Arizona. The theme of the conference is 'Putting Knowledge to Work'. The conference will focus on applying knowledge from both research and from field-based experience about collaboration for environmental protection. Researchers, community collaborative groups, state and federal agencies, local governments, facilitators, and environmental organizations will gather to learn about new research findings from Consortium projects and from leading researchers from across the U.S. and Canada. Conference participants will also participate in critiquing and adding to the Consortium's draft book on environmental collaboration to be published in Spring 2006. Register by August 1 to get the Early Bird registration fee of $120. For complete details, visit www.cbcrc.org/2005%20National%20Workshop

Added by Amy Lang on July 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Methanphetamine Consensus Panel Report Available Online

Last year, the Western Canadian Summit on Methamphetamine met at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver BC. The summit brought together international experts, health practitioners, academics, policy makers, law enforcement officials and drug users from November 15-17, 2004. Using a consensus process, the group produced a report that more clearly maps out the dimensions of drug use and promising areas of prevention, treatment, research and health promotion. This report was the guiding document for the June Western Premiers' on Methamphetamine conference held in Regina. To view the April 2005 Consensus Panel Report: Bringing Together Practitioners, Policy Makers and Researchers visit www.sfu.ca/dialogue/proceedings.

Added by Amy Lang on July 12, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Graduate Program for Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Announced

The Public Policy Research Institute at the University of Montana is now offering a graduate-level program to help students negotiate the governance of natural resources through dialogue and problem solving. The only program of its kind in the US, The Natural Resources Conflict Resolution Program teaches students theories underlying collaboration, multiparty negotiation, consensus building, and deliberative dialogue as well as skills to prevent and resolve natural resources conflicts. Learn more about it at www.umtpri.org/academics/nrcrp

Added by Amy Lang on July 12, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Conference on Cooperative Conservation Invites Citizen Conservation Stories

The 2005 White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation (www.conservation.ceq.gov) convenes on August 29, 2005, in St. Louis, Missouri. A key part of the conference is to learn what Americans are doing within their communities and in cooperation with others to steward and conserve the nation's natural resources -and to share the lessons, information, and resources that are critical to everyone's conservation success. To that end, the Conference invites all Americans - including individual citizens, non-profit organizations, civic groups, schools, businesses, and government agencies to contribute their conservation project stories. Visit the Cooperative Conservation America website (www.cooperativeconservationamerica.org) to enter your project story into the database. Summaries of all projects entered at the web site by 5 pm EST July 22, 2005, will be part of the conference record and will be included in Faces and Places of Cooperative Conservation, a publication of the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation.

Added by Amy Lang on July 11, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Public Voice Program Available on the Web

The National Issues Forums (NIF) website has a new feature. You can now watch a clip from the Public Voice 2005 program that has been distributed to public television stations around the country. A Public Voice is a public television series now in its second decade. Developed in cooperation with the National Issues Forums Institute, the series consists of one-hour public affairs television programs, produced annually, to examine how well we, as a nation, are tackling crucial public issues. At the center of each program are American citizens, in serious deliberation in National Issues Forums around the nation, and a distinguished panel of nationally known political leaders and commentators who reflect on what this "public voice" may mean in setting a direction for America. This year's Public Voice program focuses on the issue of Immigration. There is a link to view the clip in the Public Voice information section on the lower left side of the NIF homepage (www.nifi.org) or you can go directly to this feature at www.nifi.org/about/publicvoice.aspx.

Added by Amy Lang on June 30, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda Honored by Time, Continues to Expand Site

Time.com has just announced its annual list of 50 Coolest Websites, and Public Agenda (www.publicagenda.org)made it onto the list for 2005. Public Agenda is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that surveys the American public on crucial current issues of the day. Earlier this year Public Agenda Online was also nominated for a Webby Award - the online Oscars. They've also just launched a new public engagement section of the site with lots of tools and resources. Check it out at http://publicagenda.org/pubengage/pe_home.cfm.

Added by Amy Lang on June 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Interactive Feature on the Harwood Institute Website

We just heard about an interesting experiment being run by the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation (www.theharwoodinstitute.org). Richard C. Harwood, President and Founder of The Harwood Institute has often claimed, "When I'm talking with a group of citizens, and I close my eyes and listen, I find it impossible to tell whether the person speaking is a Republican or a Democrat, where they live, or what socioeconomic class they belong to." A new interactive feature on The Harwood Institute's website puts this claim to the test. Take a look at quotes from recently conducted focus groups, one in a heavily Republican suburban district, and one in an urban Democratic stronghold, and see if you can tell Red from Blue. Click here to try it out!

Added by Amy Lang on June 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New PBS Documentary Spotlights Democracy and Polarization

We just heard about a fascinating new documentary airing on PBS on July 12 from Pamela Calvert at The Working Group (www.theworkinggroup.org). THE FIRE NEXT TIME follows a deeply divided group of Montana citizens caught in intractableconflicts intensified by rapid growth, scapegoating, and the power of talk radio. The hour-long documentary reflects on critical issues in the United States today: the high stakes in the battle over development and the environment, the breakdown of civil discourse and the growth of "red-blue" polarization, and the role of extremist media in spreading intolerance. It premieres nationally on the PBS series P.O.V on July 12 at 10 pm. If you're interested in using THE FIRE NEXT TIME to initiate dialogue in your community, contact Pamela at (510) 268-9675 x310 or

Added by Amy Lang on June 16, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Book on Deliberative Environmental Management

We just heard about a new book that will be of interest to many in the D&D community. Swimming Upstream: Collaborative Approaches to Watershed Management is edited by Paul A. Sabatier, Will Focht, Mark Lubell, Zev Trachtenberg, Arnold Vedlitz and Marty Matlock, and is published by MIT Press. The book provides a historical overview of traditional and collaborative approaches to watershed management in the United States and a framework for understanding and evaluating collaborative processes. Six chapters of the book examine specific examples of innovative watershed and estuary planning across the country. Swimming Upstream is being praised as a "must read" that contains insights for pratitioners and researchers alike. Click here for more details from the publisher.

Added by Amy Lang on June 14, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Presidio Dialogues Organizes June Meeting on Social Healing Toward a United World

On June 28, 2005, The Presidio Dialogues (www.thepresidiodialogues.org) is organizing a meeting to discuss the implications of the recent UN Millenium Development Declaration on improving quality of life around the globe. The meeting will consider future challenges for local and global awareness, cooperation, and healing and the how these issues create new imperatives for business. The meeting is at Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center at 747 Front St. (@ Broadway) 3rd Floor in San Francisco. Admission is $20 in advance by registering online; $25 in advance by email, phone or check; and $30 at the door. To register by phone, call (415) 433-9200 ext. 0. To register online, go to http://www.thepresidiodialogues.org/register.html.

Added by Amy Lang on June 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

SCRC and League of Women Voters Organizes National Discussion on Civil Liberties and Homeland Security

With Congress preparing to debate provisions of the PATRIOT Act this fall, many people are thinking about what they can do locally to strike a balance between civil liberties and homeland security. To aid in the process, the Study Circles Resource Center and the League of Women Voters Education Fund are launching a national initiative this month called Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities. The three-part discussion series gives everyday people a chance to talk about ways they can keep their community safe while protecting people?’s individual rights. For more information, contact SCRC at 860-928-2616 or visit www.studycircles.org.

Added by Amy Lang on June 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Conference on Water Sustainability Will Use Assembly Dialogue Method

Helen Spector asked us to announce the upcoming conference on water sustainability in Berkeley, CA on June 19. The conference will focus on both the San Francisco Watershed and the global water crisis. They will be using the the methodology that Helen presented at the NCDD conference last fall - the Assembly methodology developed for the Barcelona Parliament of the World's Religions that promotes reflection, dialogue and movement to action. The conference is also part of the United Nations 60th Anniversary events. For more information visit www.uribridgecc.org and to register, email .

Added by Amy Lang on June 09, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Radio Station Promotes Dialogue in Israel-Palestine

We just heard from Libby and Len Traubman about All for Peace, a grassroots, citizen-run Israeli-Palestinian radio station that broadcasts in Hebrew, English and Arabic. It promotes dialogue by offering up different perspectives on current affairs - perspectives that don't get heard in either side's mainstream media. The station also features an eclectic mix of music in all three languages. They are on the air and on the web 24 hours a day - check them out in the Holy Land at 107.2 FM, and on the web at www.allforpeace.org.

Added by Amy Lang on June 06, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Facilitators Needed for UN World Environment Day in San Francisco

NCDD member Kenoli Oleari sent a message to the main NCDD listserv on May 12 announcing a volunteer opportunity for facilitators in the San Francisco bay area. Kenoli and Marc Tognotti will be facilitating five events for the United Nations World Environment Day in early June, and they are putting together a team of colleagues to help with large-group interactive events. The events will be based on a World Cafe framework adapted using principles common to future search, Open Space and World cafe. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Facilitators Needed for UN World Environment Day in San Francisco"

Added by Sandy on May 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Fourth "Open Homes, Listening Hearts" to take place this June

Do you talk to strangers? During the month of June, Initiatives of Change, a Washington, DC based organization, is encouraging individuals and groups to invite people of other religions and ethnicities to share a meal and conversation. Open Homes, Listening Hearts is a four-year-old event that has demonstrated the power of sharing personal stories with people with whom we don?’t normally interact. Breaking down walls of misunderstanding and building new relationships based on changing our perceptions is one way to increase tolerance and peace worldwide. Visit www.ohlh.org or email for additional information on how to participate in this life transforming experience.

Added by Sandy on May 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

3rd Annual Dept. of Peace Conference coming up in September

The Peace Alliance will hold its third annual Department of Peace conference September 10-12, 2005 in Washington, DC. The Peace Alliance will re-introduce legislation for a Cabinet-level Department of Peace as a tribute to victims of September 11th. Learn more and register at
www.ThePeaceAlliance.org or call (586) 754-8105.

Added by Sandy on May 25, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Ford Foundation Announces Difficult Dialogues Initiative

Great news from the Ford Foundation! They will be funding approximately 25 projects at colleges and universities for up to $100,000 each - projects that promote greater dialogue around the sensitive and sometimes controversial questions that arise due to increasing religious and cultural diversity on campus. Click below for more details about this important opportunity.

Read the rest of "Ford Foundation Announces Difficult Dialogues Initiative"

Added by Sandy on April 15, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Open Town Meeting on Economic Issues to be Held in NYC on Monday

An "open town meeting" will be held this Monday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. near Baruch College in New YOrk City. The meeting will follow a lecture by Professor Lawrence Kotlikoff, author of "Coming Generational Storm", who will speak on economic issues to be addressed in the near future. The lecture is not open to the public, but the town meeting is. The context of the meeting will be the overall decline of America's competitiveness, the rise of our national debt, and the failure of our political discourse to address this. Organizers of the town meeting hope to make this meeting a launchpad for various deliberative processes. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Open Town Meeting on Economic Issues to be Held in NYC on Monday"

Added by Sandy on April 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

NCDD's Dialogue Bureau Project Requests your Press Contacts

NCDD is conducting research to assess the extent to which a National Dialogue Bureau would be valued by the dialogue & deliberation community and by journalists (learn more about the Dialogue Bureau at www.thataway.org/projects/index.html). Part of the study will involve interviews with journalists to better understand current practices for gathering the views of informed citizens on current events and the value of a service like the National Dialogue Bureau in their work.

We would like to request your assistance in this effort by sharing with us a few of your press contacts for the purpose of arranging interviews. Email Karla Andreu at if you have contacts you can share, and please be sure to include the reporter's name, journal, city, their ?“beat?” (if appropriate), phone number and/or e-mail.

Added by Sandy on March 13, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Update from Let's Talk America

I wanted to post today's Let's Talk America update since I haven't posted anything about LTA in a while. LTA is still going strong, and I encourage those of you who haven't yet gotten involved to participate in the March 16th or April 9th phone trainings for hosts.

Read the rest of "Update from Let's Talk America"

Added by Sandy on March 11, 2005??-??Link to this entry

New Deliberation Guide on HIV/AIDS in Africa

"As Africa enters the twenty-first century, finding more practical approaches to the HIV/AIDS situation in the countries in sub-Saharan Africa now seems to be one of the greatest promises and greatest challenges for the future. How do we make use of resources in our countries to tackle this health problem without losing sight of other national problems?"

This is an excerpt from a new guide for deliberation about the AIDS pandemic entitled "HIV/AIDS in Africa: What Should Be Done?" The guide was written by former Kettering Foundation international fellows, Mpho Putu of South Africa and Tokunbo Awoshakin of Nigeria. Learn more and download a free copy on the NIFI website.

Added by Sandy on March 04, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Florida's "Sunshine Week" Highlights the Importance of Open Government

Nancy Kranich, past President of the American Library Association, sent an interesting message to the NCDD Discussion list today about "Sunshine Week," a March 13-19, 2005 event that generates editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons and news stories about the importance of open government. Begun in Florida in 2002, Sunshine Sunday and Sunshine Week spawned similar initiatives in several other states. Click below for the full announcement.

Read the rest of "Florida's "Sunshine Week" Highlights the Importance of Open Government"

Added by Sandy on March 03, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Dialogue Needed to Handle Looming Economic Crisis, Atlee Says

Click below for a powerful message from Tom Atlee, Founder of the Co-Intelligence Institute. In this message, Tom points to the substance of our looming economic crisis in the context of other crises, emphasizing the need for dialogue and deliberation to generate the collective intelligence to deal with the emerging "Age of Consequences."

As Tom says, "Now is the time to invest in widespread, high quality dialogue -- and for the dialogue-promoting community (e.g., members of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation) to plan on how to meet the demand -- now, while time and resources may still be on our side."

Read the rest of "Dialogue Needed to Handle Looming Economic Crisis, Atlee Says"

Added by Sandy on March 03, 2005??-??Link to this entry

September Project to Run Again in 2005!

I just received this inspiring announcement from the September Project - the highly successful project that got hundreds of public libraries to hold events on democracy, citizenship and patriotism on and around September 11, 2004. The message announced that the September Project is going forward again in 2005, and it is my hope that the dialogue & deliberation community can make a real splash in the program this year.

This is a great opportunity for D&D activists, organizers and facilitators to build ongoing relationships with their local public libraries in order to introduce more people in their area to dialogue and deliberation. If you are interested in helping NCDD mobilize the D&D community around the 2005 September Project, please email me at [email protected] right away to let me know. Click below to read the September Project's announcement.

Read the rest of "September Project to Run Again in 2005!"

Added by Sandy on March 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

CIRCLE to Host Conference Call/Presentation on Youth Engagement

On March 16th, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Eastern, a conference call (and simultaneous web presentation) will be held for the youth engagement community. The call, which will address the increased youth voter turnout during the 2004 election and its implications for the future of our democracy, will feature Peter Levine of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and Ivan Frishberg of the State PIRG's New Voters project. Click below for more details and instructions for joining the call.

Read the rest of "CIRCLE to Host Conference Call/Presentation on Youth Engagement"

Added by Sandy on March 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

World Security Network Foundation Calls for Dialogue among Christians and Muslims

In its March 2 newsletter, the elite World Security Network Foundation put out a strong call for Muslims and Christians to engage in dialogue. According to the Foundation, there are a lot of well-intentioned Muslim-Christian dialogue initiatives, "but progress is close to zero." Click below for their reasoning, and for the rest of the message.

The aim of the World Security Network is to rouse people out of their apathy, to raise awareness of trouble spots before wars break out, to outline proposed solutions and to draw media attention to security issues at an early stage. Above all, however, it aims to network the "strategic community" - politicians, journalists, academics and opinion-leaders around the world - and to convey new creative ideas and policy recommendations to decision-makers at lightening speed via the Internet. Their weekly newsletter goes out to over 160,000 members of the global information elite all over the world.

Read the rest of "World Security Network Foundation Calls for Dialogue among Christians and Muslims"

Added by Sandy on March 02, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Invitation to Host Forums on "The News We Need"

Preview Forum is in the process of recruiting partners for their Spring 2005 initiative entitled ?“THE NEWS WE NEED: Finding Balance in an Age of Spin.?” Preview Forum invites organizations of all sizes to become local partners and host forums in their communities. Roundtable will provide FREE RESOURCES (including videos, planning guides, and publicity materials) to the first 100 organizations that sign on as partners. For more information, contact Julia John by March 31, 2005 at or 781-893-3336 x24.

Preview Forum is a national media and dialogue initiative that brings together news professionals and the public in local forums to discuss social issues relevant to the community. This Spring, Preview Forum will focus on how the birth of 24-hour news stations, internet bloggers and changes in FCC regulations have launched us into a new era of news producing and consuming. What is the role of news in a democracy? Have we abandoned the goal of objectivity? How do community members get the news they need in an increasingly partisan landscape?

Added by Sandy on February 28, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Choices Program Offers Discussion Materials on North Korea

Discussion materials about North Korea and Nuclear Weapons-Policy Options are now available online from the Choices Program. The downloadable materials include background reading and four policy options to consider. Each of the four policy options includes: an overview of the option, goals, U.S. policies, underlying beliefs, and criticisms. Go to www.choices.edu/twtn.cfm?id=40 to learn more.

The Choices for the 21st Century program is a project of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. A listing of other topics for discussion available from the Choices Program can be found at www.choices.edu/curriculum_twtn.cfm.

Added by Sandy on February 25, 2005??-??Link to this entry

League of Women Voters Launches a Public Dialogue About Civil Liberties

The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) recently launched "Local Voices: Citizen Conversations on Civil Liberties and Secure Communities," an eight-month initiative that will foster public dialogue about the balance between civil liberties and homeland security. The League will develop materials, train local facilitators, and encourage citizen participation in large League-led conversations about this topic. Click below for the full press release for this exciting project.

Read the rest of "League of Women Voters Launches a Public Dialogue About Civil Liberties"

Added by Sandy on February 20, 2005??-??Link to this entry

Purple America Poster & Products

I just stumbled upon something online that I fear everyone else may already have seen, but it struck me as such an important image that I had to post something about it. Professor Robert Venderbei at Princeton created a map of the U.S. depicting the 2004 presidential election results in shades of red and blue - not by state - but by county. And the result is a strikingly purple map.

This is a red/blue map that is not so black and white (aren't I clever?) - and a more realistic, truthful image for people to see during these polarizing times. You can buy all kinds of products with the purple map on it (I like the tote bag and the Ringer T-shirts), which I think is a good thing. The more people who can replace the red/blue state map in their mind with this purple map, the better. You can view the map at www.princeton.edu/~rvdb/JAVA/election2004/.

Added by Sandy on January 27, 2005??-??Link to this entry

OpEd by John Gastil and Ned Crosby Shares Lessons from Canada's Citizens' Assembly

NCDD Steering Committee member Tom Atlee sent an email to his popular e-mailing list today that I wanted to share with all of you. Tom forwarded an op-ed written by John Gastil and Ned Crosby about the remarkable Citizens' Assembly that has been breaking ground in British Columbia, Canada.

Tom considers the Citizens' Assembly to be the most empowered version of citizen deliberative councils that he has seen anywhere in the world so far, and he hopes it is only the first of many such innovations.

Tom points out that the short article below, which is targetted at residents of Washington State in the US, is a model for similar op-ed pieces that could be written for virtually any state in the US -- or for provinces, districts and nations around the world. Click below for the article.

Read the rest of "OpEd by John Gastil and Ned Crosby Shares Lessons from Canada's Citizens' Assembly"

Added by Sandy on January 26, 2005??-??Link to this entry

News from the Public Conversations Project...

The Public Conversations Project's December E-News focuses on "Talking About Politics across Divides." The e-newsletter announces some great resources designed to help those who with to engage in respectful, meaningful conversations with people who have vast political differences. PCP's Executive Director, Laura Chasin, recently wrote an article for the Christian Science Monitor's "Talking with the Enemy" series, and PCP has created some resources around that series. Click below to learn more about all of this, and to check the dates for PCP's highly acclaimed trainings this spring.

Read the rest of "News from the Public Conversations Project..."

Added by Sandy on December 09, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda's Issue Guide on Social Security Available for Your Use

Today's Public Agenda Alert announced that President Bush "ruled out increating Social Security payroll taxes to bail our the program and repeated his call to create private retirement accounts instead." Public Agenda reminds us about their issue guide on Social Security, stating that their 'Choicework' discussion guides lay out the different alternatives to reform.

"With Choicework, we're not claiming to have the "correct" solution to a problem. What you'll find are four different points of view about how to address the issue. The broad choices we present are designed to be discussion starters, not a political program. Each point of view comes with the arguments for and against, along with some potential costs and tradeoffs, because choosing a course of action should include honestly facing its drawbacks."

Added by Sandy on December 09, 2004??-??Link to this entry

HIV/AIDS Deliberation in Nigeria

Since September 2004, Civic Life International, a Nigerian organization, in collaboration with the Center for Public Policy Education (CPPE), has been running an innovative project which uses radio programming to create a space for Nigerians to talk deliberatively about HIV/AIDS. The project, which brings students to several radio studios for live forums on HIV/AIDS using a citizen-framed issue book, is coordinated by Tokunbo Awoshakin, a Kettering Foundation Fanning Fellow ().

Added by Sandy on November 30, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Teachers: Sign Your Fall Classes Up for the Democracy Lab!

Jim Knauer announced today on the DialogueLeaders listserv that there is still time for teachers to involve their fall classes in Democracy Lab forums on topics such as "Amercans' Role in the World" and "Examining Health Care: What's the Public's Prescription?" Click below to learn more about how to involve your classes in this innovative, affordable online deliberative project.

Read the rest of "Teachers: Sign Your Fall Classes Up for the Democracy Lab!"

Added by Sandy on August 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Leah Lamb's "Engage" Program Featured in Richmond Times

NCDD member Leah Lamb's innovative theatre/dialogue program was featured on Monday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. An article by Michael Paul Williams called "Theater as an Agent of Change" outlined Leah's hopes to inspire civic engagement and community building among youth through her "Engage" program - a blend of theatrical performances and documentary footage conveying the civic and political experiences of Richmond residents. Engage will open September 16 through 18 at Virginia Commonwealth University. Click below for the full article.

Read the rest of "Leah Lamb's "Engage" Program Featured in Richmond Times"

Added by Sandy on August 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on Let's Talk America

Click below to read over today's Let's Talk America e-newsletter. The newsletter provides a great "Hip-pocket question of the week" (What's the number one thing you consider when picking who you vote for?). It also urges you to sign the "We the People Declaration", a breakthrough declaration calling for greater dialogue across political differences.

Read the rest of "Update on Let's Talk America"

Added by Sandy on August 20, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Opportunity to Address Obesity in your Community this Fall in Partnership with Preview Forum

Preview Forum is recruiting local partners for their fall Forum on "Growing Pains: Community Responses to Obesity" and is hoping some folks from the D&D community will be interested. Roundtable will provide FREE RESOURCES (including videos, planning guides, and publicity materials) to the first 150 organizations that sign on as partners by August 31, 2004.

?“Preview Forum?” is a national media and dialogue initiative that brings together news professionals and the public in local forums to discuss social issues relevant to the community. This fall, Preview Forum will focus on the growing problem of obesity from an environmental, economic, and public health perspective. How are communities responding to this problem? What can your community do? Preview Forum invites organizations of all sizes to become local partners and host forums in their communities. For more info, contact [email protected] or 781-893-3336 x24.

Added by Sandy on August 12, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Global Kids, Inc. and NewsHour Extra Capture Teen Opinion in New Report

What do teenagers think about the U.S. presence in Iraq? About a constitutional amendment to prevent gay marriage? About America's expanding waistline? A new report, "What Were They Thinking? Today's Youth On Yesterday's News," published by Global Kids and NewsHour Extra, shows how teens across the nation tackled these questions and responded to other important current events. Their answers came from online dialogues conducted on Newz Crew, a website run by and for teens to discuss the news that affects their lives. More than 300 teenagers participated in the dialogues, launched March 1, 2004, which were monitored by students at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. The full report can be downloaded from www.NewzCrew.org/wwtt. Or click below for more info.

Read the rest of "Global Kids, Inc. and NewsHour Extra Capture Teen Opinion in New Report"

Added by Sandy on August 11, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Message from AmericaSpeaks on the 2-Year Anniversary of Listening to the City

Carolyn Lukensmeyer, Director of AmericaSpeaks, sent a special message to the AmericaSpeaks network on July 20 - the two year anniversary of Listening to the City, the largest town meeting ever held. This edition of AmericaSpeaks Network News shares the stories, perspectives and impact of the facilitators who came from all across the country to help people deliberate about the redevelopment of the World Trade Center Site after the September 11th attacks. Click below to read this amazing message.

Read the rest of "Message from AmericaSpeaks on the 2-Year Anniversary of Listening to the City"

Added by Sandy on July 29, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Museum of Science in Boston Seeks Advice from D&D Scholars & Practitioners

I received an exciting email today from Zannah Marsh, a Researcher Assistant at the Boston's Museum of Science. Zannah and her colleagues are in the early stages of developing a project they're calling FORUM. Their goal with this program is to engage museum visitors in dialogue and deliberation about new developments in science and technology--and particularly the social implications of these developments. They aim to provide a neutral setting for visitors to fully engage and explore contested topics with others, exchange viewpoints, and deliberate on solutions or recommendations (hopefully with scientists, technologists, and other experts). They also plan to integrate these dialogues into formats that provide visitors with new information, interactive experiences, and access to artifacts from their collections.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Zanna would like to connect with people who have done academic research in the area of D&D on science and technology, and people who might be able to advise them as they design and learn how to facilitate these types of programs. Zanna can be contacted at 617-589-0202 or . I'd appreciate being cc:ed in any emails () so I can keep up with any developments.

Added by Sandy on July 15, 2004??-??Link to this entry

July 15 Update from Let's Talk America

Let's Talk America - a collaborative project of NCDD, Utne Institute, and Conversation Cafe - is bringing people across the U.S. together to talk about what democracy means to them. Read today's LTA update below to learn about training opportunities for hosts, upcoming LTA events, and about dialogues held on Independence Day.

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Added by Sandy on July 15, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on Jewish/Islam/Christian Dialogue from the Israeli-Based Interfaith Encounter Association

I don't usually post these announcements to the blog, but I thought this one would provide a good example of the kinds of updates you can receive from the Interfaith Encounter Association. If your work is related to Jewish/Palestian dialogue, you may want to subscribe to this announcement list by emailing .

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Added by Sandy on July 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Co-Intelligence Institute Launches Pledge Campaign for Policymakers to "Listen to the People"

I received this announcement today from my visionary colleague Tom Atlee, whose Co-Intelligence Institute is launching The "Listen to the People" Pledge Campaign for Politicians and Public Officials. This new pilot program of the Co-Intelligence Institute is designed to generate conversation with politicians and public officials about the role of citizen panels in government. Tom writes, "With your help, using this Pledge, we will also be able to identify leading edge public officials - 'early adopters' - who we can network into a community of their own. They are out there; we just don't know where they are." Read the full message and the pledge...

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Added by Sandy on July 05, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update on British Columbia's Citizens' Assembly

The final Citizens?’ Assembly public hearing was held June 24th in Kelowna, British Columbia (Canada). During the 50 hearings that have been held across B.C., a total of 387 people made oral presentations, and many more members of the public made informal presentations, offered recommendations and comments, and asked questions at the sessions. More than 2,700 members of the public attended hearings. The 160-member Assembly is currently wrapping up six months dedicated to investigating electoral options and British Columbians' views on them, and will make its final report and disband in December. Click below to read the full announcement and press release.

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Added by Sandy on July 04, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Let's Talk America Encourages Dialogue about Michael Moore's Film "Farenheit 911"

Inspired by an email that Lars Torres of AmericaSpeaks wrote to the main NCDD discussion list a couple of days ago, in which he suggested that Let's Talk America take advantage of the popularity and punch of Michael Moore's new movie Farenheit 911 to foster genuine dialogue on the state of our country and the partisan divide, the core Let's Talk America team emailed their growing list of convenors, facilitators and dialogue participants this morning. This pleases me greatly; this is just the kind of thing NCDD was created to encourage. Click below to see a copy of the message I received.

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Added by Sandy on June 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Calling the Question Project Seeks Director

Those of you on the NCDD Discussion list know all about this exciting new project and this career opportunity. But for those of you who aren't (yet) on the list (go to www.edgateway.net/ncdd to subscribe), Calling the Question is a joint initiative of the Mainstream Media Project and the Harvard Global Negotiation Project which seeks to shift the national conversation from partisanship to problem-solving by engaging a broad spectrum of the public in calling in to talk radio, querying candidates in media and live appearances, and reframing policy debates by asking open, breakthrough, ?“third side?” questions that blame no one but encourage us to think in practical terms about what we can do together to resolve the challenges that confront us all. Click below to read more about the project and to look over the Program Director job description.

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Added by Sandy on June 24, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Iraqis Discuss Iraq at openDemocracy.net

As a new Iraqi government forms amid continued violence, openDemocracy.net hosts a heartfelt discussion among six Iraqis about what is best for their country. Their views are diverse, but they are unified by an avoidance of simplistic platitudes (no calls for immediate US withdrawal, for example), and a serious concern for the future of their country. As over-heated arguments about Iraq swirl around us, shouldn't we all find out what Iraqis think? You can join in on this roundtable weighing the prospects for democracy, the role of Kurds, Shi'a and Sunni, the USA's part in the process and what lies ahead.

Added by Sandy on June 04, 2004??-??Link to this entry

The Splintering of the United States: Enough is Enough!

On Thursday, June 17, 2004 - from 9 to 10 a.m. - Richard C. Harwood, President of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, and the Reverend Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of The Interfaith Alliance Foundation, will address one of the most pressing and critical challenges we face today - how to break through the rhetoric of division by drawing on the civic and religious faith that binds individuals to their communities and to each other. This moderated conversation with Q&A will take place at the National Press Club, Holeman Lounge, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington DC. Email Patrick Miller for more details at .

Added by Sandy on May 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Public Agenda Offers Discussion Guide on Same-Sex Marriage

A choicework guide about same-sex marriage, titled Gay Rights: Which Way to the Altar? is available on the Public Agenda First Choice 2004 website. The guide presents three approaches: 1. Extend equal rights to all our citizens, including gay people; 2. Let states and communities choose their own solutions; 3. Protect traditional institutions and values. Each approach is accompanied by arguments for and against the approach. The guide also includes a section titled Status Report: Where are we Now? and a listing of additional resources.

In addition to the downloadable issue guide, there is a link to "create your own choicework" that allows users to modify a framework of the issue by selecting from a list of actions under three broad approaches, or adding other actions. Other issue guides in Public Agenda's First Choice 2004 program include: Terrorism, Health Care, Race and Affirmative Action, Paying for College, The Environment, Jobs and the Economy, Taxes and the Deficit, and Immigration.

Added by Sandy on May 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

This Year's Presidential Election Campaign May Include Public Deliberation

I just read an exciting segment in May 14th's Friday Letter from the Kettering Foundation. The segment started off with this eye-popping (for us, at least) statement: "There?’s a chance public deliberation will become a part of this year?’s presidential election campaign." Click below to read about what transcribed when the Director of Voter Education for the Commission on Presidential Debates (the folks who have organized the presidential debates since 1988) visited Kettering on May 11.

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Added by Sandy on May 23, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Collaborative "Calling the Question" Project to Launch this Summer

The Mainstream Media Project and the Harvard Global Negotiation Project, in cooperation with MoveOn.org, are launching a joint initiative this summer called the Calling the Question project. The Calling the Question initiative is a multi-year initiative to shift the national conversation from partisanship to problem-solving by engaging a broad spectrum of the public in calling in to talk radio, querying candidates in media and live appearances, and reframing policy debates by asking open, breakthrough, ?“third side?” questions that blame no one but encourage us to think in practical terms about what we can do together to resolve the challenges that confront us all. The aim of this initiative is to reach across the divide between thoughtful progressives and thoughtful conservatives to catalyze ?“convergence conversations?” that could contribute to a broader de-polarization of an increasingly divided electorate and society. Click below for more details and contact info.

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Added by Sandy on May 14, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Update and Call for Support for the U.S. Consensus Council

I received an email on April 23 from Rob Fersh, Director of the vital National Consensus Initiative. As Rob says, "there is no natural constituency for the USCC or any special interests who can put muscle behind it. Our main constituency is people, many from the field of conflict resolution, who understand the promise of the USCC to serve the nation in developing potentially wiser, more broadly supportable policy options to address important national problems. The goal of the USCC is to synthesize the insight and experience of people with differing points of view into policy proposals that reflect 'highest common denominator' solutions.

Rob needs all of us to fax the Congressmembers who have the power to move forward. Click below for contact info and instructions for doing this.

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Added by Sandy on April 27, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Eight Jewish-Palestinian Peace Camps to be Held in North America this Summer

An email I received today from my friends Libby and Len Traubman outlined the growth of Jewish-Palestinian Peace Camps in the U.S. and Canada. As Len and Libby write, "Most Palestinians and Jews have never had an in-depth, sustained relationship, in the Middle East and worldwide. This "big disconnect" allows them to maintain stereotypes and dehumanize each other -- staying at a distance, doing what they're doing to one another at this moment. Thus the urgent need for a greatly enlarged public peace process to discover the "other" equally human, equally excellent persons -- expand our identification to include each other. Click below to learn about the 8 camps.

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Added by Sandy on April 25, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Michigan Making Inroads in Interreligious Dialogue & Peacebuilding

I received an inspiring email from my friends Libby and Len Traubman today. The message talks about the media attention that some peace activists, artists and dialogue practitioners in Michigan have been getting for their phenomenal programs. ?“A handful of people in Michigan are causing Muslims, Jews, and Christians to open their hearts and minds,?” say Len and Libby. Read the full email by clicking below. To get on the Traubman's mailing list, email them at . The Traubmans are hubs in the Jewish/Palestinian dialogue community.

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Added by Sandy on March 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

CIVICUS World Assembly Going Strong

I just received a press release from CIVICUS today about a conference in Botswana I wish I was at right now. Here it is: Gaborone, 22 March 2004 - Over 700 citizens from 100 countries worldwide gathered this morning in Gaborone, Botswana for the start of a four-day CIVICUS World Assembly conference around the theme of 'working together for a just world.' The participants included civil society activists, practitioners, researchers, activists, concerned business leaders, representatives from intergovernmental organisations and government representatives, all united by a common concern to work concertedly for greater social, economic, political and civic justice worldwide.

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Added by Sandy on March 23, 2004??-??Link to this entry

PCP & Beliefnet Foster Online Dialogue about The Passion of the Christ Film

Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of The Christ has inspired strong feelings about a range of complex - and potentially controversial - questions. The Public Conversations Project is enabling people to seize this opportunity to build bridges rather than walls. Partnering with Beliefnet, a leading multifaith spirituality and religion website, PCP is facilitating a free 2-week online dialogue to help moviegoers explore a range of questions and examine different points of view in a well-organized, constructive environment. www.publicconversations.org/pcp/index.asp?page_id=250

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Added by Sandy on February 28, 2004??-??Link to this entry

CIRCLE Fact Sheet on the Role of Mass Media in Civic Development

A new Fact Sheet from CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research On Civic Learning & Engagement), entitled "Attention to Media and Trust in Media Sources," examines the role of mass media in the development of young people's civic knowledge and engagement in three countries - Chile, Portugal, and the U.S. The Fact Sheet shows that young people in all three countries use television most often to get information about politics. Newspapers are also used by a fair number of young people, especially in the U.S. In all three countries, students who frequently read newspaper stories about their country had higher average levels of civic knowledge. The Fact Sheet can be found at www.civicyouth.org/research/products/fact_sheets.htm.

Added by Sandy on February 27, 2004??-??Link to this entry

Warhol Museum Fosters Dialogue About Capital Punishment

A recent exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was designed to foster reflection and dialogue about capital punishment. ?“Andy Warhol's Electric Chairs: Reflecting on Capital Punishment in America?” presented Warhol's Electric Chair series of paintings and prints together with diverse audio and written points of view as a catalyst to generate dialogue around the various sides of the capital punishment debate. Go to www.warhol.org/education/electric_chair.html for images from the exhibition, contextual material, audio points of view, visitor responses and more.

Added by Sandy on February 07, 2004??-??Link to this entry

PCP & Beliefnet.com to Hold Online Dialogues on Passion of Christ Film

The Public Conversations Project is working with Beliefnet.com to host a series of closed online dialogues about Mel Gibson?’s controversial new film, The Passion of Christ. PCP is currently looking identifying volunteers who 1) have taken PCP's Power of Dialogue training, 2) have significant experience facilitating face to face dialogue, 3) could facilitate a balanced and respectful conversation about the issues likely to be raised by the film, 4) are comfortable and clear online writers, and 5) have the time and energy to make the significant time investment involved. Facilitators will follow the guidelines Beliefnet developed in comparable dialogues following 9/11 and at the start of the war on Iraq. Meenakshi Chakraverti () is coordinating PCP's participation in this pilot project. Connect with her before February 6 if you are interested in this learning opportunity and meet the qualifications.

Added by Sandy on February 01, 2004??-??Link to this entry

In the News: Islam-West Dialogue Launched

A January 24, 2004 article by Mark Adams for Arab News stated "The World Economic Forum announced the official launch yesterday of the Council of 100 Leaders. The group aims to become the foremost community of senior political, religious, business, media and opinion leaders to promote understanding and dialogue between the Western and Islamic worlds."

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Added by Sandy on January 26, 2004??-??Link to this entry