Iraq Crisis Resources for D&D Leaders

On these pages are resources and tips for people interested in fostering dialogue and deliberation about the Iraq Crisis. These resources were originally displayed and collected during the “official” war in Iraq in the NCDD Iraq Crisis Forum.

Tips and Resources for D&D Facilitators

Study Circles Post-War Discussion Materials

The Study Circles Resource Center offers a high-quality discussion guide to help people sort through the various perspectives and facts surrounding U.S. policy toward Iraq. Pre-war geared. Download a PDF copy of the guide U.S. Policy Toward Iraq: What Should We Do? at www.studycircles.org.

Study Circles also offers “Facing the Future: How Should We Move Forward After September 11?,” a five-session discussion guide to help people talk about the impact of 9/11 in their community, examine the cause of terrorism, and find ways to work together as a community.

NIF Guide “By the People: Americans' Role in the World”

A snapshot of deliberations taking place at a By the People event in January 2004.

The National Issues Forums developed an excellent discussion guide for the project By the People: America in the World, a new initiative of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. The discussion guide, titled “Americans' Role in the World,” presents four different perspectives as a way of framing public discussion. Each approach shows a distinctive perspective on what our global priorities should be and what costs and tradeoffs we should be prepared to accept if we move in that direction. Go to www.nifi.org/orders_bypeople.html to download the issue book in its entirety, or to download the moderator guide. You may also call 1-800-228-0810 and order hard copies of the issue book for $3.90 each.

The National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of organizations joined together by a common desire to discuss critical issues. Organizations who participate in NIF include educational institutions, leadership groups, civic groups, churches, libraries, senior centers, community groups, and youth groups. Some are independent, local forums sponsored by energetic citizens. Others are part of educational programs at colleges, schools, and extension services. Local Issue Forums offer the space to deliberate about public issues.

PCP Encourages Facilitators to Use their Revised “Constructive Conversations” Guide

The Public Conversations Project (www.publicconversations.org) suggests that facilitators use their guide “Constructive Conversations about Challenging Times” to conduct conversations about divisive issues with neighbors, colleagues, fellow worshippers, family, and others. Both a Guide to Community Dialogue and a Guide to Family Dialogue are downloadable from their website. Also offered are poignant questions geared specifically to the Iraq conflict and an online forum about the war.

PCP suggests that facilitators start by asking either “Can you tell us something about your life experience or current situation that will help us understand your views and concerns about the war in Iraq?” or “What are your views, hopes and fears regarding the war? What is the “heart of the matter for you?”

An example of a suggested follow-up question is “Have the war in Iraq and/or the impact of past or anticipated terrorist attacks strained or challenged relationships that matter to you? If so, how?”

U.S.-Iraqi Youth Dialogue Video

On March 1st, while world leaders met behind closed doors, 6 young Americans and 7 young Iraqis took part in a historic dialogue. At Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), a loft in lower Manhattan, and at the Orfali Art Gallery in Baghdad, these youths were able to meet face-to-face. Transcending time zones and national borders they spoke freely as war approached. For more info, or to purchase the program ($30), called “Bridge To Baghdad,” go to www.dctvny.org/b2b/index.html. A 10-minute video clip is viewable online. For program information contact Tish Bravo at [email protected].

NIF Issue Book on Terrorism

On September 11, the curtain came up on a troubling new world, filled with danger. In one awful day, the nation's self-confident mood and its public agenda were turned on their head. A threat that had been waiting in the wings moved to center stage. Since then, terrorism has been public issue #1. Deciding what to do about it, and how to regain a measure of our national security, has become the chief preoccupation of elected officials and the American public. Terrorism: What Should We Do? (2002) is a nonpartisan guide is used for citizen deliberations in National Issues Forums. $3.90 (or download free at www.nifi.org). Order from Kendall Hunt Publishing at 800-228-0810 or use the order form at www.kendallhunt.com/order/index.html.

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