The holiday season often means more gatherings, which sometimes puts us in the middle of difficult conversations. Talk of politics and other hot topics can be tricky to navigate with family and friends – especially when we don’t see eye to eye. How can we engage in important conversations, without things getting out of hand?
We at NCDD want to share some tips and resources that you can use to help keep the party and dinner conversations more about genuine dialogue and understanding despite differences than heated rhetoric and emotional outbursts.
Six Tips for Thoughtful Holiday Conversations
Additional Conversation Resources
In addition to our quick tips above, NCDD has tons more resources that might help you have difficult conversations and good dialogue in our Resource Center. If you’re looking for some additional go-to resources, consider these:
Even if there are fights and arguments, we hope some of these tips and resources will help you navigate your holiday gatherings better than the past. Whatever happens during your Thanksgiving dinner with friends or family, we are wishing you all a safe and positive weekend.
NCDD is excited to share the below Fellowship opportunity from Mediators Beyond Borders International! Read on for more information and how to apply.
Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) is an impact organization that builds local skills for peace and promotes mediation worldwide. We bring together experienced volunteer mediators to improve conflict resolution capacity and support alternative approaches to expressing, negotiating, and resolving interpersonal, political, economic, social, ethnic, and religious differences.
MBBI has been engaged in training peacebuilders, supporting and facilitating a variety of local and national peace processes in regions around the world. We have done this with nimble adaptations to conditions created by the pandemic and remained focused on inclusion and adaptation. One of these processes is focused on creating space for the different factions to jointly develop a platform that can be used as part of the larger national peace process and this effort is led by MBBI’s SE Asian Representative Shadia Marhaban. MBBI is looking for a peace practitioner interested in capturing the process, learning from this initiative, and assisting in possible next steps.
National Civic League is hosting - Promising Practices Webinar: The ABCs of Inclusive and Equitable Engagement
The National Civic League, an NCDD member organization, is hosting an event called Promising Practices Webinar: The ABCs of Inclusive and Equitable Engagement.
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2:00 pm ET (1:00 pm CT, 12:00 pm MT, 11:00 am PT)
The process of civic engagement ensures that the many parts of a community— residents, government, business, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations and others—work together to address public needs and desires. Whether it’s economic development, safety, health, environmental quality or other matters, civic engagement can lead to lasting solutions that best represent the values and desires of communities. However, if inclusivity and equity are not prioritized as a part of engagement efforts from the very beginning, then resulting information, solutions, and decisions will fail to benefit from or serve the entire community.
During this webinar we will discuss the myriad of considerations–convener, time, location, language, etc.–that need to be addressed to ensure engagement efforts are inclusive and equitable. Registrants will also learn about strategies and best practices for equitable and inclusive engagement, with a few examples from communities successfully doing this work.
Join fellow Dialogue and Discussion champions from London to Lagos, for small group and Open Space conversations that matter. NCDD member, Ron Gross shared an event called Conversation Day hosted by Conversations New York. The event takes place Saturday, June 11, 2022 from 2-4pm Eastern.
Let's share what we've learned -- and our hopes moving forward! Come share your experiences, concerns and wisdom. Join us for an afternoon of bracing comradeship, mutual support, and intellectual stimulation.
1. What’s one of the most significant experiences you have had this year, in coping with the multiple crises we have endured?
2. What have you learned about yourself?
3. What are some ways that you expect or hope that our your society will be different, as we resume our lives?
4. What will you do differently going forward – personally, socially, professionally, or politically?
NCDD Member Organization, The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), leverages science to advance community priorities. These projects are contributing to a growing movement toward engaged, community-driven science. They recently shared an interview from The Wildlife Center of Virginia where Community Science Fellow Devin Jefferson was interviewed for "Untamed: Life is Wild". Devin showcased his work with the Science Museum of Virginia and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond to study urban heat islands and air quality. His interview is in the May 5: Episode 403: Citizen Science (starting at 16:53).
Untamed: Life is Wild is an award-winning television series co-produced by the Wildlife Center of Virginia and VPM, Virginia's home for public media. The series focuses on a variety of wildlife issues drawn directly from the stories of the thousands of wild animals in need of care that arrive at the Wildlife Center’s doorstep every year. The stories of these animals illustrate the wider problems wildlife face — litter, pesticides, free-roaming domestic animals, habitat loss, and diseases – and challenge viewers to take action to protect wildlife.
The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) is a professional membership organization with a vision of increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people and a mission to champion and support science and technology centers and museums. Founded in 1973, ASTC champions and supports more than 500 science and technology centers and museums, natural history museums, children’s museums, and other STEM-rich, place-based institutions. ASTC currently runs a Dialogue & Deliberation Fellows Initiative - learn more here!
NCDD member, Martín Carcasson of the Center for Public Deliberation at Colorado State University was interviewed by NPR about their collaborative journalism project. From the episode details:
Today on Colorado Edition: We hear about the Northern Colorado Deliberative Journalism Project, a collaborative of area newsrooms, journalists, and media scholars aiming to strengthen local journalism. And we hear from two songwriters in rural northeast Colorado about how rural living inspires them and their art.
To learn more about the Center for Public Deliberation and the Northern Colorado Deliberative Journalism Project, visit their website here.
The National Civic League, an NCDD member organization, released the National Civic Review (NCR) Spring 2022 edition and NCDD members receive a digital copy of NCR for free! (Find the access code below.). This esteemed quarterly journal offers insights and examples of civic engagement and deliberative governance from around the country. Thanks to Rebecca Trout, NCL’s Program Director for All-America City Award & Communications, for sharing this announcement with the NCDD network!
National Civic Review Spring Edition 2022 – Access Code: NCDD22
Executive Director, Courtney Breese was recently featured on the Co-creating Peace Podcast, hosted by NCDD Member Kathleen Oweegon. The Co-creating Peace episode "Let's Talk About It" (episode 66) is part of a series about conscious communication and conflict transformation. From the episode description:
The difficulties we have with one another are very often the result of lack of insight and understanding. In the absence of information we make assumptions about one another – assumptions that often lead to conflict.
There is a cure for this phenomenon, and that is dialogue – sitting down with one another to have conversations that help us to learn about one another at deeper levels. When we put aside our assumptions, our biases, and the fears on which those are often based, and enter into dialogue with not only a willingness, but a desire, to learn about others and the way they experience and see the world, and then deliberate together to arrive at paths forward that can better meet the needs of all, we begin to build bridges of peace which can one day span the world.
America Talks is back April 21 and 23, and now is the time to sign up!
America Talks (April 21 & 23) invites Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs to connect one-on-one or in small groups, face-to-face on video. America Talks is powered by over 150 nonpartisan, bridge building organizations and promoted by USA TODAY and other media partners. This is an exciting opportunity to meet other Americans who want to connect across differences and talk. You can sign up to participate on one or both of these dates at this link.
The 5th annual National Week of Conversation that follows (April 24-30), invites Americans to find their place in the bridging movement with events hosted by over 80 bridging organizations. These events provide Americans from every corner of the United States the opportunity to discover common interests, solve problems and raise their voices together. Join lots of NCDD member orgs and friends to connect, discuss, and decide together in the many events being offered throughout the week!
Are you hosting an event during National Week of Conversation? Let us know! Add your event in the comments. Don't forget a link for people to find out how to join!
The National Civic League, an NCDD member organization, released the National Civic Review (NCR) Winter 2022 edition and NCDD members receive a digital copy of NCR for free! (Find the access code below.). This esteemed quarterly journal offers insights and examples of civic engagement and deliberative governance from around the country. Thanks to Rebecca Trout, NCL’s Program Director for All-America City Award & Communications, for sharing this announcement with the NCDD network!
Be sure to check out the following articles from NCDD Members:
The Case for Principled Impartiality in a Hyper-Partisan World by Martin Carcasson
Common Ground for Action: Experimenting with Better Ways to Deliberate Online by Kara Dillard and Nicholas Felts
As well as pieces from Matt Leighninger, Maura Casey, and more!