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Our regional NCDD events brought together over 700 people total this October and November. A huge shout-out to all the members of our local planning teams!

Archives for April 2005

Shambhala Institute Newsletter Available Online    

The Shambhala Institute is now posting its newsletter Fieldnotes online. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Shambhala Institute is dedicated to promoting positive change through leadership courses, partnerships and community-building, using principles of the Shambhala wisdom tradition. Check out their most recent newsletters at

Severn School Receives Creative Thinking in Management Award for their Dialogue Work    

Judy O’Brien of RIVERSPEAK Dialogues emailed me today to let me know that one of her clients recently won an award from Independent School Management, Inc. for their dialogue work. Severn School received the “ISM Creative Thinking in Management award,” which is awarded to schools for their innovative management ideas.

In an article about the Severn School’s dialogue work, Laura Kang (Head of the Middle School) says “Once I was introduced to the process, I realized that Dialogue, more than any other tool I had encountered, had the power to help me gather multiple perspectives and ideas for better decision-making.” Click here for the full article, in which Kang describes the various ways that dialogue has been used at the school.

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.

Call for Applications for NMCI’s Nonprofit Diversity Leader Awards    

The National MultiCultural Institute wishes to recognize the achievements of four distinguished nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC Metro area for their role as leaders in community diversity and multicultural inclusion. NMCI will honor those organizations that have implemented innovative outreach initiatives that serve as models for enhancing diversity and encouraging respect and inclusion in the communities they serve. NMCI will present four awards, each focusing on a specific area of the nonprofit sector (education, health care, social services, and the arts).

NMCI will be presenting the awards at its Spring Conference on May 19th, 2005. The deadline for applications has been extended to April 29, 2005. For application info, go to or contact Maria Morukian at [email protected] or (202) 483-0700 x228.

Update from the OrangeBand Initiative    

NCDD recently learned about the James Madison University-based OrangeBand Initiative, and we’re really excited to spread the word about this brilliantly simple idea. Kai Degner started the OrangeBand Initiative with a group of friends at JMU in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Their goal was simple: getting people talking about issues they care about. They began handing out orange strips of fabric that could be decorated to represent an issue important to whoever decides to wear one. The bands can be put on a bag or somewhere else and, when someone asks “What’s your OrangeBand?”, a conversation can ensue about that issue and others.

In two years, over 6,000 people have voluntarily decided to take a band and the Initiative has coordinated over 50 nonpartisan, discussion-based forums. According to director Kai Degner, “We have learned we are tapping into something much bigger than anything we could have created ourselves: a broad desire for a space for open, civil discourse about meaningful contemporary issues.” Click below for the OrangeBand Initiative’s latest
update (which happily includes an announcement about!).

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