Organizational Dialogue

Topics: Dialogue, Conversation, Question Pages: 194 (63388 words) Published: September 12, 2013
A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides

Maggie Herzig Laura Chasin

Sponsored by

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides
A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project

Maggie Herzig Laura Chasin

This guide was made possible through the generous support of the JAMS Foundation.

Fostering Dialogue Across Divides
A Nuts and Bolts Guide from the Public Conversations Project Maggie Herzig and Laura Chasin

Published by: Public Conversations Project 46 Kondazian Street Watertown, MA 02472 Web: www.publicconversations.org Email: info@publicconversations.org Phone: (617) 923-1216 Fax: (617) 923-2757 © 2006 Public Conversations Project All rights reserved. Published 2006

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In this world of polarizing conflicts, we have glimpsed a new possibility: a way in which people can disagree frankly and passionately, become clearer in heart and mind about their activism, and, at the same time, contribute to a more civil and compassionate society.





“Talking with the Enemy” The Boston Globe, January 28, 2001 Co-authored by Boston-area prochoice and prolife leaders: Anne Fowler, Nicki Nichols Gamble, Frances X. Hogan, Melissa Kogut, Madeline McComish, and Barbara Thorp.

We dedicate this guide to all who work to make this possibility a reality.

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The Public Conversations Project (PCP) in Watertown, Massachusetts, is a multi-faceted nonprofit organization that provides a distinctive blend of services. PCP’s offerings include dialogue facilitation; customized and open enrollment trainings; consultation to facilitators, organizations, and networks in conflict; and print resources such as this dialogue guide. Although PCP specializes in fostering dialogues about polarizing public issues, its methods have been effective in situations characterized by chilly disconnection and suspicious silence as well as in heated and noisy conflicts. Since its founding in 1989, PCP has worked on a range of divisive issues including abortion, forest management, religious differences, same sex marriage, the use of animals in research, the so-called US red/blue divide, and the conflict in the Middle East. Participants in PCP’s collaboratively designed and facilitated conversations develop more respectful and effective ways of relating, greater mutual understanding, and deepened trust. As stereotypes soften and trust grows, the discovery of shared concerns and previously unseen opportunities often leads to cooperative actions. Some PCP dialogues are open to the public; others are highly confidential. Past projects have engaged leaders and average citizens on the local, national, and international levels; religious organizations; schools; social service agencies; and various arms of local, state, and national governments. Over the years, PCP has reached thousands of people from more than 15 countries on six continents and from 38 US states. PCP has been recognized for its innovative work by several organizations including the American Family Therapy Academy, the International Association for Public Participation, and the Association for Conflict Resolution, which presented PCP with the Mary Parker Follett Award for Excellence and Innovation in Dispute Resolution. PCP has been featured in such media outlets as The Boston Globe; The Washington Post; USA Today; The Christian Science Monitor; People Magazine; Psychology Today; National Public Radio; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Voice of America. For articles, practical resources, and more information about the Public Conversations Project, visit www.publicconversations.org.

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This guide was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the JAMS Foundation, a non-profit corporation established by JAMS, the nation’s premier provider of...
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