Civic Engagement Dialogue Training Application (Hudson DEI Alliance)

Application Deadline Friday, December 10, 2021, 11:59PM EST

Join the Hudson DEI Alliance for a unique opportunity to participate in a city-wide initiative to build capacity for local leaders in dialogue, conflict management and collaborative problem solving to help bridge political divides, strengthen relationships and focus community energy for finding possibilities for collaborative action to address local issues.


"Dialogue … aims to build relationships between people as they share experiences, ideas and information about a common concern. It also aims to help groups take in more information and perspectives than they previously had as they attempt to forge a new and broader understanding of a situation."
(Dialogue for Difficult Subjects, A Practical Hands-on Guide, by Schirch and Campt, 2007)

The term, dialogue, is frequently misused. Discussion, debate and dialogue are different. Read more here for details:

In this increasingly polarized time when it seems like nothing can be accomplished without shouting matches, it is possible to hold on to our deeply held values and work together respectfully even when we disagree. This combination of training and practical community dialogue experience provides local leaders with a set of skills and tools for communication and problem solving that promotes listening, relationship building and collaboration across differences in ideologies and identities. We seek to inspire a new culture of courageous conversation, so that our community can implement intentional and connective discourse to address challenges facing specific organizations or the entire community.

Join us for a unique opportunity to be on the forefront of a city-wide initiative to build capacity for local leaders in dialogue, conflict management and collaborative problem solving to help bridge local political divides, strengthen relationships and take concrete community action to address local issues. While new and longstanding challenges provide organizations with many opportunities for collective problem solving, there is insufficient facilitation capacity in the community to extract the community wisdom that can help create innovative and workable solutions. This facilitation training will prepare participants with the skills and confidence needed to recognize issues suitable to address through dialogue. In addition, this experience will equip participants with the skills needed to design and facilitate dialogue process that can lead to collaborations between people with divergent points of view.

The following are a list of examples of types of issues that your community may decide to work on. They include, but are not limited to:
• Environmental issues
• Land usage
• Sustaining a vibrant multi-generational community
• Bullying
• Creating diverse and inclusive organizations and communities

This competitive opportunity is for community members who are representative of the diversity, of varied ideologies and identities, in the community and who have the ability/platform to convene regular groups around topics of concern in their community including but not limited to:
• City and Local Government Officials
• Non-profit leaders
• Community Leaders Associated with Formal and Grassroots Organizations
• Individual School and School District Leadership
• Faith-based Leadership

• Priority will be given to those who apply as a team of at least two members from an organization.
• Up to four team members will be selected from the same organization.
• All potential team members must complete and submit the application for review. Not all team members may be selected.
• Team members may not charge for delivering the dialogue they will design at the conclusion of the training.

Special thanks to the businesses, community members and foundations that helped support this initiative!
The subsidized cost is $150 per person for team members for the 6 days of facilitator training, dialogue practice, feedback and technical assistance. These fees will be collected if your application and team is accepted, and will need to be paid in full before the training begins. They are to help support on-going operational expenses.

This training in dialogue facilitation will be most suitable for people who:
• Are able to and/or authorized by a supervisor to be able to plan, organize, and begin a dialogue project on a topic of importance to their community in the next 6 months.
• Are able to work well with others.
• Are respected within the organization and in the community.
• Are representative of diverse beliefs and perspectives on topics such as religion and politics.
• Are able to commit to the required 6 sessions - 3 hours per session training in their entirety (see all dates and times below).
• Are able to commit to patriating in two community dialogues each lasting 3 -4 hours.
• Can commit to giving feedback through evaluation instruments after each of their training and dialogue experiences as well as 120 days after their second dialogue experiences.
• Have:
a) Excellent interpersonal skills
b) Strong organizational skills
c) A strong commitment to civic/community engagement and service

Year-Long Process Time-line (participation in all components is required for participation)
• Attend at least 5 sessions of a 6-session dialogue facilitation training course delivered by video conference in the last 3 months of 2021.
• Complete post-training evaluation instruments after each session.
• Participate in two community dialogues during the first 4 months of 2022. At least one of these dialogues will happen via videoconference.
• Participate in the debriefing sessions to gather the learnings from the dialogues.
• After the second community dialogue, work with other facilitators from the same organization to design a plan to create a dialogue experience within your organization. Some facilitators may want to join forces to work with other facilitator to create a plan the convene people from across organizations in dialogue.
• No more than 90 days after second community dialogue, submit an engagement plan for a within-organization or across organization dialogue that will build on the learnings from the training and community dialogue experience.
• After creating their dialogue plan, complete a final evaluation instrument that gives feedback about their facilitation development experience.

Skills gained from participation in this project:
• Recognizing signs of polarization and dynamics of conflict
• Ability to take different perspectives
• Active listening
• Appreciating diversity and understanding different experiences
• Community mapping and participatory planning and preparation
• Using structure, reflection and agreements in meeting design to achieve established purposes
• Collaborative decision making
• Operationalizing action plans

Skills participants will receive during the required training:
1. Facilitated Dialogue Training (18 hours) Learn: model of experience based dialogue for exploring divergent perspectives; strategies for maintaining appropriate facilitator presence during dialogic engagement; strategies for asking compelling questions to break entrenched dynamics of communication and replace them with reflection, deep listening, and effective sharing to build trust and relationship as the groundwork for collaborative action; strategies for creating dialogue experiences using technology to link small group dialogue to large group consensus construction.
2. Hands on dialogue experience (10 hours) Serve as a small group facilitator as a part of a community dialogue involving dozens of community residents. Learn which specific dialogue model works for which type of issue and venue, work with a facilitation partner, debrief with all of the participating facilitators to extract key lessons.
3. Create a Core Dialogue Plan - After the second community dialogue, participants will work collaboratively with at least one other facilitator to develop a plan for a dialogue within their organization that involves multiple organization.

TRAINING COMMITMENT (1 Thursday evening + 5 Sunday evenings)
Selected participants/teams are committing to completing all of the following on-line trainings in their entirety. Participants may only miss up to 1 training to continue in the training. Each training is on-line from 6PM – 9PM. All participants must have a computer with video and audio enabled during the training to participate.

Sunday January 9th, 6PM - 9PM
Thursday, January 20th, 6PM - 9PM
Sunday, January 30th, 6PM - 9PM
Sunday, February 13th from 6PM - 9PM
Sunday, February 27th, 6PM - 9PM
Sunday, March 6th, 6PM - 9PM

The Hudson Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) Alliance is a non-partisan, non-profit volunteer community organization dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion through intentional education, dialogue, and action. The Alliance will serve a local point of contact for this project, helping solicit the cooperation of local institutions and leaders as the facilitators are trained and prepare to utilize their dialogue skills to foster engagement of local residents. More at:

The Dialogue Company, founded in 2019, emerged from three decades of dialogue experience, by its founder Dr. David Campt. He worked with and for multiple political parties as a senior advisor to President Clinton’s Initiative on Race as well as for the Faith and Politics Institute, and has worked with a wide variety of corporate, philanthropic, university, and non-profit institutions. Dr. Campt and the experts of The Dialogue Company authored several books and articles about issues related to dialogue, unconscious bias, civic engagement, and other topics focused on bringing people together across divides in perceptions and experiences. One of The Dialogue Company’s frequent collaborators is Matthew Freeman of Dialectix Consulting ( Matthew and David have collaborated in teaching facilitation for several years, and have built dialogic capacity of people and organizations all across the United States and in the Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and in Africa.

Application deadline , 11:59PM EST, Friday, December 10, 2021
Please note: Late applications will NOT be accepted.

Questions? Please contact Jen Batton email:
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Name - First and Last name *
Title in the organization you will be representing *
Organization (must be located in Hudson) *
E-mail that you check regularly *
Telephone number - best number to reach you during daytime hours? *
Why are you interested in participating in this training? (Anything that would help us better understand your interest and motivation would be helpful.) *
What experience do you have leading groups? *
What experience do you have training adults? *
What experience do you have serving in a leadership role facilitating diverse perspectives and bringing them to consensus? *
How do you define dialogue and why do you value it? *
What skills and/or past experiences do you have in dialogue, conflict resolution or community action? *
What experience do you have in serving as the formal facilitator of dialogue processes? *
What is the primary organization where you would apply the skills gained from these trainings? *
One of our hopes in offering these trainings is to expand the number of individuals facilitating dialogues across the community. If you participate in this training series, what issue or issue(s) do you envision addressing in your own neighborhood, community or organization? *
I acknowledge that by submitting this form and placing my name below, I am committing to all 6-3 hour training segments in their entirety, facilitating two community dialogues on a topic of concern in my community with key stakeholders, completing evaluation instruments, and developing a core plan for a dialogue for at least one organization. Directions - write your name in the short answer below if you understand and agree to this. *
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