Dialogue is discussion that aims to go beyond any one individual’s understanding. In dialogue, participants speak their own minds, while implicitly acknowledging that their assumptions could be wrong and that other people may legitimately hold differing opinions.
Days of Dialogue works with various host organizations to design and conduct facilitated dialogues on often-sensitive or contentious topics of interest to the organization or community. Dialogue planning can be initiated by host organizations or other interested parties.
Days of Dialogue is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to be a catalyst in the community problem solving process by creating dialogue on sensitive social issues among diverse community groups. By facilitating respectful, purposeful conversation on a broad range of public issues and public policies and topics, we foster understanding, and encourage people to improve their quality of life through civic engagement.
In 1995, Los Angeles’ deeply divided reaction to the verdict in the O.J. Simpson trial underscored how far apart the diverse communities of Los Angeles and the nation stand on some basic issues. As a result, then-Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas called a meeting with 20 civic leaders and community activists to defuse escalating tensions. Out of this was born an innovative nonpartisan initiative, Los Angeles’ first citywide discussion—A Day of Dialogue.
Since then, thousands of people, both locally and nationally, have participated in Days of Dialogue programs; from political Town Hall forums in large civic auditoriums, to small group meetings in neighborhood libraries, churches, and fire stations.