About Us

About Days of Dialogue

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.

What We Do

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.

Mission

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.

Hosting

Hosting a dialogue is not difficult or time consuming. A “host organization” provides a site for the dialogue, and invites and motivates the organization’s members, local community residents, and/or constituents to attend. Days of Dialogue staff assist in this process and provide written discussion materials and facilitators to lead the dialogue.

Format

In short, a dialogue is an organized but informal gathering in which community members discuss issues of interest or community concerns. Anyone who has an opinion and cares enough to voice it can participate, regardless of age, ethnicity, education level, religion, etc.

A dialogue session can accommodate as many participants as the site will hold, since dialogue participants are divided into small groups. Members engage each other in discussions about important and sensitive issues in a confidential, unbiased environment under the supervision of a trained facilitator.

Trained Facilitators and Mediators are recruited by Days of Dialogue. Over 150 trained facilitators volunteer with Days of Dialogue year-round.

Results

Participant evaluations have indicated that dialogue has a powerfully positive effect on the community. When we surveyed dialogue participants, 97% indicated that they felt free to express their views on all issues and that their views were heard. Over 90% felt that dialogue would improve inter-group relations and/or result in a positive impact on their community.

Need a Dialogue?

Are there inter-group tensions and/or problem issues in your neighborhood, within your organization, or otherwise present in your community? Issues that you’re not sure how to address? Are you concerned that these issues, if not addressed, could be exacerbated to the point of violence? Days of Dialogue can help. Our staff of Lead Facilitators can consult with individuals, groups, organizations, and/or government entities to help craft and implement a strategy for deliberative (dialogue) processes that could be a powerful first step toward a collaborative, consensual plan of action. Our consulting fees are reasonable, with financial assistance available for groups with special financial needs. It’s empowering. It’s inclusive. It’s “The First Step” in “Connecting Communities through Conversation.”

To arrange for a FREE initial consultation, contact us at (213) 346-3271.

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.

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