Sustained Dialogue Institute

Sustained Dialogue Institute SDCN develops everyday leaders who engage differences as strengths to improve campuses, workplaces, and communities. SDCN is an initiative of the Sustained Dialogue Institute (SDI), headquartered in Washington DC.
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SDI is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2002 to promote the process of Sustained Dialogue for transforming racial, ethnic, and other deep-rooted conflicts in the United States and abroad. Students first started using Sustained Dialogue at Princeton University in 1999. Sustained Dialogue now operates on campuses across the globe.

Mission: SDI develops everyday leaders who engage differences as strengths to improve campuses, workplaces, and communities.

Operating as usual

“No one should ever feel they aren’t part of the Case Western Reserve family, or Cleveland, or Ohio or the U.S.” A great...
09/19/2020
Campus Spotlight: Sustained Dialogue

“No one should ever feel they aren’t part of the Case Western Reserve family, or Cleveland, or Ohio or the U.S.” A great article about SD at our partner Case Western Reserve University

https://thedaily.case.edu/campus-spotlight-sustained-dialogue/

During a time when many felt they had no control over what was happening around them, one Sustained Dialogue group at Case Western Reserve University group latched onto their project. In the early days of the pandemic, the group, composed of faculty and staff members, could have let the work they we...

Sustained Dialogue Institute's cover photo
09/16/2020

Sustained Dialogue Institute's cover photo

09/15/2020
Purple Sizzle

Our partner organization, Resetting the Table, has released a new film and discussion guide that builds empathy and recognition across lines of ideological difference and models a rare conversation that inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences. Check it out here:

This is "Purple Sizzle" by Transient Pictures - Private on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

08/28/2020
Purple Sizzle

Our partner organization, Resetting the Table, has released a new film and discussion guide that builds empathy and recognition across lines of ideological difference and models a rare conversation that inspires even while going toward the heat of passionate political differences. Check it out here:

This is "Purple Sizzle" by Transient Pictures - Private on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

08/17/2020
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Check out all 5 episodes of A New Table, a video series from our friends at Life & Peace Institute, featuring SDCN Managing Director, Rhonda Fitzgerald! https://bit.ly/31XWhZX

08/06/2020

Our friends at @KindredCommunities are hiring! It is a great opportunity for an SDCN alum or partner. See the job description and link below.

"Our ideal candidate is dynamic, self-reflective and culturally proficient. He/she must believe deeply in Kindred's mission of advancing racial justice and educational equity by building interracial and interclass collaboratives of parents and staff who will lead changes in their own schools, and, over time, more widely across their communities. We are seeking someone who balances being self-motivated and results-focused with a deep belief in people and relationships as the driver to change. We prefer candidates who are fluent in Spanish, though will consider highly qualified others. We think we'll find these candidates in the fields of organizing, education, social work and psychology, though we are completely open to considering other experiences as well."

https://kindredcommunities.org/join-us/join-our-team/

07/24/2020
Life & Peace Institute

Check out this forthcoming series by Life & Peace Institute over the coming weeks! SDCN Managing Director Rhonda Fitzgerald joined in the conversation.

Distance learning isn’t working for millions of students. That’s why Generation Global have developed a student-centered...
07/20/2020
Welcome to the Generation Global Ultimate Dialogue Adventure! | Generation Global

Distance learning isn’t working for millions of students. That’s why Generation Global have developed a student-centered learning pathway that teaches dialogue skills and connects young people to their peers. ➡️

Welcome to the Generation Global Ultimate Dialogue Adventure! On this adventure, you will discover how to become a dialogue master, so that you can communicate with young people from all over the world, learn about cultural differences and similarities, and build intercultural connections. Use the m...

Check out the work of a fellow student-focused organization! Today Generation Global has launch a simplified version of ...
07/15/2020
Welcome to the Generation Global Ultimate Dialogue Adventure! | Generation Global

Check out the work of a fellow student-focused organization! Today Generation Global has launch a simplified version of their global citizenship programme, designed as a game to teach young people global dialogue skills.

Welcome to the Generation Global Ultimate Dialogue Adventure! On this adventure, you will discover how to become a dialogue master, so that you can communicate with young people from all over the world, learn about cultural differences and similarities, and build intercultural connections. Use the m...

@BeyondConflictInt has released a new report. The more we feel disliked and dehumanized by members of the other party, t...
07/13/2020
America’s Divided Mind – Beyond Conflict

@BeyondConflictInt has released a new report. The more we feel disliked and dehumanized by members of the other party, the more likely we are to dislike them in turn. But there’s good news: Our perception of others is often vastly different than reality.
Which means that middle ground is easier to find than we think it is, and healing our political divide might be easier than we think.

Understanding the Psychology That Drives Us Apart New insights from brain and behavioral science explain how polarization is fueled by Americans’ misperceptions about each other. Learn more about the psychology that drives us apart, and how we can start to reverse it. Deepening toxic polarization ...

This chart is meant to illuminate the larger systems we can't always see AND it can be used to figure out where to take ...
07/10/2020

This chart is meant to illuminate the larger systems we can't always see AND it can be used to figure out where to take action. How? Try naming an injustice that you know is happening on a national or global level. For example, "I know that statistically Black people are experiencing high rates of Covid-19 due to often being essential or frontline workers." Then brainstorm local ways you might be able to affect what might be causing that disparity. What are some other injustices that you can identify?

[Image ID: A Venn diagram of 3 ovals within a rectangle. A circular blue logo and the words “Sustained Dialogue Institute” are at the bottom right. Each oval and the rectangle contain a text header and a list of things. The smallest oval is entirely contained within the middle oval, which is entirely contained within the largest oval. Text follows:
Outer rectangle: Header reads “Unchangeable History”
- Intergenerationally damaging, defunct systems (slavery, colonialism, land theft and broken land treaties, genocide of Indigenous people)
- Previous presence of targeted public policy (“War on Drugs”, voter suppression, internment of Japanese-Americans, Jim Crow laws & “separate but equal”)
Largest oval: Header reads “Current Systems”
- Impact of environment
- Access to housing and transportation/Homelessness
- Chronic poverty, access to wealth
- Security, safety, & heightened exposure to violence
- Health, Wellness, Stress
- Policing and the Justice System
- Differences in educational inputs
- Presence of targeted public policy (current land claim disputes, voter suppression, detainment camps, travel bans, surveillance)
- Employment and Hiring
Middle oval: Header reads “Local Community”
- Micro-trends which make it hard to “get” systems (i.e. having a woman as your mayor and doctor may obscure gender trends)
- Local norms of who is accepted, hired, bullied, safe (in-group/out-group dynamics)
- Sometimes: Local attempts to counter systemic inequities
- Current local norms with disparate impacts across groups
Smallest oval: Header reads “Personal & Interpersonal”
- Bullying
- Being avoided due to identity
- Dehumanizing language
- Feeling misrepresented
- Being stereotyped
- Self-Hate
- Slurs
End Image ID]

Life & Peace Institute
07/09/2020

Life & Peace Institute

In 2019 LPI and Gesr Center for Development trained 20 Sudanese #youth in the ‘listening methodology’. The Listeners sat down with over 900 young men and women over the course of one month and listened deeply to youth voices on their dreams for the future of #Sudan. This ‘Listening Tour’ took place in Khartoum and included diverse groups of youth.

Sustained Dialogue Institute

Often we can feel our desire to change things for the better, but don’t know where to begin. Where in the peach layer do...
07/03/2020

Often we can feel our desire to change things for the better, but don’t know where to begin. Where in the peach layer do you see a place where you can start?

"Countless people who sat on the sidelines of this struggle have now joined in. We can ask, as many have, why now? But w...
06/29/2020
Perspective | Calls for racial justice gained steam with empathy

"Countless people who sat on the sidelines of this struggle have now joined in. We can ask, as many have, why now? But we might also ask, why not earlier?"

Like other skills, empathy takes practice, and people practice it when they are motivated to do so.

Many times the communities we were raised in might not be able to illustrate to us what’s happening systemically or in n...
06/26/2020

Many times the communities we were raised in might not be able to illustrate to us what’s happening systemically or in nearby communities. There are nine things on this list (education and so on). Which ones do you want to make change around through your actions?

New summer trainings have been added on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! Join us to learn about dialogue.
06/26/2020
Sustained Dialogue Campus Network

New summer trainings have been added on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! Join us to learn about dialogue.

An awesome US Letter (Landscape) designed in Canva by rhonda.fitzgerald.

Join us at our summer trainings! There are new skill-building series starting soon on Tuesday and Wednesday. Register th...
06/22/2020
Sustained Dialogue Campus Network

Join us at our summer trainings! There are new skill-building series starting soon on Tuesday and Wednesday. Register through the link below.

An awesome US Letter (Landscape) designed in Canva by rhonda.fitzgerald.

Unchangeable history has helped shape current systems. What are you worried that you weren’t taught fully about history ...
06/19/2020

Unchangeable history has helped shape current systems. What are you worried that you weren’t taught fully about history in the U.S.?

We recently sat down with our Managing Director of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, Rhonda Fitzgerald to discuss o...
06/19/2020
Celebrating 11 Years of Dialogue in Ethiopia: Catching up with SDCN's Managing Director, Rhonda Fitzgerald | SDI

We recently sat down with our Managing Director of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, Rhonda Fitzgerald to discuss our long-standing partnership with Ethiopian universities, Life and Peace Institute, and the Peace and Development Center. Rhonda has led our partnership with both organizations from inception to now, and we can’t wait to hear her reflections.

We recently sat down with our Managing Director of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, Rhonda Fitzgerald to discuss our long-standing partnership with Ethiopian universities, Life and Peace Institute (LPI), and the Peace and Development Center (PDC). Rhonda has led our partnership with LPI and PD...

Is dialogue what you need? Check out this graphic:
06/16/2020

Is dialogue what you need? Check out this graphic:

Self care and rest are more important than ever. Lie down. Close your eyes. Go to sleep. For the past four years, Tricia...
06/15/2020
Atlanta-Based Organization Advocates For Rest As A Form Of Social Justice

Self care and rest are more important than ever. Lie down. Close your eyes. Go to sleep. For the past four years, Tricia Hersey has led The Nap Ministry. It's an Atlanta-based organization that advocates for rest as a form of resistance.

NPR's Sarah McCammon talks with Tricia Hersey, a founder of the Nap Ministry, about why her organization argues that rest could be a form of resistance.

Learn more about our colleagues' great work with SD at universities in Ethiopia!
06/10/2020

Learn more about our colleagues' great work with SD at universities in Ethiopia!

Spread across five universities, the #SustainedDialogue project provides students from diverse backgrounds a platform to openly discuss issues and build relationships while striving to solve mutual challenges together. It started in 2009 in Ethiopia, but quickly spread to Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and our Sweden Program is currently exploring potential use of the method. USAID Ethiopia Sida - Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete Sustained Dialogue Institute #PDC

We love this graphic of the 5 Stages of the Sustained Dialogue process from our friends at the Life and Peace Institute!
06/10/2020

We love this graphic of the 5 Stages of the Sustained Dialogue process from our friends at the Life and Peace Institute!

Sustained Dialogue, our flagship project in #Ethiopia brings university students together to build & transform relationships and create inclusive communities. https://life-peace.org/our-work/ethiopia USAID Ethiopia Sida - Styrelsen för Internationellt Utvecklingssamarbete #PDC Sustained Dialogue Institute

Many report that individual level experience, or personal experiences, have gotten in the way of your energy to do work ...
06/10/2020

Many report that individual level experience, or personal experiences, have gotten in the way of your energy to do work at the systemic level. What do you do to restore your compassion for changing things when you know other groups need you to work on behalf of them?

06/08/2020
WATCH: Why building multiracial dialogue in the workplace takes time

Even quick workplace conversations may require some skills and pre-built capacity. Spotlighting Raël Nelson James' wisdom about workplace dialogues at The Bridgespan Group, which began workplace dialogue 10+ years ago after it was introduced by SD alum Justin Steele

While workplaces may see the events of the past week as a prime opportunity for rethinking their approach toward discussing race, Raël Nelson James cautioned...

Registration for our new skill building series is live! Join us from June through August to build spaces to have challen...
06/08/2020
The Sustained Dialogue Institute

Registration for our new skill building series is live! Join us from June through August to build spaces to have challenging conversations about issues that matter and be a creator of meetings where talking about big issues is celebrated.

The Sustained Dialogue Institute helps citizens around the world to transform their conflictual or destructive relationships and to design and implement sustainable change processes. Globally, SDI runs dialogues between the United States and Russia, as well as in the corporate sector, communities, w...

We’ve received a lot of inquiries about ways to take action on systemic injustice towards black and brown people. We’ve ...
06/05/2020

We’ve received a lot of inquiries about ways to take action on systemic injustice towards black and brown people. We’ve prepared some reflection questions for all people who want to make sure that their reflections turn to positive action. Join us over the next few weeks.

Sustained Dialogue is a five stage dialogue to action process. In stage 4, the dialogue group works together to develop a plan for action to address root causes of problems affecting the community. Our systemic awareness chart helps groups develop plans for systemic action

We have updated our offerings for the summer! You can register for any of our workshops through the links below.
06/04/2020
Sustained Dialogue Campus Network

We have updated our offerings for the summer! You can register for any of our workshops through the links below.

An awesome US Letter (Landscape) designed in Canva by rhonda.fitzgerald.

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444 N Capitol St NW, Ste 434
Washington D.C., DC
20001

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The Program for Intergroup Relations at the University of Michigan has extended the deadline for the position of LSA Faculty Co-Director and Adjunct Lecturer!
#MeetTheSDInterns Introducing our second Undergraduate Fellow, Carmen Wilson! Carmen is earning her bachelor’s degree in government & international politics with a minor in conflict analysis & resolution from George Mason University. While currently in undergrad, she is involved in Housing & Residence Life as a Resident Advisor, where she helps to ensure the safety and well-being of on-campus students. She has also interned for the Department of State, at the Foreign Service Institute, as well as with the Partnership for Public Service. In her spare time she loves to read, bake, and explore Washington D.C.
Congratulations to Prof. Meghan Sullivan on this important effort which incorporates Sustained Dialogue!
Ohio State University Law Professor and Director of the Divided Community Project Grande Lum shared his thoughts on the importance the U.S. government's Community Relations Service and where Sustained Dialogue fits into bridging divides between communities. Check out his interview with NPR!
Another 5 starer! The Nuts and Bolts of Peace-Making By Laurie F.on January 16, 2018 Thank you, Gershon Baskin, for writing this deeply informative book! Anyone who wants peace and stability in Israel and Palestine will value this riveting account of negotiations, relationship-building across political lines, analysis of past peace-attempt failures, and quirky yet admirable accounts of the personal experiences of a dedicated peacemaker. If the book gave us these only, it would be valuable, But Baskin does something additional: he shows, step-by-step and in great detail, how avowed enemies can become cooperating political partners. He holds the view that political solutions are possible even if parties to those agreements do not agree on "narrative" and that the business of reconciling narratives can happen later, in a stable political environment that gives all parties mutual safety, respect, and economic security. Read it. Hope resides in it, especially at this particularly discouraging moment in Israel-Palestine relations.
Thank you, Rhonda Fitzgerald, for presenting this information to us along with your colleague, Kathleen Anderson, at the Maryland TESOL conference today!
Powerful stuff!!!