IISD Trains 30 SD Corps Members in D.C.Monday, January 30, 2012
(Sustained Dialogue Campus Network)
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) held a 3-day capacity-building workshop for professionals across sectors. Participants engaged with key Sustained Dialogue ™ concepts and experienced the power of dialogue, leaving the weekend with concrete tools for spreading Sustained Dialogue ™ concepts to changing their campuses, workplaces and communities.
During the weekend, participants spent two days learning key Sustained Dialogue™ concepts, such as designing community change and building authentic relationships between diverse stakeholders, and thinking about how to apply them in their own settings. Justin Steele, and alumnus of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, shared his experience bringing Sustained Dialogue to two major organizations. He inspired participants to think about the immense potential of the method to transform communities. As a “capstone” project, trainees and facilitators joined the Points Of Light Institute’s campaign to bridge communities over a community meal on M.L.K., Jr. Day and held a Sunday Supper. Each participant facilitated a portion of that evening’s conversation, experiencing the power of dialogue.
The weekend ended with an intensive “Train-the-Trainer” session, a conversation with Sustained Dialogue Campus Network alumni and structured planning time for participants to map out how they will bring Sustained Dialogue back to their communities.
Many of the attendees sought out the training to develop their own skills leading across differences, while others sought to address specific community tensions in campuses or workplaces.
Here are some things the attendees shared:
- Scott Shigeoka, Partnership Director of One World Youth Project: As an individual who intends to stay in leadership roles, managing a diverse group of people, it's important to continue developing and polishing skills like inclusive language, facilitation techniques, moderating group dialogue and creating systems that promote designing effective and positive change," Shigeoka shared.
- Salem Pearce, a DC-based fundraiser: “I learned how to address bigoted (even unintentionally so) statements in a way that could lead to learning and dialogue, instead of letting them shut down the conversation as they so often do. This is a valuable tool to have as a facilitator in a formal context -- but also as a person.”
- Brittany Atchison, an alumna of Sustained Dialogue at Cornell College who serves as Executive Director of EmpowHER, a microfinance project, attended the training to “engage further with the Sustained Dialogue framework, but I also built new friendships and learned from other passionate professionals from around the country engaged in creating inclusive communities. It was one of the best hands-on workshops I have ever attended. “
- Danielle Sleeper said, “I had the chance to begin to build confidence and clarity in designing my own program on my college campus. I look forward to being a part of the SD Corps community.”
This training is the second training of its kind, as part of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue’s ongoing effort to engage citizens to improve campuses, communities, and workplaces. Upcoming Sustained Dialogue Corps trainings will be held in Washington, DC.