Dialogue & Its Uses

Dialogue is a communication process that 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 form a new and broader understanding of a situation.”

(Schirch & Campt, 2007)

People misuse the term “dialogue” when what they are really doing or talking about is debate, conversations, or other forms of communication. See the helpful table below from the United States Institute of Peace to help differentiate between terms. (click the link below the table to enlarge.)

https://hudsondeialliance.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/dialogue-discussion-debate-v042818.jpg

Dialogue is used across the United States within organizations, cities, counties, states and around the globe to bring together individuals impacted by the topic at hand and allows them to hear each other’s perspective, directly ask questions to get more information, consider problems collectively, evaluate the options and work collaboratively to address the issues at hand.

In 2017, the League of Women Voters in Hudson and the Akron Area partnered with Essential Partners, the Sustained Dialogue Institute, and Welcoming America to prepare education, local government, and non-profit leaders across Ohio in how to facilitate dialogue to collaborative action around issues of concern to them ranging from environmental issues to how to create more welcoming communities for new immigrants and refugees. A model similar to this one is what the DEI Alliance hopes to replicate within Hudson once funds are secured. Click here for the 2021 proposal we hope to secure funds to begin in Fall/Early Winter of 2021.

Sample Dialogue Uses and Outcomes

Everyday Democracy has many examples and evidence-based practices.
See a sample here.

Communities that Used a Dialogue to Change Approach Using Large City-wide Dialogues
Decatur, GA
Palm Beach County, FL

The National Civic League presented “Bridging Divides through Community Dialogues”
Presentation
Recording

Resources:
Civic Index
All-America Conversations Toolkit

Check out the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation for more resources!

Contact

Hudson DEI Alliance
Hudson, Ohio

The Hudson DEI Alliance works in collaboration with our educational, business, and faith communities through a fund at the Hudson Community Foundation.

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