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One America in the 21st Century: The President's Initiative on Race; One America Dialogue Guide: Conducting a Discussion on Race

NCJ Number
Date Published
41 pages
This manual provides guidelines for developing and implementing a community dialog on race relations.
The manual first defines a dialog as "a forum that draws participants from as many parts of the community as possible to exchange information face-to-face, share personal stories and experiences, honestly express perspectives, clarify viewpoints, and develop solutions to community concerns." Elements of a successful dialog are moving toward solutions; reaching beyond the usual boundaries; uniting divided communities; and aiming for a change of heart, not just a change of mind. The manual provides checklists for "thinking about your community," "thinking about your goals," "thinking about who should be included," and "thinking about what format to use." Steps in organizing a dialog are forming a planning group, thinking about community needs, developing a vision for the community, determining how many dialogs should take place and for how long, recruiting participants, determining how to conduct the dialog, documenting the effectiveness of the dialog, and expanding the team. The dialog presented in the manual has four phases. The first phase sets the tone and explores the issue of "Who Are We?" through the sharing of personal stories. The second phase helps participants understand "Where Are We?" through a deeper exploration of personal and shared racial history in the community. During the third phase, participants develop a vision for the community in response to the question, "Where Do We Want to Be?" In the fourth phase, participants answer the question, "What Will We Do As Individuals and With Others to Make a Difference?" A discussion of the role of the dialog leader concludes the manual. Appended additional resources, additional questions for the four phases of dialog, and a directory of resource organizations

Date Published: January 1, 1998