Recipient of the 2012 Catalyst Award for Civic Infrastructure, National Dialogue Network (NDN) volunteer John Spady announces that the NDN achieved a major milestone on September 18 when it released its public Conversation Kit on the topic of Poverty & Wealth in America for voluntary and coordinated national conversations. Revisit the May post on NCDD to remember how and why this topic was selected. Groups and individuals are now invited to “Get Involved.” Follow this link and take an action on the topic — and an important first action is to simply download the Conversation Kit, then ask your friends, family, neighbors, or community to join in and help inform the national dialogue. The NDN coordinates distinct individual and community conversations — giving everyone a “sense of place” and voice within the larger national dialogue. NDN’s dedicated volunteer’s seek to revitalize and promote civic infrastructures within communities where all who choose to participate will impact the national conversation by:
- Focusing intently on an issue over time with others;
- Listening to the opinions and ideas being discussed in your community and across the United States; and
- Speaking up about your own opinions and ideas in conversations with your family, friends & community.
Jim Wallis, President and Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners Magazine, appears prescient on the topic when he writes in the March-April 1999 issue:
“The growing economic inequality of American life presents the most crucial moral issue for the health of democracy, according to historian James MacGregor Burns. It’s an issue that affects almost every other issue, from campaign finance to corporate welfare to the daily priorities of the U.S. Congress. The widening gap between the top and bottom of American society is now the 900-pound gorilla lurking in the background of every political discussion. It’s just sitting there, but nobody is talking about it. It’s time we started talking about it. Our moral integrity demands it. And the common good requires it.” is.gd/5Nu85Z
The NDN is appealing to participants and the general public to raise at least another $10,000 for 2014 so they can continue to develop processes and content for another year of national dialogue. Any amounts raised over $15,000 will be used to develop more professional content, coordination, and promotional grants. Donations can be made online at GoFundMe.com/NatDialogue
Finally, NDN is grateful to the people who volunteered their hearts and hands to make this project a reality. Their collaborations are exactly what NCDD intended when it created the Catalyst Awards and the National Dialogue Network acknowledges their contributions on its About-Us page.