As an organization, NCDD is not in the habit of supporting online petitions. But when Joan Blades, a supporting NCDD member and a co-founder of Living Room Conversations and MoveOn.org, reached out to us to support a petition she recently created, we immediately recognized its value for our work and knew that it was something our members could support.
That’s why we are encouraging NCDD members to join us in signing and sharing Joan’s petition, which is a commitment to make a simple pledge. It states:
I pledge to help our leaders and our communities to engage in respectful dialogue and to look for ways to solve problems cooperatively. Doing this, we can create better answers to all the challenges we face.
As people committed to the work of engaging every day people in their communities and in a broader democracy through dialogue and deliberation, many of us in NCDD have probably already made such a commitment, at least to ourselves. But by making it publicly and encouraging others to do the same, we might be able to bring even more people into our work who will make or renew that commitment to keep improving the ways we solve our problems as a society.
Joan and her colleagues have framed this effort as an effort to tackle the deep polarization present in our nation and especially among our political leaders. As dialogue and engagement practitioners, it is clear to us that the political dysfunction we have seen in recent months and years stems from this polarization and a lack of willingness or ability to engage with “the other side” in our politics. But we also know that the solution involves moving toward greater collaboration and real relationship building.
So we are proud to join Joan, Living Room Conversations, and MoveOn.org in renewing our commitment to help our leaders and our communities engage in respectful dialogue and cooperation. We hope you will join us, too.
You can find and share the pledge by visiting http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/healing-the-heart-of.
Here’s hoping this is a spark that starts something bigger.