Deliberative Spaces

USACYC uses the framing of “Deliberative Dialogue” in our discussion spaces to challenge ourselves to more openly engage in conversation, as well as to practice unlearning the need to resolve and reconcile differences in perspective or communication in every moment. In doing this, we can reach “transforming moments” in our group processes. These “transforming moments” come in response to some distinctive elements we seek to build into dialogue, as follows:

  • Sharing personal narratives,
  • Provocative and open-ended questions (posed by one participant to another),
  • Questioning of fundamental assumptions, and
  • Collective searching for common ground.

Some of the ways we concretely structure these elements into our regular work is by, respectively:

  • Using the practice of Public Narrative (see below) regularly in our governance and programming,
  • Framing out meeting and programming discussions with open-ended questions,
  • Using a “glossary” approach when orienting folks to a conversation that names terms and concepts so they can be more easily interrogated, and
  • Structuring our policies, procedures, and practices around our commonly shared Points of Unity.