One of the objectives of the Central Texas D&D Summit held on April 19 at the LBJ Library was to:
a) Identify specific local D&D efforts that could be used as examples of the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation’s (NCDD) ‘Seven Challenges Facing the D&D Community’;
b) Members of the NCDD_CenTX team (to be determined) will then document these examples (according to a format yet to be determined) for presentation at the conference.
While we made great headway toward our other objectives to build a Central Texas Network, we didn’t specifically tie our practices and learning back to the seven challenges. NCDD and Civic Evolution have been hosting an online dialogue about these seven challenges, but that doesn’t satisfy our objective to draw on the expertise of the Central Texas region.
If you are a Central Texas D&D practitioner or scholar and have struggled with these issues, please let us know what you are learning and how we can pool our resources to tackle these challenges.
Here are the challenges:
Bringing D&D skills and perspectives into mainstream society and institutions
Challenge A: Embedding D&D in Systems
Embedding D&D in systems (governance, schools, organizations, etc.) – as opposed to just putting our energy into isolated D&D events and programs.
Challenge B: Framing this Work in an Accessible Way
Articulating the importance of this work to those beyond our immediate community (making D&D compelling to people of all income levels, education levels, and political perspectives, etc.) – and helping equip members of the D&D community to talk about this work in an accessible, effective way.
Challenge C: Proving This Stuff Works
Proving to power-holders (public officials, funders, CEOs) that D&D really does work, and creating/propagating quality evaluation tools for practitioners to use that can feed into research. In the private sector, demonstrating how D&D contributes to the bottom line.
Challenge D: D&D to Action and Policy Change
Strengthening the link between D&D and community action and policy change.
Strengthening the D&D community
Challenge E: Walking Our Talk
Addressing issues of oppression and bias within the D&D community.
Challenge F: Regional D&D Networks
Fostering the development of regional D&D networks and gatherings.
Challenge G: International Connections
Finding ways to readily learn from what D&D innovators outside of the U.S. are doing.
So what have we learned about these important challenges?