grand rapids, seeds of promise, dialogue, integration, action, deliberation, crime, community, liberal studies


Liberal Studies


As a part of Grand Valley State University’s LIB312: “Dialogue, Integration, and Action,” we – a team of Liberal Studies majors in the fall of 2015 – codesigned, facilitated, and analyzed a community dialogue with residents in the Grand Rapids neighborhood surrounding Seeds of Promise. Occurring on November 5th, this community dialogue was designed to

  • Provide a space for residents to share their stories,
  • Prioritize their key values,
  • Identify a broad range of possible interventions for addressing the issues of most concern to them.

The design of this dialogue was informed by a range of skills and techniques from a variety of course materials and readings. Some of the titles and authors that informed this project include:

  • Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together (1999), William Isaacs.
  • Justice and the Politics of Difference (1990), Iris Marion Young.
  • Democracy in Motion (2012), Tina Nabatchi and John Gastil
  • Healing the Heart of Democracy (2011), Parker Palmer
  • The Deliberative Democracy Handbook (2005), John Gastil and Peter Levine
  • “Citizen Participation and the Democratization of Policy Expertise” (1993), Frank Fischer
  • “Confronting the Implications of Wicked Problems” (2004), Hal Salwasser

The following is a report summarizing the findings from the dialogue.