In 2011, the University of Iowa joined the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), a nonprofit leadership training organization based in the Washington, D.C. area. Built on over 30 years of practice and research, NCBI programs enable leaders to develop skills in areas of prejudice reduction, violence prevention, conflict resolution, and coalition building.
NCBI workshops and principles are being used on hundreds of campuses, K-12 schools, corporations, law enforcement programs, communities, domestic and international political organizations, and even in peace negotiations.
The work of NCBI is guided by several foundational principles:
- Guilt is the glue that holds prejudice in place. When people feel bad about themselves they do not have the courage to make constructive changes. Similarly, blaming people for their prejudicial attitudes only increases defensiveness, making it harder for people to take an honest look at the negative attitudes they have acquired. NCBI takes a different approach. We treat every participant with respect. We have learned that when we are generous, mindful of each person’s dignity, we can effect change much more rapidly than if we employed confrontational methods.
- Every issue counts. NCBI stresses that every individual is important. As a result, we address a wide range of diversity issues in the course of the workshop, including race, ethnicity, gender, social class, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, job, and life circumstance. We make sure that diversity work includes everyone, and are committed to ending isolation.
- Stories change attitudes. At the heart of the one-day workshop is the opportunity to tell and to listen to personal stories of discrimination. These stories have the power to impart a new perspective on the devastating impact of bigotry. Participants also learn new ways to become effective allies to each other.
- Skill-training leads to empowerment. NCBI equips every participant with practical skills for taking on prejudicial behavior. For example, we teach people how they might shift the attitude of someone who has made an oppressive joke, remark, or slur.
Here at UI, we’ve built a coalition of more than 40 faculty, staff, and students devoted to embodying these principles, developing participants’ skills, and being a resource for campus inclusion and equity. Feel free to check out the NCBI International website.
Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact us in advance at 335-2388 or by email at email@example.com.