National Coalition Building Institute

NCBI

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 diversity-resources@uiowa.edu

History

Prior to 2011, NCBI principles and practices were carried out at the individual level by pockets of dedicated NCBI-trained staff and faculty in various departments and colleges across UI. After hiring the first Chief Diversity Officer, the university joined NCBI International as an campus affiliate and the affiliate director role became a primary responsibility of the Diversity Resources unit.

Since becoming an affiliate, UI has hosted three train-the-trainers as well as two campus conferences. Both events bring directors, team members, and new affiliates to UI's campus to engage in continued learning and share best practices. 

Courses Offered

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. At the University of Iowa, our team offers the following courses free of charge, to the campus and community.

Leadership for Equity & Inclusion
This full-day workshop invites participants to reflect on how identity has shaped their experiences and their leadership, while working together to build skills for coalition-building and effectively interrupting hurtful comments and behaviors.

Building Effective Relationships Across Group Lines
This four hour workshop will encourage participants to explore how our identities shape our experiences and our interactions with others, as well as the dynamics that get in the way of effective relationship-building across difference.

Conflict & Controversial Issues
This four-hour process gives leaders skills to deal constructively with tough conflicts, enabling them to move disputing parties toward future cooperation. Highly interactive, leaders engage in learning by dialoguing about a real controversy that exists in the room.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does taking an NCBI course count towards completing my BUILD certificate?

Absolutely. If you have completed any of our NCBI courses at the University of Iowa, please let us know by sending an email to diversity-resources@uiowa.edu with the dates completed so that we can give you credit in our database, and a current campus address so that we can send you your BUILD medallions. For more information about the Building University of Iowa Leadership for Diversity (BUILD) certificate visit our programs page and click on the BUILD icon.

Does the Chief Diversity Office offer departmental or group NCBI courses?

We can offer a limited amount of additional courses to campus and community departments and organizations per year. Those interested in should fill out our training request form. We are able to accommodate these requests on a first come, first serve basis, and ability is dependent on the availability of our volunteer facilitators.

How do I get trained to become a trainer?

In the past, the Chief Diversity Office has offered NCBI Train-the-Trainer sessions as needed. This often does not happen each year, however, the NCBI Leadership for Diversity Institute, held twice per year by the international NCBI headquarters, automatically adds you as a new affiliate member at the University of Iowa upon completion. To let us know of your interest, email diversity-resources@uiowa.edu for more information.

If you were a member of a campus affiliate on a different campus before coming to the the UI, please let us know. We welcome you to be a part of the team!