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100 Cups of Coffee Transformative Dialogue Project

Human Rights Commission
Jody B. Miller, Human Rights/EEO Officer

 


The primary goal of 100 Cups of Coffee, the Poughkeepsie Transformative Dialogue Project is to help improve community relations in Poughkeepsie by providing spaces for people to come together to talk about the things that are of concern to them in their neighborhoods.  This includes ordinary citizens, community leaders from civic organizations, faith organizations, police, and local leaders.  Supporting these conversations will help change the nature of conflict interaction in Poughkeepsie, affecting how individuals understand and react to the situations they find themselves in and allowing groups to deal with their differences in non-violent ways.  The secondary goal of the project is to document the changes in the community and the effectiveness of the dialogue process, allowing Poughkeepsie to serve as a model for other communities interested in becoming kinder, safer and more connected.


What is Transformative Dialogue?

Transformative Dialogue is a unique way of approaching conflict, which differs from traditional interventions by focusing on the interactional changes that are key to sustainably decreasing tension and conflict.  It puts decisions in the hands of the community members of Poughkeepsie.  Through interacting with each other, these community members will shape desired outcomes and may decide to implement specific activities beyond the dialogue.  Those leading the dialogue are committed to working through community institutions and networks to build trust and involve key community members in shaping the structure of the dialogue process as well as its content.  Finally, facilitators and community members will be involved in monitoring and evaluation, developing and documenting relational markers of change.

 

The Dutchess County Human Rights Commission’s mission is Defending Human Rights, Bridging Differences, Embracing Diversity.  This project’s goal to build a kinder, safer, more connected Poughkeepsie will be one endeavor to carry out the HRC’s mission and as a pilot project, may be replicated in other Dutchess County communities who also want to build a kinder, safer, more connected community.

 

What people are saying about their experience with 100 Cups of Coffee

“That in order to do my part, I have to get out of my comfort zone and talk to more people.”

 

“I need to stop thinking that the issue/problem is over there.”

 

“I wanted to tell you that as a result of the meeting at the Partnership last Tuesday, particularly the discussion groups, I have dates for further conversation with two people I had not met with before…”
 

“I review every application for City of Poughkeepsie events and I’ve never seen anything about an accessibility plan.  I can add that to the application.” Tom Pape, Chief of Police, upon learning about accessibility challenges and reduced ability for people with disabilities to participate in community events.

 

Accessibility