In December 2014 I.F. launched a partnership with “Inclusive Dubuque” (I.D.), a city-wide, network-based initiative involving upwards of 30 civic groups, major businesses, and institutions of higher learning. I.F.’s principal role will be to train facilitators. The partnership presents I.F. with an historically large opportunity: the chance to infuse an entire medium sized city with the IF discussion process by working with partners who are enthusiastic about our process, well-organized, and are both poised to begin work in the near future and in it for the long haul.
Inclusive Dubuque is an effort to “advance equity and inclusion to meet the economic and cultural needs of a diverse community.” The initiative has already signed on more than two dozen NGOs, businesses, and educational institutions as partners, several of which—like United Way and the Labor Management Council—are themselves umbrella groups. (For more information on I.D. go to: http://www.inclusivedbq.org/). Meanwhile, the initiative’s leadership will serve as a “Hub for Data and Communications”; a “Facilitator of Connections”; and an “Accelerator of Learning and Progress”. Both the Community Foundation and City see IF contributing to the second of these functions, facilitation, by training leaders in both City government and NGOs to use our exploratory process as the initiative unfolds.
I.F.’s work with I.D. got underway in earnest last month. Fellows Adolf Gundersen and Pete Shively spent two days in Dubuque with I.D.’s core team, conducting a demonstration of the I.F. process and facilitator training. The two day workshop was well appreciated by I.D. mission partners for solidifying connections and promoting exploration of the initiative’s mission. The event will be followed up later this month with the first of what promise to be numerous, more comprehensive, trainings.