Learn to Facilitate Community Dialogues

Monday August 22, 2011 – Tuesday August 23, 2011

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Dates:  August 22 &23, 2011

Time: 5:00pm until 9:00pm (dinner will be offered starting at 4:30pm and the training will start promptly at 5:00pm)

If you are ever in a situation where you have to work with a group of people — a book club, a volunteer team, or a church group, for example — then this training is for you! In our fun and interactive training you will learn the skills and techniques to facilitate group discussions with up 45 participants! You will learn how to:

  • …create a productive and safe environment.
  • …use effective questions that get — and keep! — the conversation going.
  • …use active listening skills to engage participants.
  • …handle difficult participants & conflict in the group.
  • …create an agenda that will lead a group through 4 sessions from dialogue to action.
  • …record the progress of the conversation for easy follow-up.

If you decide to volunteer with us, you will get the chance to use and practice all these skills in a wide variety of settings. We use volunteers to facilitate our community events, which in the past have included dialogues between the New Haven Police Department and New Haven residents, staff dialogues with New Haven Health Department staff (in collaboration with the Health Equity Alliance), dialogues with local non-profits like Havens for the Future, Elm City Vineyard Church, Evergreen Family-Oriented Tree Sober Homes, and a World Cafe at the Festival for Arts and Ideas in 2009 & 2010, to name a few. This is a great way to get to know different groups around the Greater New Haven Area and to hone your skills as a dialogue facilitator.


Space in this training is limited to 18 participants. Early registration is encouraged to guarantee a place in the training.

Tuition for this training is $150 and includes all materials and meals. A deposit of $75 is required to hold your seat. Parking is available in the city lot next to Community Mediation along with metered 8-hour street parking on State Street. (If you register for this training as part of our training package,  the cost for this training will be reduced.)

Please arrange your outside obligations around the class schedule so you will be in attendance for the full 8 hours of training. You must attend all 8 hours to receive a certificate.

The trainer:

David Gafron Savage is an experienced trainer and facilitator with a Master’s Degree from the Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) in Cultural Anthropology & American Studies.  He lives with his wife in New Haven, CT and works at Community Mediation. He has collaborated with the New Haven Police Department to create a series of dialogues on police-community partnerships with up to 50 participants per session, held staff development workshops at the New Haven Health Department, facilitated board meetings, and run several planning & visioning dialogues with a number of non-profit organizations and neighborhood groups.