• Opening Lines of Communication Among Those Who Do Not Ordinarily Communicate Well
  • Building Trust and Relationships
  • Identifying Challenges and Assets
  • Generating Actionable Solutions


Municipalities, Community Groups, Businesses, Health Care Stakeholders, Non-profit Organizations and Academic Departments.


Above, Jeff Stone of Civic Dialogue Services greeting participants at a Mattapan community meeting. Below, view of over 100 residents and other stakeholders who attended.

Recently we managed a successful rollout of a major community engagement and development initiative for the Mattapan section of Boston. We coordinated the expansion of a diverse local Steering Committee and a plan for engaging residents and other community stakeholders to determine community assets, challenges and recommended actions to improve quality of life.

The Irish International Immigrant Center's Cross-Cultural Committee was hosted by the Brazilian Women’s Group in on April 14th, 2011 as part of the IIIC’s ongoing outreach to Boston’s diverse ethnic groups. Several Brazilian participants said they never would have expected an Irish group to want to meet and socialize with them in this way. “Tonight, there has been lots of generous listening,” said one woman. Civic Dialogue's Jeff Stone facilitated the discussion.


We are playing a leadership role in a Muslim-Jewish Dialogue series that is developing communication, trust and friendship among the participants. Reporter Martha Bebinger of Boston's WBUR 90.9 FM has produced two excellent reports on the series that Jeff Stone, Principal Consultant at Civic Dialogue Services, is co-facilitating. 

Her latest report, broadcast March 25, 2011 is available here on WBUR’s website (with transcript, audio and photos). The first report, broadcast in November 2010, is available here. Employing groundrules for respectful, honest dialogue, co-planning and careful co-facilitation, we are identifying and breaking harmful stereotypes and building relationships that can lead to civic harmony and advocacy for peace and justice.

Group photo below by Michael Massey. Other photos by Driss Images.

Click to see:

Somalis & Irish Hold a Cross-Cultural Coffee

Kicking off 2011's Martin Luther King Jr.Weekend, 24 folks from the Irish International Immigrant Center and the Somali Development Center gathered for a "Cross-Cultural Coffee" in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston to get acquainted. Jeff Stone of Civic Dialogue Services, an IIIC board member, co-organized the meeting with the IIIC's Cross-Cultural Committee and Abdi Yusuf, Executive Director of the SDC.

Participants shared personal stories of how they or their ancestors arrived in America and aspects they value or find challenging about their ethnic groups. The goal of the Coffees is to stimulate new friendships that may lead to future collaborations. Article in Boston Irish Emigrant

Museum of Science Opens RACE Exhibit

Boston's Museum of Science engaged Civic Dialogue Services for facilitation in preparation forRACE: Are We So Different? which opened January 16, 2011. A range of multimedia stations attract the attention of adults and youth alike, delving into the biological, cultural and historical aspects of what we call "race." Jeff Stone and Rob Jones (in photo on left) co-facilitated for CDS. Forums and discussions are planned to engage students and the public.

2010-2011 Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Series

We are taking a lead role in facilitating a Muslim-Jewish Dialogue in the Boston area. Local NPR affiliate WBUR 90.9FM came to one of the sessions and did an excellent report on November 5, 2010. You can listen to the story or read the transcript. The group hopes to cut through negative stereotypes by engaging face to face on a personal level. We feel an obligation to try to counteract some of the mindless and harmful commentaries heard in some national media.

The Boston Irish Emigrant reports on CDS's Jeff Stone and the Muslim-Jewish Dialogue Series. Media coverage of relationship-building efforts like this dialogue series can motivate others to stretch beyond their comfort zones and reach out to groups with whom they would not ordinarily interact.R

<> Greater Boston Civil Rights Coalition <>

Alejandra St. Guillen, 3rd from right, was guest speaker on December 3. 2010. She is the new executive director of Oiste, the Latino Political Organization of Masschusetts.

Jeff Stone of Civic Dialogue is a co-chair of GBCRC, which presents monthly speakers on civil rights-related issues.

(click to see list of past speakers).

Building Relationships & Solutions on

Public & Organizational Issues

Based in Massachusetts, Civic Dialogue Services provides concept development, grantwriting, planning, action-oriented group facilitation, forum moderation, retreats, workshops and reporting for civic and organizational issues and projects. Specialty areas include Diverse Health Care Stakeholders, Civic Engagement in Changing Communities and Police-Community Relations. CDS assists organizations and municipalities in building understanding and civic capital and finding ways for us to live and work together better and achieve the goals we care deeply about.

The Power of Community Dialogue

"If you take care of the interactions, the actions will take care of themselves."

The professionals at Civic Dialogue Services are experienced in facilitating respectful, honest and productive discussions that help groups build trust and develop action plans together to meet local needs.We can often address public issues more effectively when people understand each other as well as the issues at hand.

"The Answers Are in the Room."™

Local residents and organizations sometimes feel the need for outside experts or officials to perform studies, advise them or produce change but often they possess all the knowledge and ability they need to make their community or group a better place. A facilitated action-oriented dialogue can be empowering and bring out the best in people.

CLICK HERE to see the types of Civic Dialogue Services we provide

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