Community Dialogue Project

Project Overview

Dr. Natalie Dollar initiated the Community Dialogue Project (CDP) March 2003. The goals of the project are: (1) to study dialogue as a means of building community across a variety of contexts and (2) to provide Central Oregonians with resources and educational opportunities to explore dialogue as a way of being and interacting with others.   

Dialogue is a temporary accomplishment, a communication quality and space difficult to sustain. Most US Americans rely on argument, debate, negotiation, and discussion when interacting with others with whom we have differences. The antagonistic, tensional nature of these ways of communicating have left us wanting more and fortunately practitioners and scholars have rediscovered dialogue and are exploring our ability to engage dialogue as an alternative way of interacting (Anderson, Baxter & Cissna, 2004; Barge & Little, 2001; Kellet & Dalton, 2001; Pearce & Littlejohn, 1997; Saunders, 1999).

In its current form the project includes COMM 323: Community Dialogue course for undergraduate students, free community workshops, community partnership projects, and a developing line of scholarship. These workshops bring together Central Oregon community members and OSU-Cascades students to learn about and practice community dialogue to engage contested topics.  The initial workshop, 2003, focused on the Iraq War.  Others included topics such as social class, the dynamics of democracy, and more recently recreational and medical marijuana, Bend beer culture, and immigration.

Community Dialogue Project collaborations with local groups & organizations further our common goals, particularly the development of places/spaces prioritizing inclusive, hopeful, and open dialogue.  If you are interested in bringing dialogue into your community group or organization, please contact Dr. Natalie Dollar, Project Director.

Current Research

Dollar, N.J. (2021).  Engaging contested community issues: Community dialogue in one US American community. Special Issue of Language and Dialogue, Interrelating Dialogue, the Material, and the Social Change, 11:1, 125-150.

Dollar, N.J., Tawzer, A., Goldberg, N., & Dahl, N. (April 2019). Community Dialogue and Storytelling: A Roundtable Discussion of the Community Dialogue Project, Northwestern Communication Association Annual Conference, Coeur d'Alene, ID.

Dollar, N.J. (2019, July).  Facilitating Community Dialogue and Influencing Communication Codes: Exploring Possibilities in One USAmerican Community. Dialogic Matters: Social and Material Challenges for Dialogue in the 21st Century, International Association for Dialogue Analysis Milwaukee, WI.

Undergraduate Research

Currently I am working with an undergraduate Social Science OSU-Cascades Layman Fellow who is researching Women as Green Energy Stakeholders.  

The Community Dialogue Research and Experiential Learning team formed winter 2019 as a research partnership with Oregon State University-Cascades students. Our team consisted of Communication faculty and undergraduate students majoring in Social Science and Liberal Studies.  We presented our research at the 2019 Northwest Communication Association Conference.


CDREL NWCA Presentation Speaker