Project Overview

The Community Dialogue Project (CDP) was initiated 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. Of particular interest to Central Oregon are the Community Dialogue Project collaborations with local groups & organizations to 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.

2018-2019 Community Dialogues Hosted by COMM 323 Students and the Community Dialogue Project

Forming Our Future: A Dialogue About the Future of OSU-Cascades

Hosted Winter 2019 by COMM 323 Community Dialogue student group.

Cracking Open a Dialogue on Bend's Beer Culture

Hosted Winter 2019 by COMM 323 Community Dialogue student group.

Diversity Dialogue--¡Todos somos inmigrantes!  We are all immigrants!

Hosted by the Community Dialogue Project AND the Spanish Language and Culture Club (April 23, 5:30 pm, Tykeson Hall 109) as part of OSU-Cascades upcoming Diversity Week.

Facilitator: Dr. Natalie Dollar

Current Research

The Community Dialogue Research and Experiential Learning (CDREL) team was formed winter 2019 to continue the CDP partnership with Oregon State University-Cascades students. Our CDREL team consists of faculty/research lead Dr. Natalie Dollar, Dr. Nicholaus Dahl, and three undergraduate students.  The students are majoring in Communication, Social Science, and Liberal Studies; the faculty are cultural communication and rhetorical communication scholars. Ours was presented April 13, 2019 at the annual meeting of the Northwest Communication Association, Coeur d'Alene, ID.

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.

  • Community Dialogue Project: Communication as radically cultural (Dollar)
  • Storytelling in action (Tawzer)
  • Blogging for change (Golberg)
  • Music as community dialogue (Dahl)

Dollar, N.J., Dahl, N., Tawzer, A., &  Goldberg, N.  (2019, May). Communication improvisation as dialogue: A framework for understanding Phans and Deadheads.  Paper presented at the Phish Studies Conference, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR.

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.

Community Dialogue Workshop Series History

Since March 2003 Dr. Natalie Dollar has offered community dialogue workshop series focusing on significant community issues. The initial workshop, War and Peace: A Dialogue, addressed student and community concerns about the Iraq War. The second workshop, The Dynamics of Democracy, focused on various aspects of democracy as experienced in our community. The third workshop, Is Our Community Divided? What are the Issues?, allowed participants to define their weekly dialogue topics, meaningful yet contested community issues. Our fourth workshop concentrated on Exploring Social Class in our community and our fifth workshop, spring 2008, on What are the religious, scientific, and spiritual views of the origin of our world? 

More recent workshop explored our campus identity, inviting students from OSU-Cascades, UO and COCC, as well as campus adminstrators, faculty and staff to engage the topic, What/Who is OSU-Cascades?. These workshops have been particularly meaningful for OSU-Cascades, facilitating understanding and ideas that have been implemented in transitioning to a four-year university.

The workshops are unique in that participants include credit-seeking students, community members and a diverse range of OSU-Cascades faculty. The workshops are free for community members and non-credit-seeking students. Relationship development and raised awareness about the benefits of teaching others about dialogue—community dialogue, interpersonal dialogue, and intercultural dialogue—are typical participant outcomes