Nov 8 - Dec 31, 2018

National Coalition Building Institute


NCBI Monterey County is dedicated to ending discrimination, oppression, and intolerance of every kind. NCBI MC brings people together across group lines including race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability and class. We provide training and education in schools and the community to increase understanding, promote acceptance, and reduce prejudice. We collaborate with public and private organizations to nurture leadership for social justice and provide opportunities for healing from the impact of oppression.

The Big Idea

CommUNITY Conversations Cafe-Our Common Ground engages members of the community to talk about diversity and inclusion one cup of coffee at at time.

Leveraging and incorporating tried and true principles from the National Coalition Building Institute’s training, CommUNITY Conversations Cafe- Our Common Ground, will invite members of the community to local cafes, libraries and other natural hubs of conversation, to discuss and share stories about their background and find the “common ground” in their stories and lives. The catalyst to initiate these conversations will include participant, first-person storytelling of specific life experiences. Using guided questions, attendees will be asked to recall when they first recognized that they were a member of an ethnic, religious, racial or other group and when they saw others as different. As the conversation unfolds, the ultimate goal is to identify common ground, while acknowledging each other’s unique identities. As the conversation comes to a close, resources on NCBI and like-minded organizations will be shared to encourage attendees into actions that combat discrimination and mistreatment. We will collaborate with a variety of groups including: Whites for Racial Equity, CSUMB NCBI, NAACP, Rainbow Speakers, and others. Participants will leave with a commemorative mug.

I was touched by the varied stories that panelists shared about the impact of recent events including the mistreatment of immigrants fearful of deportation, and individuals facing increased racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The stories were varied and yet they all described the common theme of fear about the future combined with hope that the situation will get better.

— Nan Johnston, Pacific Grove