National Coalition Building Institute
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Foundation and approach
NCBI was founded by Cherie R. Brown in 1984. The group works to help eliminate prejudice and intergroup conflict in communities throughout the world. Its approach is based on Re-evaluation Counseling (or co-counselling), which was founded in the 1950s by Harvey Jackins. Jackins wrotethat "The re-emergence from distress patterns which we co-counsel to achieve is the dependably long-range channel for achieving the liberation of humans from all oppressions."
NCBI trains community leaders in skills designed to reduce intergroup conflicts. They believe that no type of oppression (racism, classism, sexism, etc.) takes priority over another. Their work focuses on sharing personal stories of discrimination and mistreatment without shaming or blaming the perpetrators, and on building allies in other groups, so that members of who they regard as oppressed groups are not isolated.
Chapters and affiliates
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Currently NCBI has 50 city-based leadership teams, known as NCBI Chapters; 30 organization-based leadership teams, known as NCBI Affiliates; and 61 college/university-based teams, known as Campus Affiliates. Most NCBI chapters include participants from public and private schools, local businesses, law enforcement agencies, religious institutions, community organizations, trade unions, and government offices. The local leadership includes elected officials, law enforcement officers, government workers, educators, students, business executives, labor union leaders, community activists, and religious leaders. These community leaders work together as a resource team to deal with prejudice and intergroup tensions.
NCBI teams meet regularly and lead prejudice reduction programs for organizations in their communities, and they intervene with conflict resolution skills when intergroup conflicts arise. They may also offer programs that aim to help organizations to build inclusive environments.
NCBI has conducted diversity programs on college campuses. There are active Campus Affiliates at 65 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. An NCBI Campus Affiliate consists of a representative cross-section of students, faculty, and administrators, trained by NCBI, in order to provide a proactive response to what they believe to be discrimination and inter-group conflict on campus. The NCBI-trained team offers year-long leadership workshops that aim to create a more inclusive campus environment. Participants in the team-led workshops acquire skills designed to change what NCBI regard as prejudicial attitudes and learn how to become more effective allies for one another.
A college or university becomes an NCBI Campus Affiliate by paying a lead trainer from NCBI headquarters to lead a three-day Train-the-Trainer Seminar. In this training, campus participants learn how to lead the eight-hour Prejudice Reduction Workshop and the NCBI Controversial Issue Process. Following the Train-the-Trainer Seminar, NCBI, in consultation with the sponsoring institution, selects a Campus Affiliate Director. The Affiliate Director leads the campus team and serves as the liaison with the NCBI National Office. The NCBI Campus Program Director, an experienced campus consultant, offers monthly telephone support and supervision to the Affiliate Director. Members of the campus team also receive ongoing training and support through monthly campus meetings as well as through NCBI's Annual National Campus Conference, where Campus Affiliates share resources and information on best practices.
Chapters contribute 10% of income generated from fee-for-service work back to NCBI headquarters. No chapters have paid full-time staff and are generally run from a combination of volunteers and paid consultants who conduct trainings and related programs in their local community.
After an independent evaluation of dozens of college diversity programs, the U.S. Department of Education recognized NCBI's campus work as a "promising practice," a designation given to few programs in the United States.
The National Coalition Building Institute is formally independent of Re-Evaluation Counseling but is linked through Cherie R. Brown, its Founder-Executive Director, who is also a member of RC and active in the Re-evaluation Counseling affiliate organization United to End Racism. Brown has acknowledged that she has learned a great deal about anti-oppression work from Re-evaluation Counseling.
- Harvey Jackins, The Human Situation, Rational Island Press, p.108
- National Coalition Building Institute
- Cherie Brown, "Applying decisive ideas boldly", Present Time
- Excerpt from RC journal Ruah Hadashah
- Cherie R. Brown, "Lessons Learned in Durban", Tikkun Magazine, November/December 2001
- The Humanistic Psychologist, 24:391-402 (1998)