Start a Community Chapter

What is an NCBI Chapter?

An NCBI Chapter is a team of diverse, grassroots leaders who are committed to working together to ensure the fair treatment of all people in their community. The team usually includes representatives from government agencies, public and private schools, corporations, local businesses, trade unions, law enforcement agencies, religious communities, and neighborhood activists. NCBI has launched 38 Chapters in cities around the world.

The NCBI Chapter is a community resource, providing prevention-oriented programs that help local organizations build more inclusive environments. Chapter members lead prejudice reduction programs in a variety of community settings, and they are available to intervene when community conflicts arise. At regular Chapter meetings, members support each other in doing work that would otherwise become hard to sustain. NCBI Chapter meetings also provide an opportunity for community people of different ages and backgrounds to get to know each other, building enough trust to overcome the isolation that many groups experience. At its best, an NCBI Chapter can offer a model for the rest of the community, showing that humans can work together across group lines.

How Does an NCBI Chapter begin?

An NCBI Chapter usually grows from the commitment of one of two people. Typically, someone in the new community learns about NCBI’s work, usually by attending the NCBI Prejudice Reduction Workshop, and becomes excited about bringing the work back to his or her community. We encourage that person to attend the four-day Leadership for Diversity Institute, in the Baltimore, MD area, preferably along with four or five other interested people from the same community at the Leadership for Diversity Institute the group learns how to lead NCBI prejudice reduction programs. As soon as they are ready, with our approval, the new group can begin to lead NCBI programs from its home base. In the interim, we designate one person to serve as the contact person with NCBI. The contact person receives ongoing support, supervision, and further training from the closest NCBI Regional Leader who is available to help develop NCBI work in the new community. As the newly trained group lease NCBI workshops, it builds community support, attracting other local people interested in becoming trained to lead NCBI programs.

When there are at least 30-40 interested people from a cross-section of the community NCBI’s national staff offers an onsite three-day Train-the-Trainer Seminar. At this seminar, participants learn how to lead two award-winning programs the NCBI Prejudice Reduction Workshop and the NCBI Controversial Issue Process. At the end of the seminar, NCBI’s national staff, in consultation with the participants selects someone to serve as the Director of the new Chapter. The NCBI Chapter Director convenes monthly team meetings and supports Chapter members to lead community programs. The Chapter Director, who also becomes a National Associate of NCBI, attends semi-annual training sessions in the Baltimore, MD area to receive additional support and supervision. Each NCBI Chapter is part of strong, international network of NCBI teams that support each other in building more inclusive communities.