June 27, 2016

Over the month we've been in the Congo, the Zeidler Center has been graciously hosted by Rally International/Nouvelle Communaute de l'Esperance (NCE). NCE is a local church with locations in the Goma neighborhoods of Berere and Magunga. Most of the facilitators-in-trai...

June 14, 2016

"This teaching reminds me of the Baraza.

It's a tradition that is now dying as we move away

from our tribes and into urban areas. 

I believe this teaching could help us revive the Baraza

for this time and for this place." 

--Pr. Euclid Mugisho, Goma, DR Congo

I heard the...

May 13, 2016

The Zeidler Center's mission is to foster civil dialogue and invite trust in the midst of differences. Within our dialogues, deep listening plays a vital role. We invite you to learn more about the power of deep listening through this podcast.

In this episode of "On Be...

February 24, 2016


Reflective Structured Dialogue (RSD)is the method used by the Zeidler Center in Milwaukee. The basic tools of that method come from the Public Conversations Project in  Watertown, Massachusetts.


My personal conviction is that while similar to many important methods,...

February 2, 2016


Hearing my granddaughter Zadie rehearse the musical scales with her violin recently, it reminded me that music, art, and other disciplines have some central and essential characteristics.  As a Michael Jordan admirer, I remember a teammate saying of this great basketb...

January 6, 2016

“Rick, I think you’ve thrown in the towel!”  A good friend of mine had thrown down the gauntlet!  He thought I was taking the ‘why fight city hall?’ stance.  I was offended, but recovered and taking his comment seriously, I look for new direction as a citizen of Milwau...

December 11, 2015

Looking for the gift that keeps on giving?  Or the gift for the person who has everything? 


How about the gift of ‘civil conversation.’  Good, fresh, meaningful conversation is something everyone needs.


At the recent “Whiteness and Privilege” conversation, I was e...

September 21, 2015

Rick Deines, a conversation facilitator with The Zeidler Center for Public Discussion and a Milwaukee resident for 33 years, asks what Milwaukee can learn from the recently released Ferguson Commission report. Originally posted in Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service:...

September 20, 2015

A Frank Zeidler Tribute—


Frank and I knew one another over a 35 year period.  In this very building he was part of the committee that brought me to Milwaukee from Kansas City to coordinate the work of Lutheran churches in urban Milwaukee.


I had rented a car and I thoug...

September 14, 2015

What Does the Empire Fear?


Our extended family chooses a short (100 pages or less) book to read and discuss when on holiday.  A few weeks ago we reflected together on our experience reading J.M. Coetzee’s novel, “Waiting for the Barbarians.”


We discovered it as a story...

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