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Community Engagement Event 2023
From Debate to Dialogue

June 22, 2023 | Virtual Workshop


70 Learners

3.5 hour Workshop

1 Coaching Call

From Debate to Dialogue

Over the last few years community engagement practitioners have experienced a significant change in how we engage communities. Among other patterns, there is a growing sense of polarization, intolerance, and racism which has caused significant harm and can reduce the desire for groups to work together. 

At the same time, we know that community engagement is a pathway to building equity. We need to engage authentically. We need to center the voices of people who are closest to the issues we're working to solve. We need to work together. We can't let divisiveness and fear stop us from bringing diverse perspectives together. We have to create opportunities for dialoguefor understanding. 

As we enter spring 2023, we want to invite you to consider your role and grow your confidence in creating spaces for healthy dialogue. Join us to:

  • Consider how to build relationships and reduce barriers to engagement
  • Frame the situation and create the conditions to move from debate to dialogue
  • Increase your knowledge of consensus-based and dialogue practices
  • Learn techniques to reduce polarization, build empathy between people with diverse perspectives, and increase the chances of healthy dialogue

Workshop Breakdown

1-Hour Individual Pre-Learning 

Prior to Attending Workshop
  • Prepare you for the content within the workshop
  • Clarify your learning goals 

3.5-Hour Virtual Workshop 

  • Explore the theory and practice of moving from debate to dialogue
  • Hear examples, experience practical tools, and think through how you could apply lessons learned in your work
  • Work with peers to brainstorm solutions to your pressing engagement challenges

1-Hour Coaching Session with Fellow-Learners 

  • Deepen your understanding of the workshop content
  • Receive personalized support to translate your knowledge into action

What Will You Learn?

  • Understand the trends in community engagement

    We will explore the trends in community engagement—see what’s emerging across the field and what’s important to keep in mind as you engage in 2023.

  • Overcome barriers and create spaces for inclusive engagement

    Take stock of what barriers your community members are facing and what you can do to support their involvement.

  • Foster spaces for healthy dialogue

    It’s much easier to build energy and momentum when there’s a sense of hope. When something feels possible. When you’re not needing to fight or defend. Learn ways to re-frame a situation to invite people in, promote inquiry and dialogue, and ground in assets and strengths.

  • Develop your understanding of dialogue-based practices
    Learn ways to make consensus-based group decisions, check agreement, and figure out what methods might be most helpful for your work.



Single Registration


Group Registration


Tamarack Member


Ending Poverty, Deepening Community or Building Youth Futures memberships


Registration for this session is now open and limited to 70 learners to ensure a dynamic learning experience. Registration includes pre-workshop learning, a 3.5-hour virtual workshop, and a one-hour small group coaching session with participants. It also includes membership in the Tamarack Institutes Learning community.

Participants will be sent a pre-workshop package. Zoom meeting details will be sent in advance. All participants will have access to a workshop resource page with slides, virtual workspaces, and all linked resources.

Post-workshop, participants will be invited to register for a post-event coaching session. At this interactive session, small groups of workshop participants will be encouraged to share their emerging questions and receive further support in translating the workshop’s learning into action.

Can’t attend the workshop, but love the content? Get in touch with Stephanie to learn more about how you can bring a custom version of this workshop to your organization or collaborative.

We want everyone to learn how to improve their community! To ensure this, Tamarack supports low-income learners through the Be a Light Fund. Please reach out to Stephanie if you would like to apply for a scholarship. Learn how you can donate to the Be A Light Fund and get a charitable receipt.

Meet Workshop Facilitator


Lisa Attygalle

Consulting Director, Community Engagement 

In her role at Tamarack, Lisa works with cities, organizations, collaboratives, and funders to build meaningful community-engaged processes. Over the last ten years, her work has focused on creating authentic engagement strategies and training staff teams, teaching and writing about innovative engagement methodologies, and facilitating collaborative processes to make decisions and work together to solve our most pressing issues. She cares deeply about shifting power, extending trust, and bring creativity to community change work. Lisa advocates for simplicity in structures, frameworks, and design and loves integrating arts-based practices in community initiatives.

Lisa comes to this work from the private sector where she worked at one of Canada's leading communications firms with clients in agribusiness, healthcare, financial services and technology. Hailing from Australia, Lisa also worked on major water infrastructure projects as the liaison between municipal government, engineering and the community.

Lisa’s other titles include Artist, Wife and Mum. On the side, Lisa is one of ten owners of Seven Shores Community Café in Waterloo, ON.