This report analyzes what happened in National Issues Forums on "Racial and Ethnic Tensions: What Should We Do?" that took place in 45 states and the District of Columbia, a sample of the hundreds of NIF forums that took place in 2001 and 2002 and will continue in 2003. To explore people's thinking about this issue when they have a chance to deliberate about it, Doble Research Associates, a public interest consulting firm, qualitatively analyzed what happened in these forums and assessed questionnaire results from 2,541 participants who responded by November 1, 2002.
National Issues Forums bring together citizens to deliberate and make choices about challenging social and political issues. In the past, NIF has addressed such issues as money and politics, terrorism, the economy, education, health care, and crime. Throughout the nation, civic, service, and religious organiza- tions, as well as libraries, high schools, community colleges and universities have convened thousands of forums in hundreds of communities.