Dialogue New Brunswick was born in the autumn of 1989 in a political climate that threatened to polarize members of English- and French-speaking communities. Radical voices were raised in an often angry debate about the benefits of bilingualism.
"The word 'dialogue' says it all," said author Antonine Maillet, co-chair of DNB's original public forum. "To have them (Anglophones and Francophones) look at each other and have them enrich each other mutually. And especially to have them looking in the same direction."
Dialogue New Brunswick set itself apart from every other organization of the day by eschewing political or economic goals. Its sole aim was to be a catalyst to get French- and English-speaking people to talk and listen to each other. That focus has been the driving force for Dialogue during most of its existence.
After many years of striving to unite the linguistic communities in the province, Dialogue NB made a historic change in 2018. The new Chief Executive Officer, Nadine Duguay-Lemay, redirected the organization towards a reimagined mission. Dialogue NB adopted a new mission focused on social cohesion that takes into account NB's changing reality and new challenges.
This change does not bring into question or terminate Dialogue's interest in uniting English- and French-speaking communities, but recognizes the many communities that lay the groundwork for and will be part of the New Brunswick of tomorrow.
This new, reimagined mission is as follows: "To champion and celebrate social cohesion through understanding, respect, and harmony among all New Brunswickers."
Dialogue's slogan has also changed to fit Dialogue NB's new mission and has become: "One New Brunswick, together," focused on including all groups.
Programs that are more ambitious than ever also accompany this change. Projects like Residency Expert, Communities Dialogue, Youth Social Cohesion Lab, Cultural Cafe and a revamped Dialogue Friend program, are just some examples of this increased involvement.