From the time that friars invited women to participate in their Dominican mission in Kentucky, collaboration among branches of the order has remained an important factor, sometimes disregarded in American Dominican history.
Of current significance is the Dominican Leadership Conference, which began in 1935 as a conference of Dominican mothers general of the United States. Today it brings together yearly the leaders of sisters and friars in American congregations and provinces. The Conference encourages various forms of collaboration by means of the following groups:
The monasteries of Dominican contemplative women initiated in 1983 the Conference of the Nuns of the Order of Preachers of the United States. which organizes monastic study weeks and publishes Dominican Monastic Search to promote contemplative life.
Out of their traditional association with universities in Europe and the Americas, Dominicans have served as administrators and professors in higher education throughout the United States. They have founded more than eighteen colleges and universities, including the unique graduate school for men and women, Aquinas Institute of Theology. Recent movement toward collaboration in the United States has resulted in a Consortium.
Reaching beyond national boundaries, friars and sisters who are Dominican Promoters of Justice and Peace for North America join the promoters of the whole Order to educate, advocate and coordinate the campaign for world peace through justice.
World-wide collaboration among branches of the Order was stimulated in the mid-twentieth century as General Chapters gave new emphasis to an old reality: the Dominican Family. The revision of the Constitutions of the friars in 1968 gave renewed emphasis to the Dominican family, declaring that all friars, sisters, nuns and laity "share the same common vocation and each, in its own special way, serves the mission of the Order in the world." Succeeding chapters continued this emphasis, leading to the first international Symposium of the Dominican Family at Bologna in 1983, led by Vincent de Couesnongle O.P., Master of the Order. At this historic event, in which American Dominicans fully participated, the delegates produced the definitive Bologna Document on the Dominican Family as a basis for continuing world-wide collaboration in the Order of Preachers.