Civil Dialogue Project

Creating a culture of civil dialogue on campus.


The Civil Dialogue Project fosters respectful and challenging conversations to help students responsibly engage and better understand themselves, each other and their community. 


  • Brightspace course for first-year students

    The Brightspace course is a central location for first-year students to access supplemental content related to the Civil Dialogue Project and the Common Read Experience. This interactive platform allows students to learn about civil dialogue and put it into practice through message boards and a calendar of dialogue programs held on campus each fall.

    This Brightspace course also serves as a content hub for students seeking to complete the Constructive Dialogue and/or Constructive Debate microcredentials. Students participating in UNIV 101/103 course or the Emerging Leaders Program will achieve the Constructive Dialogue microcredential through this platform. Students who do not wish to complete a microcredential will find helpful information about upcoming events on campus.

  • Microcredential on Constructive Dialogue
    • The Constructive Dialogue microcredential is tailored to equip students with essential skills for engaging more effectively and empathetically in conversations within the academic environment and broader social contexts. Rooted in the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, this research-based program uniquely blends psychological insights with practical communication strategies, aiming to enhance interpersonal interactions across diverse social landscapes.
    • LEARNING OBJECTIVES Students participate in online modules and in-person workshops designed for students to:
      • Enhance their metacognitive awareness of polarizing thought patterns
      • Connect through constructive listening
      • Share their perspective using non-polarizing language
      • Learn strategies to handle difficult moments
  • Dialogue through Debate microcredential 
    Coming soon!
  • Join the student organization- Open Perspectives Initiative
    • The Open Perspectives Initiative hosts weekly meetings open to all students with unique activities to practice civil dialogue
    • Fall semester meeting time: Wednesdays, 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Join the OPI GroupMe for updates and meeting locations:
    • Follow the Open Perspectives Initiative on Instagram to stay up to date!
    • “A genuine conversation with another person, face to face, is something a lot of students are craving right now. Especially conversations about the massive challenges we face as a society and especially when those conversations lead to possible solutions. We don't have enough of that in our lives. Have you ever sat and talked with a group of friends for hours, falling down a conversational rabbit hole together and hardly feeling the time pass? This club has captured that feeling—the eboard has done an excellent job developing a welcoming atmosphere that fosters endless dialogue and embraces and respects newcomers.” 


  • Civil Dialogue Teaching Fellows

    The Civil Dialogue Teaching Fellows program is a new initiative that guides faculty in the design and implementation of course content that facilitates student practice of civil dialogue. Selected faculty will receive a stipend and meet several times throughout the academic year to explore how classroom activities can support student development of skills necessary to engage in dialogue about meaningful topics with people holding different points of view. Sessions will focus both on understanding relevant theoretical frameworks and on applying practices within the classroom setting. The program is open to full-time faculty of every rank and discipline. Fellows will receive a stipend of $2,000 and are expected to integrate civil dialogue into at least one of their courses at the conclusion of their fellowship experience.

    Applications for the inaugural 2024-2025 cohort are due by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 7, 2024. Apply here

    For more information, contact Alison Twang, PhD, director, Center for Civic Engagement at  

  • Civil Dialogue Faculty Teaching and Research Grants

    Civil Dialogue Faculty Teaching and Research Grants are available to support full-time faculty of any rank and discipline with up to $5,000 in funding for expenses that contribute to and expand upon the civil dialogue initiative. Grants are intended to strengthen student skill-building to engage in meaningful dialogue across differences, provide opportunities for students to put these skills into practice, support faculty in the development of relevant pedagogical approaches, contribute to research on civil dialogue, and more.

    Allowable expenses include but are not limited to: supplies or materials for events, research stipends, research participant incentives, honoraria for speakers, training expenses, travel or field trip expenses, and more.  

    Grants applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, complete this form

    For more information, contact Alison Twang, PhD, director, Center for Civic Engagement at

Civil Dialogue Project Logo


  • Five principles of constructive dialogue (Credit: Constructive Dialogue Institute)
    • Let go of winning
      • Enter conversations with curiosity and the goal to understand
    • Get curious
      • Ask questions that invite others to share something meaningful
    • Share stories
      • Share a story about why an issue matters to you or how it affects you
    • Navigate conflict with purpose
      • Be aware of your fight/flight response and pause if needed before responding
    • Find what’s shared
      • Finding similarities can help you move forward together, even in disagreement