Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘civil discourse’

Campus Spotlight: ADP at CSUF Does Dialogue Right

By Stephanie South, Program Associate, AASCU

cal state fullertonFacebook has been aflutter with political commentary and heated debate over a variety of hot-button issues ever since the election ended but especially in recent weeks as a result of the Connecticut shootings and the fiscal cliff issues facing Congress.

While advocates of civil discourse are no doubt glad that people are coming to the table to talk, speech that is divisive and unproductive is not necessarily the desired outcome.

Perhaps this is why the American Democracy Project at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) hosted a series of town hall meetings aimed at engaging students and teachers in discussion around the topics that are most likely to produce these kind of disputes. The goal of the gatherings is to bring the peace back to participation. To educate students how and get them to engage in dialogue that is informed and free of hostility. Discussions that move people from shouting to listening and the community from screaming to solutions.

The first series of these town halls was focused on social policy and drew over 250 attendees on the first day. A session on economics followed it a couple days later, and the most recent one focused on civil rights and liberties—including same-sex marriage, women’s rights, immigration, and legalization of marijuana.

To read more on these roundtables, click here.
You can also “like” CSUF’s ADP Townhall on Facebook here.

Shaping Our Future Forums: Update & Free Moderator Training Webinar


Thank you for your interest in Shaping Our Future, our project to spur thoughtful, inclusive, and open deliberation on the future of higher education on campuses and in communities nationwide. Here’s an update from the National Issues Forums and the American Commonwealth Project on what’s happening this fall.

We welcome your comments, and please let us know if you’d like more information about participating in the Shaping Our Future Project.

Join Us For A Moderator Preparation Webinar
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2012:  2PM

This coming year, more than 60 campuses and communities will host shaping our future forums. Here’s your chance to find out how to participate.

This free webinar is designed specifically for anyone interested in hosting or moderating deliberative forums for the National Shaping Our Future Project. This project is a joint effort of the National Issues Forums Institute and the American Commonwealth Project.

Participants can ask questions and/or give comments via chat (or voice, if your computer has a microphone).

The webinar will cover these topics and more:

  • Overview: Shaping Our Future—its goals, rationale, and background
  • A primer:  NIF’s approach to moderating to encourage deliberation and dialogue
  • An introduction to the project’s print and video materials
  • Tips on expanding the dialogue between campuses and communities
  • Troubleshooting techniques
  • A chance to talk with seasoned NIF moderators and learn from their experiences

Please click the link below to get registered today. Have specific questions? Send them to us ahead of time and we’ll include them in the webinar discussion period! (

Specific web URL and user credentials to access the Webinar will be sent to you upon registration via the email address you provided during the registration process.  Register Now!

%d bloggers like this: