Leadership and Civic Engagement

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Why is dialogue important?

Dialogue and deliberation are important civic skills and tools for creating a stronger democracy. Participation in dialogue can lead to the mind-sets and skill sets necessary for addressing complex social and public policy issues. Those who participate in dialogue achieve a variety of outcomes such as developing mutual understanding, negotiation of competing values, and taking collaborative action (Carcasson & Sprain, 2016).

Surveys of young people in recent years have indicated that while young people are speaking to their peers about elections and politics, a majority of students said they were reluctant to discuss politics, race, and other controversial topics in class settings (Stiksma, 2021).

Engage in Dialogue at UNCG

Deliberative Dialogue Moderator Training for Staff & Faculty

To further the culture and practice of deliberative pedagogy on campus, the Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement is using grant funds to host a deliberative dialogue moderator training for staff and faculty interested in incorporating a deliberative dialogue forum into a spring 2022 course or co-curricular programming. Individuals that complete the training and successfully host a forum by April 15th, 2022 are able to receive funding up to $150 to support their efforts and will have access to issue guides to use in the forum.

The deliberative dialogue moderator training is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16th from 2-5pm. This virtual training will be facilitated by Leslie Garvin, Executive Director of North Carolina Campus Compact. Please apply to participate in this training by November 12th here. Please direct any questions to Kristina Gage, Associate Director for Civic Engagement, kmsnader(at)uncg.edu.

Spartans in Dialogue – Sustained Dialogue

The Office of Intercultural Engagement offers a 5-week interactive dialogue experience called Spartans-in-Dialogue designed to build relationships across difference. Students who want to participate and staff or faculty who are interested in facilitating can find more information on their website.

Civic Engagement Academy

OLCE offers a Civic Engagement Academy for students each semester. This academy is designed to grow your civic skills, knowledges, values and collection action through a series or workshops and experiences where we deep-dive into topics like dialogue, news literacy, organizing and activism, local government, and U.S. democracy and elections. See more here.

Ashby Dialogues

The College of Arts & Sciences hosts Ashby Dialogues to implement the vision of the late Warren Ashby that the University should be a community of inquiry, with faculty and students engaged in the pursuit of understanding both in and out of the classroom. Learn more about upcoming and past dialogues on their website.

Dialogue models & guides

“To thrive, democracy must involve the full participation of all of us.”

Creating Space for Democracy: A Primer on Dialogue and Deliberation in Higher Education, Edited by Nicholas Longo and Timothy Shaffer (2019)


Carcasson, Martin & Sprain, Leah. (2015). Beyond Problem Solving: Reconceptualizing the Work of Public Deliberation as Deliberative Inquiry. Communication Theory. 26. 10.1111/comt.12055.

Stiksma, M. (2021). Understanding the Campus Expression Climate: Fall 2020. Heterodox Academy