Our Mission / Our Vision

Civil discourse is “robust, honest, frank and constructive dialogue and deliberation that seeks to advance the public interest” (Brosseau, 2011).  It is an exchange of ideas that simultaneously:

  • Holds individuals accountable for their voice (how we talk);
  • Remains curious about other people’s perspectives (how we hear),
  • Respects multiple realities (how we honor personhood).

Civil discourse is not polite conversation, but, rather, intentional dialogue that builds understanding across difference. As Margaret Wheatley states, “We don’t have to let go of what we believe, but we do need to be curious about what someone else believes” (2009).

As a gift from Shelley E. Padnos and Carol Sarosik, the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies will promote engagement with the concepts and tools of civil discourse. Through the initiatives of this program, Grand Valley hopes to strengthen the commitment to informed, peace-based, and respectful dialogue across the campus community and the neighboring areas of West Michigan. 


Our Story

Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse video: Our Story

Building Bridges

Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse: Building Bridges Through Dialogue

Questions?

Have a question about the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse at GVSU? Feel free to email us at [email protected]


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Page last modified February 1, 2024