Civil Discourse

As a gift from Shelley E. Padnos and Carol Sarosik, the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of 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 position, 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. 

What is Civil Discourse?

Civil discourse is engagement in discourse (conversation) intended to enhance understanding. Rather than focusing on the barriers and limitations of a situation, civil discourse involves a commitment to building on the possibilities and assets which folks around the table offer.


The Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse prepares Grand Valley State University students to be leaders in advancing respectful, informed dialogue around vital social issues in their communities.  

The first Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professorship of Civil Discourse was held by College of Education faculty member, Lisa M. Perhamus. The second Professorship was held by Jack R. Mangala, Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies and Political Science. The current Professorship is being held by Elizabeth Arnold, Associate Professor of Anthropology.

Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies


Civil Discourse Symposium 2019

November 19, 2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

This interactive, participatory symposium features keynote speakers representing diverse points of view with opportunities to personally engage in civil discourse with scientists, politicians,...

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Page last modified October 30, 2018