Heading: Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse

Words are building blocks / They create, save and destroy / What are yours used for? -Camara El, Detroit based poet

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. 


Have a question about the Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse at GVSU? Feel free to email us at civildiscourse@gvsu.edu

Check out these photos from past symposiums!

Twitter feed for @gvsudiscourse

Profile picture for @GVSUDiscourse
GVSU Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse
Have you heard the good news? The Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse PROGRAM is now officially the Padnos/Sarosik CENTER for Civil Discourse! We are so excited to expand our role of promoting civil dialogue within the GVSU community and beyond! Follow along to learn more💙💚

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GVSU Teach-In 2021: From Confrontation to Communication: How to Disagree without Risking the Relationship

November 10, 2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

The current socio-political climate can often feel like navigating a minefield: like one must walk around on tiptoes to avoid an unfortunate explosion. In a 2021 survey by Heterodox Academy, it was...

Annual Symposium

March 23, 2022 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse will host a hybrid symposium (in-person and virtual) which is open to the public on Wednesday, March 23rd at 6:30pm in the Eberhard Center. This year we...

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