Common Ground Initiative

In a time of polarization, the CGI explores popular intellectual traditions and the pressing issues of the day through an ideological lens. We advocate for consensus and compromise, with the goal of empowering attendees to act and lead on the issues they care about most.

However, we recognize that our ideologies and politics are deeply integrated into our lives, do not expect our speakers nor our guests to “change sides.” We do not expect progressives to become conservatives, or vice versa. Rather, we encourage dialogue and debate to deepen not only our understanding of others, but of our own intellectual and ideological traditions as well. This understanding, of both self and other, provides the foundation for common ground.

person signing a book
three people talking on a stage

The Common Ground Event Series invites leaders & scholars to engage in dialogue across political and ideological divides and model the common ground approach. The Open Minds Book Club and annual Progressive / Conservative Summit offer unique opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to learn from and engage authentically with perspectives different from their own.

Please use the links below to learn more about the programming of the Common Ground Initiative. We welcome partnerships with national and community partners interested in encouraging bipartisan dialogue and understanding. Reach out to the Common Ground Initiative Program Manager, Kahler Sweeney, at [email protected] for more information.

three people on stage
open minds book club
citizenship in crisis

What We Do

Event Series

Open Minds Book Club

Progressive / Conservative Summit


Upcoming Events

One Small Step

July 29, 2024 All Day

Created by StoryCorps, One Small Step is an effort to remind the country of the humanity in all of us, even those with whom we disagree. The initiative brings strangers with different political beliefs...

One Small Step

August 29, 2024 All Day

Created by StoryCorps, One Small Step is an effort to remind the country of the humanity in all of us, even those with whom we disagree. The initiative brings strangers with different political beliefs...

Wheelhouse Talk: Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy Alumni Panel

October 11, 2024 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Our sixth annual CLA Alumni Panel brings together a cross-disciplinary panel of CLA Alumni from across the region for a conversation on the ethics and challenges of creating and leading effective teams. This...

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Page last modified October 11, 2023