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.

What We Do

Event Series

Open Minds Book Club

Progressive / Conservative Summit

Upcoming Events

Wheelhouse Talk: Frederik Meijer Lecture Series with Faye Richardson-Green

September 29, 2023 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

We are excited to welcome Faye Richardson-Green to kick off our Wheelhouse Talk series for the year! She is the fourth Meijer Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the GVSU Frederik...

Citizens of the World: Global Citizenship and U.S. Foreign Relations

October 12, 2023 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

The United Nations defines global citizenship as “the umbrella term for the actions of globally minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale.” Global citizenship at the individual...

Open Minds Book Club: Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future

October 25, 2023 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Thank you for your interest in participating in the Open Minds Book Club! For the October 2023 session of Open Minds, we will be reading and discussing Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting...

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Page last modified July 13, 2023