Polarization and deep political and social divides are affecting families, communities, school boards, businesses, and governments at the local, state and federal level.
Those divides are not narrowing as mid-term elections approach, the Supreme Court issues immensely consequential decisions, and high profile congressional and prosecutorial investigations unfold (to say nothing of continuing discord around racial justice, climate action, immigration, voting rights). Facilitated community dialogue offers dispute system designers one tool for helping members of divided communities engage with each other despite and through their deep differences.
This project provides students the opportunity to consider, design and, potentially, facilitate a series of community dialogues. With the support and guidance of a clinical instructor, the student team will design a facilitated dialogue model and process aimed at helping participants build and strengthen community in the face of disagreement.
- Research facilitated dialogue theory and best practices;
- Identify a community or communities of dialogue participants;
- Learn and practice facilitation skills;
- Plan the structure and format of the dialogues, including a facilitator’s guide;
- Convene participants and facilitating dialogues
- Prepare a final report.