The Deliberative Citizenship Initiative is committed to enhancing the quality of our political discourse with one another through deliberative efforts that span the Davidson community and beyond. One of the ways the DCI aims to achieve this goal is through its Deliberative “D” Teams. D Teams are small groups of 6 to 10 people who meet regularly to discuss important but difficult issues facing society. Register here.
Concerns surrounding elections have heightened in recent years as Americans worry about voter fraud and voter suppression, election security and election accessibility, and the fairness and inclusivity of the American electoral system. Various states have enacted stricter voting laws while other have attempted to expand access to the ballot box. As the 2022 elections approach this fall, the DCI’s D Teams will focus on the issues, pressing challenges, and possible solutions related to voting and elections in America.D Teams Poster Fall 22
Over three sessions, Teams will deliberate about how we can make voting more accessible, more secure, and more fair. The first session will focus on whether we should make voting more accessible through early voting, voting by mail, an increased number of polling places, and more. The second D Team meeting will examine election security and whether we should reduce concerns about voter fraud through poll watching, use of better technology, voter ID laws, and other strategies. The third and final session will address whether we should improve our elections by implementing reforms such as ranked choice voting, proportional representation, and the abolition of the electoral college.
The DCI seeks individuals with diverse perspectives to participate in D Teams to share their thoughts and ideas for broadening our understanding of one another’s opinions and addressing the challenges we face – everyone’s voice is welcome and needed! Teams will meet every three weeks from September to November, for a total of three meetings during the fall semester. Past participants have noted the opportunity for transformative experiences through D Teams participation and their appreciation for the opportunity to hear perspectives from a diverse group of people:
“D Teams … give students, alums, community members a chance to meet and learn, discuss, bolster, formulate, or reformulate their opinions about an issue because of the structured discussion. The most unique aspect is the wide spectrum of ages in the group. In my group it went from 20 – 80. There are not that many places where this intergenerational exploration occurs.”
In order to allow Davidson alums and families who live throughout the United States and around the world to participate, we offer a Zoom option for D Team meetings — in addition to in-person options on or nearby the Davidson campus.
Prior to each meeting, the DCI will send participants a Deliberation Guide that contains background information on each topic. We strive to present information in a fair and balanced manner – the DCI does not endorse any particular view or policy proposal. Rather, we hope that participants will come to their own conclusions, and possibly even generate some new ideas and innovative solutions, after hearing good arguments and insightful perspectives from one another.
Following each meeting, the DCI will send participants a Pathways Guide that outlines possible next steps, a variety of ways to get involved, and other helpful resources. These documents are also designed to reflect a range of different perspectives.
The popularity of D Teams continues to increase, and we hope you’ll sign up for one! We do our best to accommodate scheduling preferences by offering D Teams at various times throughout the day on both weekdays and weekends.
When signing up, interested individuals will once again have an opportunity to state their preference for the type of D Team — BridgeBuilder and SkillBuilder Teams — they would like to join.
- SkillBuilder D Teams focus more on the skills of dialogue and deliberation and may not have as great a diversity of views as the BridgeBuilder D Teams. To join a BridgeBuilder Team, which are designed to include and engage a broader diversity of perspectives, participants need to sign up with at least one individual who is ideologically or demographically different from themselves. Both teams – like all DCI activities — will continue to explore both areas of agreement and disagreement on important issues.
- The DCI has has a related “Bring a Friend” option for both types of teams. If you are interested in joining but are hesitant because you might not know anyone in the group or won’t share important things in common with other participants, you can sign up with a friend who you do share something in common with. You’ll have an option in the application to specify this person’s name and we will put you on the same D team together (assuming you have overlapping availabilities).
To register, please sign up here by September 2, 2022.
To learn more, click on the link below: