This past fall, the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative launched its inaugural cohort of D Teams – small groups of individuals from across campus and the community who come together to engage with one another on important issues and build community through deliberation. D Teams provided an important outlet for productive dialogue in a season where thoughtful, openminded, and charitable conversations are as important as ever.
Please check out the short video below that introduces the DCI’s plans for D Teams this spring. Update: The deadline to sign up for spring 2021 D Teams has been extended to January 18th.
This spring, D Teams will continue to meet virtually and explore both areas of agreement and disagreement on four important issues facing our society:
- The COVID-19 Pandemic: What should be our priorities moving forward, and how should we achieve them
- Environmental Challenges of the 21st Century: Which are the most important and what should we do about them?
- Economic Mobility: How can the American Dream be more achievable for everyone?
- Gender and Sexuality: What policies best respect our different beliefs and identities?
Sign-up forms for spring D Teams are available on WildcatSync through January 18th. D Teams will meet once a month throughout the semester, beginning the week of January 25th. When signing up, individuals can share their preference for meeting day and time, as well as what kind of D Team they would like to join.
BridgeBuilder D Teams are inspired by the Problem Solvers Caucus in the U.S. Congress. In order to join this caucus, members must join with a partner from the opposite party. Likewise, to join a BridgeBuilder D Team, participants sign up with at least one and up to six individuals who are different from them, whether ideologically or demographically. BridgeBuilder D Teams are a good fit for those who are comfortable engaging a wide variety of opinions on different issues, or those who are looking for a more productive outlet to engage with friends, family members, or colleagues who have different perspectives than they do.
SkillBuilder D Teams focus more on the skills of dialogue and deliberation, allowing participants to practice talking about difficult issues first with people who may hold similar views as they do. SkillBuilder D Teams are a good fit for individuals who want to learn how to seek out perspectives that are not in the room and practice skills of deliberation. Like all DCI activities, SkillBuilder D Teams offer participants a great opportunity to explore both areas of agreement and disagreement on contentious and important issues facing our society.
Whether you want a productive way to discuss difficult issues with people outside your current circle of friends and family, or if you are looking for a new avenue through which to explore these issues with those closest to you who may hold different opinions, D Teams offer an opportunity to counter the hyper-partisan tone of our current political environment with informed, collaborative and respectful civic discourse.
We hope you’ll consider signing up for one of our spring D Teams, and feel free to share this post with anyone who you think might be interested in joining as well!