The purpose of the Deliberative Citizenship Initiative is to create opportunities for Davidson students, faculty, staff, and members of the wider community to productively engage with one another on difficult and contentious issues facing our community and society.
The initiative will:
- Teach deliberative skills, including the ability to listen actively and to understand the arguments of others as well as rigorously and respectfully develop, present, and defend good arguments of one’s own, both regarding intellectual matters and about the divisive issues of our time.
- Reinforce humane instincts, including courage, empathy, generosity, prudence, fairness, and “participatory readiness.”
- Build meaningful community such that members actively participate, feel a sense of belonging, and make commitments to one another to improve and sustain their social and civic relations.
- Propose creative solutions which respond to and accommodate the important concerns of all stakeholders.
- Analyze the deliberative processes of the initiative itself, identifying its strength and limits as well as its intended and unintended effects, as well as support research on deliberative practices more generally.