"If you like the tone of our current political discourse, raise your hand. I don't see any hands."
Far too much of the social and political discourse we see today is defined by anger, polarization, and recrimination. Few seem to be happy with the tone of our national discourse. I guarantee the ones that don’t want it to change are either sick or cashing in on it. Most believe it is as bad as it has ever been. Because of the nature of social media, a 24 hour news cycle, and an ever increasing ability to pick the ideas and perspective we like, we have become a civil discourse averse society.
Knowing what you know is fine, but how willing are you to challenge what you know for the sake of seeing how good an idea it is in the first place? How willing are you to engage in a social and emotional process of bridge building? It is more than an intellectual sparring contest to win points. It could be Politics, Religion, Sexuality, Race, The Constitution, or even something as benign as sports or entertainment. Our righteous passion can close us off to true communication. It is a deliberate process for the sake of expanding knowledge for yourself and others. When it comes to engaging in social change and civil discourse, the simple question is:
Do you want to be right or do you want to be effective?
It’s hard to be both.
What most people today tend to forget when we are fighting for civil rights is that there are long tested tools and techniques that net far more positive outcomes.
Joe Liccar cartoon on uncivil discourse
You have to first understand you cannot change a polarized mind. You can only change yourself, and as Gandhi said:
"Be the change you want to see in the world"
- Mahatma Gandhi
Building bridges is far more effective than damning those who won't cross yours.
Putting the Civil Back in Civil Discourse is designed to be a one-time OR multi-session workshop which will give participants history and context for our how we have gotten to this place in our shared civil lives.
One Time Workshop
The objective of this workshop series is to give participants a philosophy and the tools to have more positive “outcome based” dialogues across differences. Building a “Beloved Community”, as MLK called it, is a process that goes beyond protest. “Civil” Discourse starts with you. Dialogues on Diversity subscribes to a philosophy of Radical Compassion and Results Based Activism.
We will give you a chance to develop a healthier and more sustainable way to create the change you want see in the world.
9 Rules for More Productive Dialogue
The Multi-Sessions Workshop
This workshop can be done over a series of 90 to 120 minute sessions OR as a one or two day long workshop.
The Fairness Doctrine
The Political / Media Ecosystem
Politics and Media as a Civic Trust
Tools for Effective Communication
Information Disorder & Toxicity
Icons of Effective Communication & Social Activism
WORKSHOP WILL ALSO:
Give Participants Opportunity Exercise Effective Communication
Participate in Facilitated Discussion
Get Pre/ Post Workshop Materials
Live Poll Questions
Pre-Recorded Performance Pieces
Live Role-playing Examples
Confirming the Basics of Results Based Activism/Direct Action (Voter Registration/ Organizational Support/ Self-Care/ Building Legacy/ More…)
8 Rules for Sustained Activism
Praise for the Program
Clearly your presentation had an impact on folks at IU Bloomington. The VP and CFO of IU enjoyed your presentation.
James Wallace, Jr.
I want to reiterate how grateful I am for your contribution to our project and this overall experience. I gained so much knowledge on how to build bridges and have constructive dialogue. I'm excited to continue working together and will reach out soon to solicit your help on my speech I want to give at the beginning of our workshops on my cultural background and why I care.
Boston College Class of 2023