Join the Center for Civic Engagement and the Office of Sustainability on March 29 at 6 p.m. at the Multicultural Center for a campus and community Deliberative Dialogue. The issue guide Climate Choices: How should we meet the challenges of a warming planet? will be used for the event, which is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Deliberative Dialogues are guided conversations on a political or controversial topic. This model of conversation removes polarizing positions and one-sided lectures by simply asking participants to investigate specific solutions to an issue through the help of an issue guide and facilitator.
“The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) has made a commitment to hosting one campus-community dialogue each semester,” said Harriett Steinbach, assistant director at CCE.
“This opens a chance for students who have not done a dialogue in a class to have an opportunity to participate and creates an opportunity for community members to participate in a dialogue. By bringing students and community together, the experience is enriched with a variety of perspectives.”
According to the issue guide for this topic, climate change is not only an environmental problem but also a public-health issue, a threat to national security, and an economic challenge of considerable magnitude. Only recently has the public debate shifted away from weighing the evidence to asking what we should do about our changing climate and the effects that are beginning to be felt. The central question has become: What should we do about our changing climate and the effects that are beginning to be felt across the country and around the world?
“The Office of Sustainability is excited to partner with CCE on this dialogue because talking about climate change is one of the most important things we can do,” said Elisabeth Reid, director at the Office of Sustainability. “One of the most common concerns with the topic of climate change is that it so huge and overwhelming. Oftentimes I hear: ‘I’m just one person, what difference can I make as just myself?’ But we are starting to see that collectively we can all make a difference.
“And it starts just by talking about the issues, breaking them down to find ways each of us can contribute and make an impact. Partnering with CCE will allow us to have the space to share and learn about climate change in a thoughtful and deliberative way, finding common ground that can lead to action.”