Baylor Public Deliberation Initiative
A Kettering Foundation Center for Public Life
Deliberation involves the best parts of dialogue (conversational) and debate (argument) to offer an experience where participants can learn from one another by talking through different perspectives and approaches to local and global issues and working together to come up with community action steps.
Baylor PDI collaborates with the Kettering Foundation and other national partners to produce resources specifically for students, faith communities, and local churches.
Baylor PDI provides service to the university, city, county, and region by being available for special projects connected to public deliberation and collaborative decision-making.
Baylor PDI offers Deliberative Practice and Facilitation Trainings through our online certification program to prepare campus and community members to host PDI forums.
Members of the PDI community commit to take the deliberative model into their communities and classrooms, addressing important global and local issues.
April 5-10 is the biannual week of college student-focused Common Ground for Action forums, which offer students a chance to deliberate about public issues with peers who have different stories, opinions, and experiences from other universities.
“How can we have good conversations when everything is so political and politicized?” I must admit that I feel sadness when hearing this question because “politics” should mean accomplishing important work and decisions together as a society and as a community.
The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations and Department of Faith Formation, in partnership with ChurchNext, a ministry of Forward Movement, has released “Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse.” This five-part online curriculum covers the following topics: civil discourse in context, tenets for civil discourse, values-based conversations, the complexities of policy, and sacred space for debate.
Baylor’s Public Deliberation Initiative has been bringing students and citizens together for conversations about some of the most pressing challenges of our day. As part of these forums, I have been moved by people’s ability to share experiences and perspectives on matters of opioid addiction, immigration, gun ownership, climate challenges and more. I like their motto: “Doing democracy differently.”