Carlson Leadership & Public Service Center

Democracy through Dialogue


We believe that now, more than ever, we must engage in dialogue with people who have different beliefs in order to broaden our perspectives and generate understanding and empathy.  The Democracy through Dialogue series was created for this reason. This program welcomes UW students of any background or ideology to participate in a facilitated, intimate, lively and productive dialogue over dinner about critical issues of our time.


Democracy through Dialogue aims to revive the art of public discourse across difference. It will do so by helping UW students develop their capacity to connect and disagree in ways that are both personally and civically constructive. The premise is that authentic, compassionate connection across difference is essential to our ongoing pursuit of justice and liberty for all.

The program will give UW students an opportunity to:

  • connect deeply with students whose experiences and perspectives are different from their own
  • cultivate the skills necessary to interact constructively across difference in other arenas
  • practice holding divergent perspectives before engaging with resolution
  • develop more nuanced understandings of critical issues of our time

Dinner is provided. This event is free of charge.