Deliberative Dialogues

Deliberative Dialogue

Deliberative Dialogues are an opportunity to engage in discussions with community members around a variety of topics of public concern.

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"Unlike debate, or lecture, or an airing of grievances, deliberation asks us to begin with what we hold most dear and share our personal experiences with a given issue. It’s not about reaching agreement or seeing eye-to-eye. It’s about looking at the costs and consequences of possible solutions to daunting problems, and finding out what we, as a people, will or will not accept as a solution." (

Deliberative Dialogues at Brockport

More than 40 faculty, staff, and students have become trained facilitators, with at least one training session offered each semester. Additionally, each month, we host a Deliberative Dialogue on a different topic. 

Deliberative Dialogue Facilitator Training
Thursday, February 21, 2019: 12:30 – 3:30 pm
Seymour College Union 220

Looking to develop your skills at facilitating difficult conversations? This training will provide the resouces necessary to navigate controversial topics among people with differing opinions. Individuals who attend this training and one deliberation will become certified Deliberative Dialogue Facilitators through The College at Brockport. Light refreshments will be provided. This session is open to students, faculty, and staff. Advance registration is required using the link below. 

Deliberative Dialogue Facilitator Training Registration

A House Divided: What would we have to give up to get the government we want?
Thursday, February 21, 2019: 3:30 – 4:45 pm
Seymour College Union 220

Every American is affected by the divisions and outrage that prevent us from making progress on urgent problems. This issue guide is designed to help people deliberate together about how we should approach the issue.

These are difficult questions, and there are no easy answers:

  • Should we require more accurate, respectful discussion in the media and online, or would that stifle free speech?
  • Should we reform politics and government to encourage compromise, or will that mean giving up on the changes we really need and want?
  • Should local communities set policies in areas like health care and the environment, or would that risk the progress we’ve made and make further progress nearly impossible?
  • Should we crack down on money in politics, or will people just find new ways to evade the rules

What should we do to get the political system we want? What should we do to revive our ability to work together on the most urgent problems? What are we willing to give up in order to do so?

This deliberation presents three options for deliberation about difficult problems for which there are no perfect solutions. Each option offers advantages as well as risks. And each reflects different ways of understanding what is at stake, forcing us to think about what matters most to us.

Last Updated 2/6/19

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