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Launching: Denver Dialogues—A Civil Discourse Initiative

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Jeremy Haefner

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Dear DU community members,

Across the University, faculty, students, and staff are thinking big about how we can all engage more thoughtfully, authentically, and respectfully with one another—and with experts and thinkers outside the University of Denver campus. This work serves us as a community. It makes us more welcoming and inclusive by opening pathways for voices and ideas from all backgrounds, so that we might learn from experiences and perspectives we don’t personally share. And it makes our students better able to thrive—now, but also once they graduate, as they enter a world not defined by its intellectual, political, and cultural homogeneity, but by its bountiful diversity.


This is civil discourse at DU. It’s the coming together to discuss. To talk and to listen. To be curious and respectful. It’s hard work, but we believe—as so many do—that it is essential not only for our community, but for the very future of democracy.


And so, we are very excited by the newest programming focused on civil discourse at DU: Denver Dialogues. Launched by the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and Scrivner Institute of Public Policy, Denver Dialogues will bring thought leaders from premier U.S. think tanks to campus to engage in conversation on complex topics impacting the nation and the world.


This kick-off will be a virtual event featuring the presidents and directors of the Aspen Institute, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the Hoover Institution, and New America. They will discuss the importance of civil discourse in democracy and the role think tanks and, importantly, universities play in fostering evidence-based, respectful debate.


We are thrilled that DU will be home to these conversations. And we are excited for the rest of the Denver Dialogues programming this year, as well as other opportunities for the DU community to engage in the important work of civil discourse.



Jeremy Haefner