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Dialogue & Deliberation

Since 2013, NCCE has helped campuses gain knowledge and skills in various civil discourse and dialogue methods as well as practice in deliberation. We believe such habits are critical for effective participation in a democratic society. To date, over 1000 individuals have engaged directly in our trainings and events, thousands more have been engaged by our grantees. Contact us to learn about the on-site training we can provide to member campuses. 

Quick History of NCCE Dialogue Initiatives:

2022 – We piloted the NC Student Dialogue Ambassadors Initiative at four member institutions.
2020 – We launched the NC Collegiate Civics Project, funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, allowing us to distribute mini-grants to support member campus dialogue initiatives and to facilitate the Virtual Dialogue Series featuring Braver Angels, Aristotles Café, Democracy/Socrates Café, Bring it to the Table, Candidly Speaking, and Civil Dialogue. Three of the sessions are available for viewing hereA total of 253 individuals have participated from 35 colleges & universities and two community partner organizations.
2020 — Our Civic Engagement Institute “Engagement 2.0: Civics, Civility, and Civil Discourse” involved teams from 22 member campuses spending a day in immersive learning. Featured models were Civil Dialogue, Intergroup Dialogue, Sustained Dialogue, Essential Partners, Everyday Democracy, Living Room Conversations, and NIF deliberative dialogue.
2019 – We launched the Community Change Collegiate Challenge (4C) a one-day immersion for students in deliberation
2018 — Our Civic Engagement Institute “Education for Democracy: Promoting Civility and Problem Solving through Deliberative Pedagogy” was facilitated by Dr. Nick Longo and Dr. Timothy Shaffer helping member campuses explore deliberative democracy. All member campuses receive a copy of the book. Over 160 individuals from 27 institutions attend.
2015 – We hosted Rhonda Fitzgerald of the Sustained Dialogue Institute for our CSNAP Student Conference “
Leadership  Through  Sustained Dialogue.” Students from 21 campuses received a full-day immersion into this method.
2013 — Our Civic Engagement Institute “Becoming Citizens, Becoming Community” involved a training of 175 individuals from 21 campuses in the National Issues Forum  deliberative dialogue method. Since that time, we have hosted trainings in how to moderate forums for over 800 faculty, staff, students, and community members from more than 100 colleges and universities. If you are interested in bringing Moderator Training to your college, university, or community group, contact NCCE

To date, we have introduced NCCE members to the following 13 unique dialogue models. 

2022-23 Student Dialogue Ambassadors Initiative (NEW!)

Launched in 2022, the NC Student Dialogue Ambassadors (SDA) Program seeks to: 

  • Mobilize a trained cohort of student leaders are passionate about bridging divides through dialogue and civil discourse
  • Help students build the skills and  habits of democracy by engaging in deliberation and dialogue on the critical issues facing our state
  • Inspire students to engage in open exchange of ideas with people who think differently than them 

Four campuses, from the NCCE network, were selected to pilot the first cohort of the program.  They will select and support two Ambassadors who will be trained in Fall Semester 2022 to host and facilitate at least five dialogues on campus during the 2023 Spring Semester. Each Ambassador will receive a stipend upon completion of the program. Funding is provided by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

2022-23 Pilot Campuses:

  • Alamance Community College
  • Elon University
  • NC Central University
  • UNC Pembroke


We have provided grants to member institutions to host on-campus training and facilitate and promote civil discourse and dialogue.

2022-23 mini-grantees ($500)
The following campuses were awarded $500 mini-grants to support civil discourse & dialogue during this academic year.

  • Central Piedmont Community College
  • Duke University
  • Mars Hill University
  • Piedmont Community College
  • William Peace University

2021-22 Grantees ($1,000): East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC State University, Piedmont Community College, UNC Asheville, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Greensboro and UNC Pembroke

RESULTS: 133 dialogues engaging 2464 individuals

2020-21 Grantees ($700): Campbell University, Elizabeth City State University, Lenoir-Rhyne University, NC State University, Piedmont Community College, UNC Asheville, UNC Pembroke, William Peace University, and Winston-Salem State University

RESULTS:  63 dialogues engaging 1179 individuals

The Reunited States Film Screenings and Filmmaker Conversations

In February 2021, NCCE partnered with The Reunited States to sponsor access to this film for 20 member campuses. Some campuses hosted a single screening, while others shared the link with a group of select students to view and discuss. On February 25, NCCC Executive Director, Leslie Garvin, facilitated a conversation with filmmaker Ben Rekhi and film subject Steven Olikara. This film features several Americans seeking to depolarize and bridge the partisan divide.