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Fri 1

April 1 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Does Dialogue Work?

Location: Online

Does talking about differences, commonalities, and problems improve society? Many public officials, educators, religious leaders, and even ordinary citizens claim that if Americans just talked to each other more our nation could overcome division. Dialogue might just be the medicine our democracy needs. Yet, many Americans feel left out of such conversations. And research suggests that dialogue can increase prejudice or even produce apathy.

If dialogue continues to be part of our social and political lives, the urgent question is how to do it well. How can dialogue be a tool for building an equitable, inclusive democracy? Join four experts—two researchers who examine dialogue, a leading community organizer who uses dialogue to build power in urban areas, and a Penn State educator who guides international student dialogues—to examine the potential of dialogue for democratic social change.

  • Francesca Polletta (Professor of Sociology, University of California-Irvine. Author of Inventing the Ties that Bind, It Was Like a Fever: Storytelling in Protest and Politics, and Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements).
  • Ana Garcia-Ashley (Executive Director, the Gamaliel National Network)
  • Laurie Mulvey (Executive Director and Co-Founder, Pennsylvania State University’s World in Conversation).
  • John Gastil (Distinguished Professor in Communication Arts & Sciences and Political Science, Pennsylvania State University. Author of Hope for Democracy: How Citizens Can Bring Reason Back Into Politics).

Organized by the Consortium for Social Movements and Education Research and Practice at Pennsylvania State University