Furman University Initiative to Encourage Healthy Dialogue


What is On Discourse?

This initiative identifies, amplifies, and strengthens the broad spectrum of efforts across campus to teach and encourage students to listen to one another and engage in respectful dialogue with those who think differently than they do on issues that concern the Furman, national, and global community. These efforts are steeped in Furman’s institutional mission and values which include the following deeply held commitments:

  • Freedom of Inquiry and Expression
  • Respect for All People
  • Rigorous Inquiry
  • Deep Listening and Respectful Dialogue
  • Opportunities to Engage Diverse, Divergent, and Different Perspectives

Op-ed about Statement on Freedom of Inquiry and Expression runs in Post and Courier

The Post and Courier newspaper ran an op-ed by Furman University President Elizabeth Davis. In the piece, Davis explains the importance of hearing from diverse perspectives. She discussed how the recently passed Statement on Freedom of Inquiry and Expression articulates the university’s priorities and responsibilities around free speech, and how On Discourse teaches students to engage in difficult conversations, and how to have constructive, respectful conversations with people of different views.

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What are its goals?

  • Facilitate self and group reflection that explores the origin and influence of our individual and collective values, beliefs, and attitudes.
  • Create activities where individuals are encouraged and prepared to encounter and explore alternative ideas and experiences beyond their own.
  • Generate opportunities to identify commonalities and build bridges while respecting difference within and beyond the Furman community.
  • Nurture the skills needed to engage in respectful deliberation, conflict resolution, and productive disagreement.
  • Foster a culture that celebrates curiosity, inquiry, empathy, and respect.
  • Elevate our common humanity and our shared responsibility to seek solutions to collective challenge.

Do you have an upcoming event?

Amid our current national climate of social and political division, On Discourse promotes dialogue as a way to foster our understanding of one another and positions the university to model programs where people with opposing views can listen to each other with curiosity, empathy and respect. We will focus on four areas:

  • Public presentations and forums
  • Teaching opportunities and workshops
  • Scholarship focused on competing perspectives on public issues
  • Community partnerships

If you are hosting an upcoming event that falls under these four categories, please click “Submit your Event” below so we can add it to this webpage. If you have any questions, please email OnDiscourse@furman.edu.

Submit Your Event

On Discourse Workshops

Bridging the Divides: The Furman Justice Forum Promotes the Skill of Constructive Conversation

The Furman Justice Forum in collaboration with the Center for Inclusive Communities partnered with Braver Angels to teach the skills of navigating difficult political conversations on campus. With a mission to challenge the crisis of partisan animosity, facilitators...

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Building Strong Relationships Community Through Restorative Practice

On December 14 & 15, Lisa Knight, Franklin Ellis, and Cynthia,  members of the Share Equity Leadership Team, (SELT) led a two-day workshop interest in participating in an upcoming Restorative Practice (RP) training session. As...

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The Intergroup Dialogue Program

The Intergroup Dialogue Program at Furman is a collaborative effort between Student Life and Academic Affairs to provide students, faculty and staff with a range of unique dialogue-based experiences. This includes the Dins Dialogue workshops,...

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