Mission: to encourage and support productive, truthful discourse in and beyond our campus community

The American University Project on Civil Discourse encourages students to move from thinking only about what they have a right to say and to consider why and how they engage in conversations as speakers, listeners, and learners. The Project is based on the understanding that our choice of how to use our voices, what conversations to engage in, whether and how we listen to others, is at the core of our learning experience. By encouraging students to be mindful architects of their voices, we support a productive, truthful, and healthy discourse in and beyond the AU community. 

Vision: a campus community that engages in meaningful, considerate dialogue in a culture of inquiry and trust 

The Project on Civil Discourse envisions a campus where a culture of inquiry and trust allows community members to engage freely and openly, and where intellectual curiosity allows members to listen to one another's ideas generously. 

Guiding Principles:

  • The university serves a unique role as a center of knowledge creation, critique, and dissemination.
  • Collaborative inquiry and productive discourse will elevate great ideas and historically marginalized voices.
  • Ensuring kindness and inclusion, both of which bring a diversity of perspectives, is imperative to healthy discourse.

What we offer:

  • Student-led facilitated peer discussions

  • Fora for faculty and students to challenge each other's ideas and positions

  • Events with AU community members and distinguished visiting speakers 

  • Teaching resources

  • Building My Voice, a tool for students (and others) to reflect on their own goals, values, and habits as speakers, listeners, and learners and to develop their voices