The American University Project on Civil Discourse encourages and supports students in understanding speech not only as a matter of rights, but of responsibilities, values, and opportunities. It works on the principle that each of us must be the architect of our own voice, choosing to use it in service of our goals and values and in a manner that contributes to our learning community.
Each voice includes a commitment to listening. Listening is a core competence for scholarship, careers, and life in a community. The way we listen—to understand rather than rebut; to connect rather than combat—also shapes the way we use our voices. The Project on Civil Discourse supports students in developing as listeners and as speakers. It starts with two questions: What do I want for myself? What do I want from myself?