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CPD Upcoming Events

Fall 2021

microphone in front of an American flag A Public Voice​
September 20, 2021
11 a.m. (Eastern U.S. & Canada)​

For more than 30 years, the Kettering Foundation, in collaboration with the National Issues Forums Institute, has organized A Public Voice. This annual event brings together representatives from community forum groups around the country and from national dialogue and deliberation organizations, as well as elected officials and staff, to explore the contributions that a deliberative public makes to addressing some of the most challenging issues facing our communities and elected officeholders.​​

Register to Attend

Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom: Successfully Intervene with Groups Who are Unable to Dialogue​
September 28, 2021
2:00 p.m.

several college students standing an sitting at two tables looking and listening to an instructor who is sitting on one of the tablesMany faculty members are experiencing a significant increase in both the frequency and the intensity of difficult dialogues in their classrooms. Their ability to engage students and facilitate meaningful dialogue in these moments not only furthers learning, but can also impact student success. Mismanaged conversations often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding, and simmering conflict that undermin​e learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.​


Join us on September 28, 2021 and in just 90 minutes, you and your faculty colleagues will learn how to successfully integrate dialogue skills in the classroom environment, develop skills and tools to navigate triggering or contentious moments in the classroom, and gain a deeper understanding of your identities and how they shape and guide your communication style.

Students continue to challenge faculty and administrators to hear their concerns, engage in difficult conversation and make meaningful change on campus. Our expert presenters will draw on their joint experiences facilitating difficult conversations to share effective dialogue skills. They will share strategies for facilitating participants’ prior experiences and the role it plays in discussions, preparing groups to understand their unspoken expectations, and creating opportunities in groups who are unable to dialogue.

Take away critical, actionable tools that will help you:​

  • Create an inclusive classroom from the start – develop skills and tools to navigate triggering or contentious moments in the classroom, and gain a deeper understanding of your identities and how they shape and guide your communication style.​​
  • Prepare groups to understand their unspoken expectations – help groups understand and identify unwritten expectations for the diversity of the voices present, as well as expectations regarding the vehicle of dialogue for discussing race, so real learning and connections can take place.
  • Facilitate participants’ prior experiences with dialogue and the role these past experiences play in a present dialogue experience.
  • Create opportunities with groups who are unable to dialogue — capitalize on opportunities instead of mismanaging conversations that often result in unresolved issues, misunderstanding, and simmering conflict that undermine learning outcomes and campus-wide goals to create inclusive campus environments.

Register to Attend

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Young person stand in front of a neon sign that says Bright Future Enter HereYouth and Opportunity: What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive?​
October 27, 2021
 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 

In small group Zoom discussions, students, staff, faculty, community members, and elected leaders will consider together what we should do for future generations to thrive. Specifically, we will weigh and consider three possible approaches to this challenge: (1) Equip people​ to succeed; or (2) Give everyone a fair chance; or (3) Focus on economic security. UHD Center for Public Deliberation, Texas Rising, UHD Student Government Association. ​ Read the Issue Guide​ (pdf) to prepare for this discussion.​

Register to Attend​ ​

Spring 2021

Every Thursday 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., Spring 2021

Any UHD student is eligible to participate
Seating is limited and weekly Zoom attendance is critical as each session builds on the last, culminating in group action.
Sustained Dialogue involves deep conversations about challenging topics related to identity and inequality and which result in action taken by the group.
Please contact Dr. Windy Lawrence at to apply and discuss further details.

Spring 2021 Sustained Dialogue Facilitators

Rhonda FitzgeraldRhonda Fitzgerald, Managing Director, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
As the Managing Director for the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN), Rhonda Fitzgerald works to train, mentor, and provide guidance to a broad range of institutions and individuals seeking to transform their communities through Sustained Dialogue. Rhonda has been with SDI for 10 years, working with students, faculty, senior administrators, campus leaders, and facilitators to build lasting structures for inclusion on campuses. As an engaging public speaker and facilitator, Rhonda has a passion for developing college aged leaders with civic competency and cultural humility. Due to her in-demand skills and experiences, she has made an impact at several places around the globe, including Ethiopia where she supports the work of the Addis Ababa University Peace Club, who have led a Sustained Dialogue effort since 2008. She also brings experience from the Proinsp​ire Management Fellows cohort, a program preparing non-profit leaders to build the sector. Rhonda is an alumna of Princeton University, where she participated actively as a moderator and leader of Sustained Dialogue.

Dr. Windy LawrenceDr. Windy Lawrence, Professor and Director, UHD Center for Public Deliberation (UHD CPD)
As both Professor and the founding director of the UHD CPD, where she has worked since 2002, Dr. Windy Lawrence leads and designs annual events and initiatives for the purposes of improving our civic capacity to deliberate across differences about critical issues, build stronger relationships, and bolster collaborative action (organizing or supporting 130 days of interactive forums in just the last 5 years). In 2020, she was recognized by her colleagues and was awarded the UHD University Faculty Award for her outstanding leadership in service. She creates 'high impact" experiences for students to help students hone their civic agency knowledge and skills. Her work benefits not only students enrolled in her courses, but throughout the entire university, reaching 2,800 students in the last five years. In 2018, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article, which recognized the UHD Center for Public Deliberation, under her directorship, as one of the pioneering centers in the U.S. that is a critical contributing leader to discussions around democratic learning.

Deliberating Across our Geographical Divides
March 2 & 4, 2021

Deliberation with 80 Students from both Wabash College and UHD While many are cognizant of the challenges surrounding our virtual, synchronous technologies (such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.), we also believe that these technologies offer potential benefits for public deliberation. With traditional face-to-face public deliberation, invitations are often limited by geography and participants’ ability to physically attend the deliberation space. This semester, UHD CPD is partnering with Wabash College, a small, rural liberal arts institution in Indiana to co-facilitate a public deliberation. Organizers offer the event as a democratic space and for our communities to learn from one another about the benefits and challenges of deliberations across our geographies. UHD CPD and Wabash College will host a deliberation between the two teams of facilitators before the main event in order for the two teams to choose the topic they would like to facilitate between the two institutions. Please read the Issue Guide (pdf) before the event. .

SGA-Initiated Public Deliberation: Making Civic Engagement Accessible at UHD
Currently through March, Framing the Issue
TBA, University Deliberation on Civic Engagement
SGA is interested in leading deliberation at UHD on the issue of civic engagement accessibility at UHD. As such, CPD and its research associates are working to interview dozens of stakeholders in order to create a deliberation agenda.

Voting: How Should We Safeguard and Improve Our Elections?
April 14, 11 am – 1 pm.
Texas Rising and UHD Student Government Association asked UHD CPD to help them facilitate a two-hour deliberation with our UHD community, Houston community, and elected leaders on the issue of improving our elections. UHD CPD Associates will facilitate the discussion.

Climate Choices: How Should we Meet the Challenges of a Warming Planet?
April 21, 2021
11 am - 1 pm
Discussing “Climate Choices: How should we meet the challenges of a warming planet?” students from across universities and colleges will come together in small zoom break-out rooms in five different rounds to talk in depth about how we can create stronger communities through civic engagement. Please read the issue guide to prepare for this event. PDF

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Last updated 9/24/2021 4:40 AM