Conversations Across Differences

The Ford School is committed to playing a leading role in rebuilding a public discourse that is nonpartisan, evidence-based, and inclusive. 

Our graduate and undergraduates students are training to be civic and national leaders. We aim to deepen the ability students--and of the broader public--to make progress on difficult problems in the world through dialogue and action across divides and differences.

Dean Michael S. Barr, Neera Tanden, and William Kristol

Public events

Our Conversations Across Differences event series models reasoned and evidence-based debate, and explores issues around identity and difference. Speakers bridge partisan, ideological, and identity gaps, and provide constructive debate on policy issues that affect our communities, nation, and the world.
Upcoming events
Students gathered around a table

Curriculum and leadership development

We're developing new student programming and curriculum to train our students in how to bridge difference, productively discuss contested topics, and negotiate. Our students learn from leadership and strength assessments, so that they better understand how their styles differ from others', facilitating communication and teamwork.
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Students talking

Co-curricular programming

We offer a variety of co-curricular trainings and opportunities for students to build skills in communication, critical thinking, leadership, and teamwork. Student practice trust-building through problem-solving that tests and evaluates methods for listening, learning, and solving problems across difference.
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CAD collage

Community building

We foster a generous sense of belonging among our students in the classroom and in our community more broadly, working to create an inclusive, accepting environment in which students can navigate and learn through issues of disagreement and painful topics.