IUPUI’s 2013-15 Common Theme Project focuses on civil discourse

The topic of IUPUI’s 2013-15 Common Theme Project is “Find Your Voice: Hear My Voice,” commencing a two-year effort to promote campus unity, conversation and collaboration around the topic of civil discourse.

Common Theme invites IUPUI students, staff, faculty and the community to engage in a discussion and deeper exploration of civil discourse in the classroom, work place and public sphere. Among the books recommended for the new Common Theme Project is “Saving Civility: 52 Ways to Tame Rude, Crude & Attitued for a Polite Planet” by Sarah Hacala.

The 2013-15 Common Theme Project will be led by Khadija Khaja, associate professor at the School of Social Work under the direction of Jane Luzar, dean of the IUPUI Honors College.

Every two years, a new common theme is selected along with a faculty fellow to lead this process who works in partnership with an active steering committee. The 2009-2011 theme was “Change Your World: The Power of New Ideas.”

The “Find Your Voice: Hear My Voice” theme will provide opportunities for rich discourse across the campus and community on communicating about diverse viewpoints in ways that validate shared humanity and connection.

Cross-campus discussions and events will highlight positive ways of communication to deal with complex situations and conflicts students face in their daily lives to better equip them to succeed in the workforce, make them better community citizens and ensure that they reach their full potential in our globally connected digital world.

The theme of civil discourse will be advanced through joint panels at interdisciplinary campus wide forums; collaboration with community organizations on workshops that are open to the public; showing of films; suggestions of different books that instructors can use in their classrooms to support the common theme; on site events in campus dorms; invitation of a national speaker; and research across the campus.

James Jewitt