Welcome to the Marquette Civic Dialogues Program

"Unlike disagreement and conflict, persistent and courageous dialogue does not make headlines, but quietly helps the world to live much better than we imagine."

~ Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti

The Marquette Civic Dialogues Program works to foster deliberation about the pressing issues facing our world today, prepare students to be citizens with purpose, and advance scholarship on the individual and collective benefits of civic dialogue. Through our programming and research, we encourage students to "Be the Difference" by engaging differences in political thought and lived experience. 

We launched our program in Fall 2021 with the generous support of donors. To date, we've held 6 campus events that have drawn over 140 participants. We are engaging our Marquette alumni through outreach and programming. Most importantly, we are strengthening civic relationships on campus and beyond. 

Upcoming Events

Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age

Monday, September 12th
6-7:30 pm
Alumni Memorial Union, 157
Light refreshments provided
Register here

The Marquette Civic Dialogues Program is thrilled to welcome Alexander Heffner, host of PBS’ The Open Mind and coauthor of A Documentary History of the United States, to campus. Heffner will discuss the effects of divisiveness on discourse, campaigns, and governance as well as the influence of new media, dis/misinformation, and filter bubbles that polarize American society. What are possible prescriptions to correct this cycle? How can our social footprint translate into constructive instead of destructive behavior? How can citizens, government, and the press restore faith in civic life and the integrity of public policy?

Alexander is host of The Open Mind on PBS and coauthor of bestselling A Documentary History of the United States (Penguin, 2022). He has covered American culture, politics, and civic life since the 2008 presidential campaign. He is recipient of Johns Hopkins University’s Agora Institute Fellowship, University of Denver’s Anvil of Freedom Award, Franklin Pierce University’s Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication, and Yale University’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism. He is profiled in The Wrap, Mediaite, The Washington Post, The Des Moines Register, Christian Science Monitor, Variety, Medium, and on MSNBC, C-SPAN, NPR, CNN, ABC and the BBC. His writing appears in USA TODAY, WIRED, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, NYT's Room for Debate, Boston Globe, and Philadelphia Inquirer, among other publications.

Alexander Heffner

Recent Events

What should we do to promote economic opportunity and prosperity?
A civic dialogue with Betsey Stevenson and Michael Strain

Click here to watch a video recording of this event. 

Civic Dialogue with Betsey Stevenson and Michael Strain

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Betsey Stevenson: Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Michigan Council of Economic Advisors (2013-2015)

Michael Strain: Director of Economic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute MU Arts '04

What should we do to promote economic opportunity and prosperity? Wednesday, April 27th, 12-1:30pm Weasler Auditorium. Registration required.

The pandemic laid bare several hidden truths about the U.S. labor market, raising questions and challenges for policymakers. As the economy recovers, who is getting left behind and why? How do we best prepare young people for tomorrow's economy? What has caused inflation to rise? The Marquette Civic Dialogues Program is thrilled to invite two influential voices in these policy debates to our campus. Join us for this lively discussion!