Public Deliberation and Dialogue


Deeply aligned with the values of social justice, diversity, and ethics, the program engages students, faculty, the college community, and local communities in research and practice of public deliberation, dialogue, and community advocacy.

A regional and campus resource, the Public Deliberation and Dialogue program equips Gustavus students to research and design communication strategies to address pressing issues and make reasoned, community-based decisions.

2019 Student Fellows Objectives

  • Facilitate community discussion/deliberation;
  • Equip students and community partners with skills in deliberation, decision-making, and advocacy; and
  • Foster sustainable change and collective impact through research and engagement of best practices in communication.

Campus Dialogue & Deliberation Topics

  • Census 2020
  • Citizenship
  • Climate Change
  • Higher Education
  • Immigration
  • Mental Health
  • Food Security
  • Soil

Community Projects

  • "Youth Leadership and Dialogue Program." A collaboration with 3 local school districs that brings together high school students in dialogue around achievement and intergration in local schools. Fall 2019-Spring 2022
  • "Community Conversations around Resettlement in Minnesota: Past and Present." Planned Spring 2020
  • "Bridging the Divide." A collaboration between Gustavus and Minneapolis Community and Technical College that facilitates dialogue among students representing rural and urban communities. Planned Spring 2020


Pamela Conners, Director

2019 Fellows CircleStudent Fellows

  • Kyra Bowar
  • Olivia Doeden
  • Joy Dunna
  • Megan Fillbrandt
  • DeAnna Giles
  • Ava Gross
  • Amanda Hoffman
  • Marisa Jasicki
  • James Miller
  • Mykaela Otto 
  • Emily Scroggins
  • Megan Simmons

For more information, contact us

What is deliberation?
Through deliberation, community members come together to weigh their options about how to move forward. It often entails a structured, facilitated conversation designed to respond to the particular problem or question the community faces. It includes argument analysis and understanding across difference. Its primary goal is the development of ethical policies and practices.

What is dialogue?
Dialogue helps community members to better understand issues and each other. Its primary goal is to enhance perspective-taking and understanding across differences.