The Center for Civil Discourse is organized around the central principle that open, fair and truthful debate, characterized by respect for opposing viewpoints is essential to a healthy democracy. The Center’s mission is to advance the values of respectful discourse and to call on Americans to embrace civility and reject demagoguery in government, media and our personal lives.
Founded in 2011 with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the center is is affiliated with UMass Boston's John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. Its inaugural event, Civility and American Democracy, convened leading scholars at UMass Boston to begin a national conversation about civility in America.
“American political discourse seems to be on a path to paralysis. Extremist rhetoric permeates every level of political debate – from Congress to traditional media to the Internet. Our goal at the Center for Civil Discourse is to explore the meaning of civility and its role in American democracy and to encourage its practice.” — Steve Crosby, Founding Dean of the McCormack Graduate School
Ira Jackson, Chair
Loraine Della Porta
Mary Jane Patrone