Welcome

In recent years, we have experienced turmoil in our communities due to social injustice, a raging pandemic, economic downturns, and political polarization. Now more than ever, we need to reach out and speak with each other, learn from each other, understand much more about how our government works, and how we can become active participants in our democracy.

The Nova Southeastern University Council for Dialogue and Democracy (CDD) was designed to support and expand the ongoing collaboration the university has with the community. The Council was created through a partnership between the Department of Humanities and Politics and Department of Conflict Resolution Studies in the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences and the Guy Harvey Oceanographic Research Center (HCAS).  

We provide opportunities for group and communities to use dialogues to explore the pressing issues facing us and help us to understand our options in addressing them. We are dedicated to practical democracy, including the basics of creating, maintaining, and fostering a society, economy, culture, and politics which advances, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” 

The Council offers a variety of workshops on topics such as ballot initiatives, voter education, conflict resolution, and webinar training seminars, and continuing education programs. We are also available to discuss other projects such as research to assist organizations, groups, and municipalities. We are aware of safety concerns and provide in-person and virtual settings.

We invite you to learn more about us and discover the ways in which the Council can partner with you to meet your needs.

The NSU Council for Dialogue and Democracy aims at fostering discussion and finding solutions to the challenges of practical democracy both at home and abroad.  To educate about, and promote innovation in, the everyday elements of small “d” democracy that together create, in Abraham Lincoln’s words, a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.” If the past few years have shown anything, it is that democracy is not “a machine that goes of itself.”  It takes hard work, and commitment, and widespread knowledge about the workings of democratic government to assure that, in Lincoln’s phrase once again, such government “shall not perish from the earth.”

 

In practical terms, achieving these goals means educating citizens about the electoral process, local government, available government services, infrastructure, and responses to climate change (to name but a few possible topics) by bringing together stakeholders via symposia and conferences, dialogue sessions and education outreach, and media appearances to explore new ideas on how to build and strengthen democracy.  We will do this by drawing on the energy and enthusiasms of our students to foster democracy via internships, in partnerships with local government, NGOs and the media, via contract research and evaluations of small d democratic initiatives, and as staff in funded research projects through which NSU faculty can match their areas of expertise and knowledge with the needs of those struggling to make democracy work both domestically and internationally.

The Council for Dialogue and Democracy Group within the Halmos College of Arts and Sciences (HCAS) developed this website and coordinates the activities of the Council.

 

Judith McKay, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Council for Dialogue and Democracy Group, Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Charles Zelden, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Council for Dialogue and Democracy, Department of Humanities and Politics

Ransford Edwards, Ph.D., Faculty Fellow, Department of Humanities and Politics

David Kilroy, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Humanities and Politics

Urszula Strawinska-Zanko, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Please reach out to Dr. Charles Zelden (zelden@nova.edu) and Dr. Judith McKay (mckayj@nova.edu), Co-Directors of the Council, with any questions or comments regarding the NSU Council for Dialogue and Democracy.