One of the most important but often overlooked powers of a university is its ability to convene. To bring people together to explore and work for a common good. Father Michael Graham, SJ, President of Xavier, acknowledged this in the first year of his presidency in a document entitled, "University as Citizen." Xavier has made this commitment to connecting the Xavier community to the greater Cincinnati community a foundational part of our mission since that time. It was this commitment that led to the development of the new Edward B. Brueggeman Center for Dialogue and through the work of the Center and other initiatives is one of the most important ways in which we live the Jesuit mission at Xavier.
One of the main features of the The Brueggeman Center is that all of our work - locally, nationally and globally - is collaborative. We partner on every project we do and have since our beginning over 15 years ago.
Collaboration is not just a philosophy of operation, it is the mission. Dialogue is already collaborative but dialogue must lead to collaborative action. Collaborative work is the most challenging but ultimately the most effective work we can do - what we can accomplish together is always greater than what we can accomplish alone.
The Center convenes diverse groups to engage in dialogue on the critical issues of our day with conferences, research and publications; providing opportunities for interfaith dialogue and funding interfaith collaboration; incubating projects and non-profit organizations; and sponsoring international research trips for students.
Every project begins and ends in dialogue but we build on dialogue to explore new cross-sectoral forms of active collaboration between religious traditions and communities with academic disciplines, non-profit organizations, the business community, and government to work together toward more comprehensive and systemic solutions for our common issues.
We understand that real systemic change comes slowly - in baby steps. Some of our projects have been in development for a decade or more. Collaboration, persistence and partnerships are the foundations of successful change.
The Center's work focuses on five areas, striving to connect each to all the others though dialogue and collaboration. It is by means of this cross-sectoral work that we hope to find systemic solutions to issues.
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