Take It On 2020
Take It On 2020: Seeking Difference, Exploring Common Ground
In the year 2020, we at Xavier University face daunting challenges. As we head into the 2020 election season, political division and polarization has become more intense both on a national level and in our local communities. We often avoid and demonize those who disagree with us.
At Xavier, we believe we can do better. We seek out difference with the aim of listening, respecting, and being open to learning from each other. We explore common ground when discussing controversial topics so that our students may learn to engage in difficult dialogue with others in a civil, productive manner. While we welcome a variety of opinions, we hold certain values to be central to this project:
- Name the problem: We are concerned about the divisive and polarizing political and societal challenges that we expect in 2020, including the 2020 election.
- Leverage our Jesuit Catholic heritage: We draw on the gifts and values of our Jesuit Catholic heritage, including the dignity of the human person and value of the liberal arts education.
- Build on our resources: We draw on and expand the resources of our faculty, staff, administrators and students, University policies and community partners.
- Act with humility and courage: We know we will make mistakes but are convinced that we must speak and act on our convictions while listening to, showing respect for, and being open to learning from others.
- Keep our community at the center: Our students are at the center of this project; in order to support our and educate our students, faculty and staff need to be fully invested as well. This project is about our community, including the need to belong and be included, to engage with ideas that challenge, to grow in our capacity to articulate our own positions and values.
We invite you to get involved. This year, our goal is to build the campus capacity to face the challenges of 2020. We'll begin this spring with identifying and scheduling speakers on topics that challenge us and create opportunities for growth for all of us. We'll also curate and create resources and training to support better dialogue. We'll be proactive about addressing challenges to our community bonds.
The Xavier Way for Dialogue: Shared Vision to Strengthen our Community, developed in conversation with faculty and staff across the University, offers ten norms as shared commitments for deepening and broadening the bonds of our campus community.
The challenge is great. The time is now. We're ready to Take It On.