Discussions Across Difference Program Seeks Undergraduate Facilitators

October 8, 2019

Discussions Across Difference Program

Executive Summary 
The Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School (IOP) are recruiting Harvard College undergraduates to participate in a new program, Discussions Across Difference, that aims to develop and empower students to promote and facilitate conversations across political difference on campus. 

Student leaders in the Discussions Across Difference program will receive expert training in facilitation methods by the Center for Ethics team in partnership with Carolyn Lukensmeyer of the National Institute for Civil Discourse.

Upon completion of their training, students will have the opportunity to lead civil disagreement discussions with their peers through the E.J Safra Center for Ethics’ Civil Disagreement Series and the Institute of Politics’ Harvard Political Union events.

In addition, students who participate in the Discussions Across Difference program will have unique opportunities to interact with faculty, fellows, staff and special events affiliated with both the E.J. Safra Center for Ethics and the Institute of Politics’ communities.


  • Harvard College undergraduates from all concentrations and political ideologies are encouraged to apply.
  • Students must be  interested in learning how to lead productive and enriching conversations across political difference. 
  • Students currently engaged in public service, civic engagement and political discourse programming at Harvard and beyond are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Requirements

  • Trainings and Planning: Students are required to attend all facilitation training sessions. During the fall semester, this includes a Saturday kick-off session from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday October 19th and a two-hour planning session during the first week of November.  During the spring semester, students will continue to meet monthly for a two-hour evening session to further their training and prepare for the second Civil Disagreement talk in April. 
  • Events and Facilitation: Students are also required to attend both of the Civil Disagreement Series events (on November 7th and April 16th). Students will then co-facilitate 1.5 hour breakout sessions during the lunch hour of the Friday following each of the E.J. Safra Center for Ethics Civil Disagreement series talks.

The Cohort Experience
In addition to acquiring real-world skills to become practitioners in facilitating civil disagreement, student leaders will have special opportunities to interact with the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and IOP communities. 

Students will have access to a wide range of co-curricular programming with resident fellows, graduate students, faculty, staff and special events that are geared towards their personal and professional development throughout the academic year. 

The IOP and E.J. Safra Center will also support students who are interested in organizing civil disagreement events and conversations within their student groups across campus. 

How to Apply 
Students interested in this program should contact Jacob Fay at the E.J. Safra Center for Ethics and provide: 

  • A paragraph explaining your interest in the program;
  • An up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae.



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