Civil Talk

Five Day Diversity Challenge

Elevating Civil Discourse Inclusion


Civil Discourse is engagement in conversations or interactions to enhance understanding of diversity, inclusion and equity.  The challenge embraces the tenets of Civil Discourse as defined by Laurel’s Center for Research on Girls. Take one of the below challenges each day to learn something new.

2019 Class Legacy Project

Extending Empathy

Defined as…

  • being aware of others’ feelings
  • being sensitive to others’ feelings
  • vicariously experiencing others’ feelings

Read: Navigating Triggering Events by Dr. Kathy Obear 

Watch: #RethinkBeauty by The Diversity Center of Northeastern Ohio

Do: Ask questions to understand and learn

Accepting Discomfort

Defined as…

  • being aware of one’s own feelings
  • tolerating negative feelings in oneself
  • coping effectively with distress

Read: Privileged by Kyle Korver

Watch: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them by Verna Myers 

Do: Do something new that scares you

Braving Controversy

Defined as…

  • appreciating that conflict can be healthy
  • accepting that hard conversations take time
  • tolerating ongoing disagreement

Read: 21 Americans With Opposing Views on Guns Sat Down to Talk to Each Other. Here’s What They Discovered by Kelley Benham French, Thomas French and Ben Montgomery 

Watch: Confronting Controversy by Zachary Wood

Do: Be an ally 

Cultivating Curiosity

Defined as…

  • being open to novelty
  • wanting to learn another person’s story
  • being willing to learn new things about oneself

Read: Doing Good by Knowing Who You Are by Charles Seashore, Mary Nash Shawver, Greg Thompson and Marty Mattare 

Watch: The Danger of the Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

Do: Visit the Cleveland Cultural Gardens (bonus: attend the One World Day on August 24, 2019 at the Gardens) 

Taking Perspective

Defined as…

  • recognizing multiple viewpoints
  • seeing a situation from another’s point of view
  • comprehending unfamiliar thoughts and feelings

Read: When Civility is Used as a Cudgel Against People of Color by Karen Grigsby Bates 

Watch: Love Has No Labels

Do: Write about a reflection or journal entry on, “If I were in their shoes,” and how that would make you feel.

Engaging Effectively

Defined as…

  • listening actively
  • questioning fairly
  • asserting respectfully

Read: Civil Discourse Exists in this Small Corner of the Internet by Kiley Bense 

Watch: Middle Ground

Do: Establish conversational guidelines when having a challenging conversation.

Additional Resources:

The LeadDiversity Class of 2019 appreciates your support and involvement in the 5 Day Civil Talk Challenge.