UD’s Biden School launches civil discourse program

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The Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware is launching a new civil discourse pilot program supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

The program will be known as the SNF Ithaca Initiative, named after the home of one of Greek mythology’s heroes, Odysseus, whose talent for persuasive discourse was revered in ancient Greece.

The SNF Ithaca Initiative will include a new named professorship in the Biden School, new course offerings focused on civil discourse, a bipartisan cohort of resident and visiting fellows, graduate and undergraduate student scholarships, and a series of new programs and special events.

Andreas Dracopoulos, co-president of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), said, “Civil discourse and civic engagement, two key pillars of our democracy, are not about having all the solutions or all the right answers. They’re a journey, one we must engage in together in good faith and with respect for the inherent dignity of all people. We are proud to support the Biden School at the University of Delaware in helping equip tomorrow’s leaders to embark on this journey.”

Additional SNF Ithaca Initiative programming will include a National Student Dialogue, the SNF Ithaca Student Leaders, the Biden School Civility in Public Service Award, and “All Politics is Personal” — a seminar series hosted by Biden Institute vice chair and family member Valerie Biden Owens in which students will hear from public servants from across the ideological spectrum.

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