Welcome to our deliberative dialogue on diversity

3 09 2009

Piercing Identity 

A Virtual Deliberative Forum on Diversity

Sponsored by

New England Center for Civic Life and PMG Online

Franklin Pierce University

 Piercing Identity is a place to deliberate together about how we as a campus community and part of a larger national and global community handle differences, particularly differences in social identity (color, race, ethnicity, religion, gender/sexuality and ability/disability).  The blog will also include an accounting and review of everything from classes to clubs to events that intersect differences/diversity in some way as well as announcements of happenings near and far. 

 We will use the National Issues Forum’s (NIF) Guidelines for our online forum.

The moderators will be faculty, staff and students (Civic Scholars) trained in NIF’s deliberative dialogue strategies to assist the online community to:

  • frame fraught diversity issues
  • gather community concerns, values, and experiences about those issues
  • deliberate on the possible approaches to the issues
  • reflect on the tensions as well as the common ground achieved in deliberation and finally
  • identify ethical decisions and actions we as community may take

Moderators will

  • Remain neutral
  • Offer information, values and experiences about the issue
  • Guide participants to deliberate, not debate 
  • Encourage all participants to listen and speak
  • Discourage individuals from dominating the deliberation
  • Focus on all proposed approaches to the issue
  • Explore the pros, cons, and trade-offs of each proposed approach
  • Lead participants to discuss and analyze all alternative approaches
  • Reflect the common ground as well the tensions they see/hear back to the participants
  • Identify next steps

Contributions to the blog should represent a respectful deliberation of ideas, values, and experiences about differences and how those differences affect individuals in our community as well as how the community’s values and norms affect us as individuals. 

 Our hope is that through exploring our individual differences and similarities we’ll together be able to make ethical decisions regarding diversity.

 We invite all interested clubs, classes, administrators, staff, students, and faculty to post on Piercing Identity.

 Zan Walker-Goncalves




4 responses

12 09 2009
Zan Walker-Goncalves

The Gay/Straight Alliance at FPU has begun meeting every Friday @ 1pm.

14 09 2009
Vicky Rank

I am glad to see that the Gay/Straight Alliance will once again be meeting regularaly on campus. Could you please let me (and others) know where it will take place? Also, I recommend that it be put up on the Calendar of Events through Patricia Garrity – here is the website:


Have a wonderful fall beginning!

14 09 2009
Dawn K Stevenson

Zan, et al,
During move-in this year, it was nice to ‘see’ diversity represented on our campus and in our freshman class. It will be interesting to see how this dialogue unfolds…what I am most interested in is how we, as a community, can address the many challenging and esoteric issues of diversity that confront us daily – especially those that often go unmentioned.

Issues of class and privilege require our attention, as do all the many ‘isms’ involving things like race, sex and religion…

I know I am still on my difficult journey with many of these issues. I look forward to learning together with you all.

22 09 2009
Meredith Wiemer

Hi all,
Regarding the Letterman video, I find it reassuring that the American public is beginning to “lighten up” about issues such as gay marriage. Strict news channels often only offer a grim outlook on the nation’s issues, and the debates surrounding gay marriage/ rights is often a “poster child” example for certain people to claim how this country is going down the tube. I embrace the use of comedy as a new tool for self expression regarding the serious issues which often scare the wary away.

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