Safety & Justice the topic of Deliberative Dialogue at WKU

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How should communities increase safety while at the same time ensuring justice? This is the type of critical question explored at WKU recently using the deliberative dialogue model.

Deliberative Dialogue means productive discussions -not debates.

“They’re just sharing their ideas back and forth and working toward a consensus rather than trying to win over their side.”

This recent topic of this dialogue?—reducing violence in our community and ensuring that Americans of all backgrounds are treated with fairness and respect.

“Just given the nature of today’s climate it felt like a good time to provide programming that really trains our students in how you have those difficult conversation.”

WKU Police Chief Mitchell Walker says it was the kind of honest talk that is helpful to the department.

“There’s a lot of things students really don’t understand that we do. . That’s why it’s important that we continue to talk and share experiences with one another.”

With such a timely topic, Clay Smalley says he was disappointed there weren’t more participants.

“I just wish there was a bigger crowd representing all the diversity of campus. When you go in with a topic like how do you talk to police and then you look at all the news going on bad things in the news like police brutality with people of color, poor people, there I think needs to be a more diverse crowd.”

It was an opportunity to seek a deeper understanding of the issue.

“It’s really about working with people who may not share your opinion.”

In order to help build consensus on how solutions are reached.

“It created a lot better feeling at the end where there wasn’t a winner or loser but rather we all felt like winners because we had come together to develop a solution”

Ashwill says the deliberative dialogue process is phenomenal and they plan to continue to utilize it with different departments and different groups on campus.

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