Clinton and Bush
NICD Board Members
National Institute for Civil Discourse
Keith hearing
Gabriella Giffords

About NICD

National Institute for Civil Discourse

Building the nation’s capacity to engage our differences more constructively

In 2011, the University of Arizona created NICD after the Tucson shooting that killed six people and wounded thirteen others, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Although many people know about this incident now, fewer people know that Congresswoman Giffords was already in discussion with the University of Arizona about creating a center to study how to improve the quality of civil conversation.

The Tucson community came together to create NICD, a non-partisan organization based at the University of Arizona to promote healthy and civil political debate. NICD is devoted to the same principles that motivated Congresswoman Giffords: that people with different values and political preferences can discuss their differences in a civil and productive manner. The galvanizing power of that event brought together an impressive, bipartisan group of leaders to work on these issues.

No one knew in 2011 just how bitter and polarized our politics would become. By seriously engaging the problem early, NICD became the leading national voice for bridging through civil discourse and respect.

At NICD, we believe the American people will be our saving grace. We are less divided than we seem and hungrier for a more constructive approach to politics. NICD has developed a multi-faceted strategy to channel Americans’ yearning into a coherent and powerful force. Our bold vision, compelling strategy, and high-profile board members combine to set NICD apart as a leader in this movement. In addition to inspiring and organizing everyday Americans, our strategy is designed to encourage elected leaders to put country ahead of partisanship.

Key Principles and Best Practices for Engaging Differences

Engaging in conversations across the divide opens doors to finding common ground and moves our country toward a more perfect union.  Our programs convey several key principles and best practices that are critical to connecting across divides, including:  Empathy instead of vitriol; Listening for Understanding instead of hearing to overpower; and Humility instead of all-knowing.

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Engaging Differences
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Promoting Civility
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