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Democracy Cafés

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Democracy Cafés

By providing opportunities for learning across multiple platforms, the Democracy & Debate seeks to engage all voices and model inclusive dialogue. The Democracy Café Initiative offers resources to the campus community and the general public to dive into a breadth of topics with a set of resources developed by U-M faculty. Democracy Cafés celebrate the ability of people to meet in public spaces to exchange ideas, engaging each other both socially and intellectually. Café culture played a role in the historical development of democratic societies in both western and non-western contexts and enshrined ideals of equality, inclusion, self-expression and self-governance - even when they fell short of these ideals in practice. Our Democracy Café series seeks to honor and extend this tradition by providing resources to members of our community to organize virtual conversations around topics related to themes of democracy broadly. Housed on a special Canvas site, each cafe provides overviews of the topic and materials (with videos, podcasts, readings, and guided questions) for deeper understanding of a topic area to help direct discussions for groups hosting a “café,” enabling our community to participate in the activity and practice, the dialogue and exchange that occurs outside of the confines of the traditional classroom. Democracy Café topics aim collectively to encompass all aspects of the political climate with thought-provoking and engaging material that inspires sustained conversations on democracy.