The Civil Discourse Lab at the University of New Hampshire was established in November 2017 by co-directors Jennifer Borda and Renee Heath within the Department of Communication.
The mission of the Civil Discourse Lab is to: strengthen the ability of students and community members to conduct meaningful conversations, collaborate, and weigh decisions around sometimes difficult but important topics to a civil society through research, experiential learning, and praxis. The CDL is a partnership with Communication faculty and students. Students, from all majors are invited to attend lectures and extracurricular trainings designed to strengthen their ability to facilitate important and respectful conversations, and to foster shared decision making within our community. We offer a strong curricula that cultivates students understanding of collaboration, deliberation, information, media influence, rhetoric, and dialogue. Our students have facilitated discussions in the community for the American Civil Liberties Union and 3S Arts Space in Portsmouth, NH. University discussions have included subjects such as climate change, addiction, and immigration. We regularly partner with the UNH Museum of Art, the Sustainability Institute, and New Hampshire Listens, to give students the opportunity to design and facilitate meaningful public events.