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President’s Forum Podcast: “NICD’s Mission to Foster Bipartisanship and Civil Discourse”

By April 10, 2024April 18th, 2024CommonSense News

From the interview: Against a backdrop of toxic polarization, the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD) at the University of Arizona is on a mission to “build the nation’s capacity to engage our differences with civility and respect so that we can effectively address the challenges before us.” NICD [Executive Director] Keith Allred details the success of their programs and the pressing need for bipartisan cooperation in policymaking.

*Bridging political divides* NICD was founded in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting in 2012, with the aim of fostering civility and bipartisanship in political discourse. Inspired by Gabby Giffords’ concerns about declining civility in Congress, NICD embarked on a mission to engage differences constructively and build bridges across party lines. Over the years, NICD has garnered support from a diverse array of leaders, including former Presidents and prominent figures from across the political spectrum.

*Bipartisan solutions* One of NICD’s flagship programs, CommonSense American, has been instrumental in driving bipartisan solutions to pressing issues. With over 75,000 members from diverse backgrounds, CommonSense American has successfully championed policy solutions in Congress, ranging from surprise medical billing to updates on the Electoral Count Act.

*Workforce Pell* A notable example of bipartisan success is the Workforce Pell Bill, which aims to expand access to workforce education. Despite facing hurdles in Congress, including concerns from progressive Democratic senators, there remains optimism for its passage. By emphasizing the importance of workforce development and economic opportunity, NICD and its partners are working towards advancing policies that benefit all Americans.

*Equipping the next generation* In addition to their policy efforts, NICD is also focused on promoting civil discourse and civic engagement among college students. Recognizing the need to equip the next generation with the skills to navigate political divides, NICD is developing a course on American institutions and civic learning. This course aims to provide students with the tools to engage differences constructively and contribute positively to society.