The Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement focuses on preparing current and future leaders to successfully engage people of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints in the resolution of public policy issues.
Founded by the Cal Class of '68 and led by Dan Lindheim, faculty director, Larry A. Rosenthal, program director, and Robert B. Reich, senior fellow, the Center supports program strategies, activities and events on the UC Berkeley campus and beyond.
Public dialogue often lacks civility and efforts toward policy consensus rarely enjoy broad democratic engagement. Today’s hardened lines of political division threaten to aggravate and perpetuate social problems.
The need for more effective and successful democratic engagement is clearly seen in the paralysis and acrimony in our state and national governments and violence worldwide. Through research, teaching, fellowships/internships and public events, students and the wider public learn about the range of deep beliefs and values which drive human social behavior. Along with acquiring expertise in democratic engagement, this knowledge is essential in helping diverse stakeholders achieve productive and enduring resolutions to pressing issues facing societies today.
The Center was founded by the Cal Class of ‘68 to explore the legacy and advance the aspirations that characterize the spirit of the Class and their time at Cal. It is an exciting innovation in UC Berkeley alumni participation and relations with the University. Professor Bruce E. Cain, who served as Co-Director with Goldman School Dean Henry E. Brady during the inaugural years, is now a member of the Center's Advisory Board.
Larry A. Rosenthal