All Angles is a speaker and discussion series that offers students an out-of-classroom opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of contemporary public policy subject matter and learn how it is understood from the values and strategies that define a variety of perspectives along today’s political spectrum. In 2021, more than 1,300 students provided input into the development of this program.
This program is not about persuading students to believe one idea over another or establish a forum for debate. It is intended to provide students with an array of perspectives that will lead to their own, well-informed intellectual conclusions and offer an opportunity to learn from those with whom they may disagree.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT
Leadership requires that individuals understand differing viewpoints and demonstrate an ability to engage and work with those with whom we disagree. This is not an easy skill to develop. We are proud that our students are deeply passionate about issues and this program will assure they can be well-prepared to face heightened polarization and political acrimony in a productive way as they enter the workforce.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Each year, the Institute will poll the Pitt student body to understand:
- Top societal issues of concern
- How students characterize their level of political engagement
- How students self-identify politically
- How prepared students feel they are to participate productively in a real-life conversation with a person with whom they disagree
Data collected from the polling in the fall of 2021 revealed that the top issues raised include:
- Economic opportunities
- Climate change
- The pandemic
- Foreign policy and immigration
The All Angles series will include four sessions per academic year to examine these issues from angles representative of the political diversity that is present on our campuses and in our regional communities. Participating students will:
- Develop fresh perspectives on today’s critical societal issues by hearing presentations that challenge conventional understandings
- Question the subject matter from your own intellectual perspective while being challenged to question the material from a differing vantage point
- Observe and reflect on essential communication skills demonstrated by the moderator and upheld by the speakers to better understand the benefits of civil discourse
- Connect with fellow students from different backgrounds, campuses, and fields of study to solve problems of shared concern
- Gain Outside the Classroom Curriculum credit
PROGRAM GUIDING PRINCIPLES
- Adheres to the respect and value of all people
- Consistent with the purpose of higher education, the series aims to examine topics intellectually through multiple and divergent perspectives building on the critical importance of diversity in the exchange and creation of new ideas
- Enthusiastic dialogue can be encouraged, yet managed and will remain civil
- Evidenced-based and data-driven discussions are required
- Respects that values, culture, and faith are foundational aspects of the American democratic society and are touchpoints on the political continuum
Spring 2023 schedule coming soon.
Click here to see the archive of recent All Angles programs and featured speakers.