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Dialogue Vanderbilt

Vanderbilt reaffirms its over a century-and-a-half-long commitment to free speech and civil discourse through Dialogue Vanderbilt. The initiative comprises a vast array of programs and offerings, including the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, the Vanderbilt Debate Team, the Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows program and the Future of Free Speech Project.


Through radical collaboration, these programs are more than the sum of their parts. They aim to re-establish constructive conversation and mutual respect throughout the Vanderbilt community and, with your help, the world—even when we disagree.

Recent Event

A Conversation with Oksana Markarova, Ukrainian ambassador to the United States

"Dialogue with Diplomats" explores global affairs from a firsthand perspective. Markarova joined Morgan Ortagus, former U.S. Department of State spokesperson, to discuss Ukraine's challenges and the political ramifications for the free world.

What's Next?

Dozens of events designed to explore free speech and civil discourse are hosted each semester by Dialogue Vanderbilt’s affiliated programs.

Core Programs

The Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy

The Unity Project seeks to elevate the role of research and evidence in the national conversation and help bridge America's deepest differences.

Discover the Unity Project

Justitia's Future of Free Speech Project

Led by free speech and human rights expert Jacob Mchangama, the Future of Free Speech Project fosters a global culture of free speech, on- and offline.

Future of Free Speech Project

Open Dialogue Visiting Fellows

Each year, this program brings to campus a cohort of thought leaders with contrasting views on a particular social issue.

Meet the Fellows

Civil Discourse Education

Through classes, workshops and trainings, students gain the skills and experience they need to discuss and debate with confidence and courage.

Learn About the Debate Team

Recent News

Browse Our Content Library

Look back at recent Dialogue Vanderbilt events you may have missed and explore resources related to free expression.

Civil Discourse is Just One Ingredient

Polarization has made it hard to have tough-but-necessary conversations on university campuses and beyond. Free expression at Vanderbilt rests on three pillars: civil discourse, open forums and institutional neutrality.