This year, Associate Professor of Philosophy Jaime Ahlberg, as part of the Intersections “Ethics and Public Sphere” group, has helped organize several “Ethics Cafés” on divisive public issues. Each café presents students with a focusing question, and a faculty member supports students as they discuss these issues with each other. The aim is for students to learn a bit about the issues, but even more than that, to practice ethical reflection and communication about contentious issues with peers. The idea for the cafés emerged from student focus groups that the Intersections team ran last year, as they were trying to learn what students want from their university experience so that they might be better equipped to live in a polarized and divisive society.
Topics for the 2019-2020 school year have included Immigration, Climate Change, Free College, Free Speech, Gender Violence, and Reparations.