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Happening@POLIS – February 2017

Last month POLIS launched “The Purple Project” by leading and collaborating on a series of events aimed at finding common ground among Red and Blue America.  This month we begin putting this idea into action.

 Hyper-partisanship, a breakdown in civility, policy-making gridlock, and other pathologies of modern politics have caused many Americans to lose trust in our political institutions.  But in dorm rooms and locker rooms, at Greek parties and in dining halls, Duke students with varied viewpoints challenge each other on many of the day’s most contentious issues.

In the halls of government, such difficult topics don’t often invite civil discourse.  But on Duke’s campus, many students want to hear what the other side thinks.  They want to better understand the foundations of others’ beliefs.  They want to learn how others’ experiences have shaped their world view.

The new Devil’s Discourse Podcast captures these tough, honest, and respectful conversations, proving how constructive dialogue is a vital first step toward jumpstarting meaningful collaboration and sound policy making.  The goal is not agreement; it’s about respecting another’s right to think differently.

Each week, two Duke students with opposing views will discuss a topic.  Each conversation will be unscripted and unedited.  Throughout this semester, these students will continually remind us how no ideology has a monopoly on the best ideas, and how opening ourselves up to new concepts–even if we don’t agree with them–is a key ingredient to personal growth.

Today we’re launching Episode 1.1: “Safe Spaces,” featuring sophomore Adaiya Granberry and first-year student Nico Coleman.  It’s available on iTunes ( and Sound Cloud (  A new episode will be released each Wednesday through the end of the school year.

We hope you’ll listen in and give us feedback.  And as always, thank you for your support of Duke and of what we’re trying to do here at POLIS.

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