The National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) and University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) have jointly launched the nation’s first-ever center for research on civility. The Applied Research Center for Civility at UC San Diego, which officially opened on May 1, 2021, draws from NCRC’s groundbreaking work in this area to conduct cutting-edge research into the dynamics of society’s most pressing issues, including racial injustice and mass incarceration, workplace harassment, and freedom of expression on college campuses.
“Hatred and intolerance are at the heart of many societal issues, from racial injustice to mass incarceration,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “But NCRC and UC San Diego are here to help. As one of the nation’s top 15 research universities, we consider it our responsibility to partner with the top conflict resolution practitioner in the nation to create a more just, humane future for America.”
“Civility in our public life as we know it is on life support,” said Steven Dinkin, president of the National Conflict Resolution Center. “The breakdown of civil discourse has exacerbated our country’s deep political polarization and incited violence. We care less about our neighbors today, even as the pandemic continues, literally costing people their lives. The collaboration with UC San Diego will look at best practices for navigating entrenched divides, synthesizing them into comprehensive models for national distribution and discussion.”
Dinkin will serve as co-chair of the new Center for Civility, along with UC San Diego Executive Vice Chancellor Elizabeth Simmons. The launch was announced by Chancellor Khosla at NCRC’s 2021 Peacemaker Awards, which took place on May 15, 2021.
Since 2014, the two institutions have collaborated on the Galinson/Glickman Campus Civility Initiative, also known as Tritons Together. The program provides training for student club leaders in inclusive communications and conflict resolution, and since its inception has trained nearly 10,000 students.
The Center for Civility will draw on faculty and researchers throughout the UC San Diego system and across the nation to design studies, collect data and conduct quantitative analysis on how we can foster connection in divisive times. It will focus on the work that NCRC is doing today to find a path forward that enables our society to overcome hatred, intolerance and incivility. The center will report these findings in various formats, including white paper reports, conference proceedings and academic journal publications.
The center’s first project will focus on juvenile justice reform, to be funded through a generous $400,000 grant to NCRC by The Conrad Prebys Foundation. UC San Diego’s Extension Center for Research and Evaluation will lead the project, which will examine best practices from around the nation to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts youth of color and fuels mass incarceration. The Extension’s work will be peer-reviewed by other UC San Diego faculty. Prospectively, Center for Civility operations will be funded through joint fundraising efforts, to include an anticipated mix of permanent endowment contributions, research grants and annual donations to both entities.
For more information about the Applied Research Center for Civility, please visit: https://evc.ucsd.edu/about/ARCC.html