The Kegley Institute of Ethics at CSU Bakersfield Announces 2021-22 Student Fellows for Intercollegiate Civil Disagreement Partnership

The Kegley Institute of Ethics at CSU Bakersfield Announces 2021-22 Student Fellows for Intercollegiate Civil Disagreement Partnership

Submitted by Sonia Rodriguez, KIE Social Media Coordinator

Eight students from California State University, Bakersfield have been selected to participate in theIntercollegiate Civil Disagreement Partnership(ICDP) for the 2021-22 academic year.

The ICDP is a consortium of five colleges and universities in the U.S: California State University, Bakersfield, CA (Kegley Institute of Ethics); Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics); St. Philip’s College, San Antonio, TX; Santa Fe College, Gainesville, FL; and Stanford University, Stanford, CA (McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society).

ICD Student Fellows were selected from a competitive application pool. Fellows come from diverse backgrounds (in terms of area of study, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual and political orientation) and are committed to connecting with students from across the U.S. to combat political polarization. Participating students learn to facilitate challenging conversations on pressing issues in our society (e.g. antiracism, gun rights, free speech rights, etc.) while acknowledging the multitude of  opinions and experiences that inform people’s positions on these topics.

Jennifer Huerta, a senior majoring in liberal studies at CSUB, was one of eight students selected as a 2021-22 ICDP Student Fellow. “As a first-generation student growing up in a Hispanic household topics of disagreement or even politics were not discussed, therefore, my drive to enhance my community is also what made me want to apply,” said Jennifer. “It all starts with educating myself with the tools and skills necessary to make this change to my family.”

Student Fellows will participate in a fully remote program that helps them develop skills in reflective dialogue and facilitating public events and conversations across political differences. “I expect that the ICDP will, by fostering conversations, help me grow as a person on levels that don’t only apply to mediating political discourse,” said Abraham Mendoza. The students will receive facilitation training, engage in deliberative conversation within the Fellows group, and have opportunities to interact with speakers, students, and faculty from different universities over the academic year.

Tiffany James, a communications major at CSUB, notes her interest in expanding her comfort level with new and challenging topics. “Sometimes we have an unconscious bias towards something because we only know what we know and I want to be introduced to new ideas and engage in conversations” notes Tiffany. “I’m excited to see what the program entails and what that looks like where we have different topics, perspectives, and viewpoints. ”

The ICDP Fellows receive a $1,000 honorarium for their year-long participation in the program. The funding for the program is the result of support from a grant received from the Laura and Gary Lauder Family Venture Philanthropy Fund and the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University. The students representing CSUB in the second cohort are:

  1. Tiffany James
  2. Jennifer Huerta
  3. Cassidy Sheppard
  4. Narges Obaid
  5. Josiah Youngblood
  6. Courtney Vansickel
  7. Reem Hassan
  1. Abraham Mendoza