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In Focus

"See more clearly when you are informed"

Productive Discourse refers to a way of engaging in political or controversial discussions which centers on civility, rationality, and problem solving. With political polarization being perceived as a major issue in the United States many are struggling just to find ways to talk with each other. Below you will find key terms, statistics, and other useful tools to understand and create Productive Discourse with others. If you would like to know more, consider coming to an IYC event. Our next one can be found below in the section labeled Our Events. We host them virtually, on a wide range of topics, discussing policy, civics, and current events.

Key Terms You Should Know


Awareness of others' feelings in a particular situation.


A generosity of spirit including benevolence, courteousness, and kindness toward others.


Engaging in dialogue with a willingness to listen to other perspectives, gain new knowledge, be challenged, and possibly even be persuaded.


Awareness of one's own personality, attitude, behaviors, and privilege.


The ability to bear trouble calmly and to refrain from meanness and pettiness.

Be Kind

Moments In History

1748 - By 16 George Washington wrote out the 110 Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior.

1964 - The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination and guarantees the right to equality.

2021 - Each year Thanksgiving is an ideal time to practice productive discourse.

1963 - Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech advocated for productive discourse.

2004 - Facebook introduced a new productive and not-so-productive discourse opportunity.


The Pew Research Center reported that 45% of people have stopped talking to someone they know about politics.

68% of people believe incivility is a "major" problem, according to a study conducted in 2019 by public affairs firm Powell Tate.

As of 2020, Emojipedia noted that were were 3,521 emojis to express what you are thinking or feeling in Unicode Emoji 14.0.

In their classic 1984 study, Stafford & Daly found that within 10 minutes of a conversation people recall only 10% of what was said and the rest of their recollection reflects what was expected to be said.

113% of people misrepresent statistics when trying to make a point.


Active Listening

Evidence Based Discussion

Two woman sitting in a cafe

Benefit of the Doubt


Finding Common Ground

Notable Names

henry clay statue
Oprah Winfrey
Bob Ross
Fred Rogers

Henry Clay

Nelson Mandela

Oprah Winfrey

Bob Ross

Fred Rogers


Our Events



Further Resources

Productive Discourse Infographic

Share what you have learned about Productive Discourse. Our Infographic has been designed to be shared easily by printing, emailing, or posting on social media. Click on the image to view or download the PDF File. (Not for commercial use.) 

Productive Discourse Infographic.jpg

Celebrate & Create Event Video

Our crafting event for kids was lots of fun! Use your own materials to participate in our craft project. Watch the video to learn how to make your own Productive Discourse journal! You can also make an event out of it by hosting your own Celebrate & Create: Productive Discourse crafting party. Feel free to share this video with others! (Not for commercial use.) 

Take Action

Meeting in office

Say a sincere kind word to someone even when you are disagreeing with them! 

Two people sitting infront of window

The next time you know you might have an argument with someone, research the topic based on reliable and credible sources. This way you will be better informed before you have that conversation! 

Hands Friendship Unity

Commit to one productive discourse friendly action each week!

Woman looking at phone with floating emojis

Show your support online, in social media, or in person the next time you have the opportunity to promote productive discourse!

Friends Sitting on a bench

Share our Productive Discourse Infographic with friends, family, and anyone and everyone you think would appreciate becoming more informed!

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