Deliberative Discussions

What are Deliberative Conversations?

Deliberative Conversations at SUNY Empire grew out of a partnership between the college’s Office of Student Life and the Buffalo Project. These conversations are an effort to increase cultural awareness, interaction and discussion among students, faculty, and staff around difficult topics. The uniqueness of the Deliberative Conversations format is that it is meant to intentionally bring together individuals who represent diverse perspectives around a topic; sometimes difficult or controversial, to advocate for tangible, joint solutions that give a voice to all invested in the conversation.


In AY 2017-2018 & AY 2018-2019 SUNY Empire’s Office of Student Life and the Buffalo Project piloted a series of conversations, listed below. Based on the success of the pilot conversations, as of AY 2019-2020, Deliberative Conversations are now regularly offered as Student Life/Buffalo Project college-wide events. As of 2019, students who are part of the Student Leadership Institute program and SUNY Empire are also required to participate in these events.


2019 SUNY Empire “You Make A Difference Award” Recipient – Buffalo Project Deliberative Conversations

AY 2020-2021 Conversations

FALL 2020

  • Sept. 17 Constitution and Race - roughly this conversation will focus on the intersection of race as it is reflected in the Constitution and greater US culture
  • Oct. 21 Racialized Disparities - this conversation will discuss the various disparities of healthcare, socio-economic stability, and other topics of interest
  • Nov. 5 Promoting Civic Engagement and Civil Discourse and SUNY Empire State College and Beyond (part of the Office of the President Reason and Respect Series)

Spring 2021

  • Feb. 2, 6-8pm EST “How Do We Heal as a Country?: Making Joint Steps to Create a More Perfect Union”
  • March 10, 6-8pm "Politics/Public Policy/Workforce" - this discussion will discuss public policy and its influence on workforce development 


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