The primary goal of the We Talk initiative is not just moderating and tempering views, but also expanding them to include a greater ability to learn from others. We Talk is focused on providing programming and resources to help people learn how to successfully navigate difficult conversations to resolve critical issues—at work, home and throughout the community.
The political conflict and societal tensions that existed prior to the COVID pandemic continue to heighten making the University's commitment to free speech and civil discourse ever more critical. WMU's administration, Faculty Senate, staff leadership and student government have embraced We Talk over the past year as an initiative that closes the emotional divide between conflicting beliefs through intentional listening, rational actions, the use of rational language, and empathy.
WMU President Edward Montgomery describes We Talk as a “concrete step” in helping people learn how to effectively communicate when dealing with difficult or sensitive topics and to build a more inclusive campus. "Civil discourse is a bedrock value of higher education and the academy. WMU is a place where the free exchange of ideas is not just welcomed, it is encouraged,” Montgomery said.