Post Election 2020 Dialogue

American flag underneath the Constitution with a gavel on top

All political elections have moments of political discourse, but the 2020 U.S. election has become particularly divisive and polarizing. At the Center for Community Engagement, we believe that it is important that we begin to engage in conversations that address the social injustices within our nation and that we work together to address social issues and public problems to create a more just community.


UC Facilitated Dialogues

Although we may not know the election results on November 3rd. We believe that it is important to facilitate conversations that speak truth to power, allow space for healing, and cultivate change through candid dialogue. Please RSVP via Campus Link. 

Wednesday November 4th 

  • Moving Forward Together
    • Post Election Conversation, Students of Color 
    • 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm  
  • Moving Forward Together 
    •  Post Election Conversation, All Bearcats 
    • 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm 
  • Wokeshop Wednesday
    • Healing Conversation, Black Students 
    • 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm 

Thursday  November 5th 

Facilitation Guides 

This guide was  prepared to support faculty, staff, resident advisors, and students to engage in constructive conversations around the 2020 Elections, regardless of the outcomes.

(Adapted from Dr. Carah Ong Whaley, associate director of the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement)

  1. Each session should last 90 minutes to 120 minutes.
  2. If virtual, limit number of attendees to how many can fit on a Zoom Screen (No More than 20 students)
  3. Share ground rules with participants and make sure all agree
  4. Clarify why you are having this conversation
  5. Explain the importance of safe space
  6. Ask students to reflect on their own identities, prejudices, positions and biases and how these may impact their perspective on the election.
  7. Ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute and feel understood.
  8. Admit that there are problems with political and partisan divisions in our country that make it difficult to solve public problem
  9. Pose questions that allow students to express how they feel or what they are grappling with.
  10. Recognize that these conversations may be difficult and lean into the discomfort/ silence.
  11. As a facilitator relay that you are not a mental health expert and that these conversations are not therapy session but more open dialogues. Share mental health and community resources. 
  1. Everyone’s viewpoint counts equally.
  2. Listen. Learn. & Interact- Especially online (e.g., on Zoom).This means cameras must be turned on during the each session.
  3. Share “air time.” There are lots of ways to contribute/participate that don't involve speaking, like in the chat box, an anonymous poll, etc.
  4. One person shares at a time.
  5. Use I statements, speak from your own perspective not others
  6. If you are hurt or harmed, say so and say why.
  7. Individuals can disagree, but don’t personalize it; critique the ideas, reasoning, and evidence, not the person
  8. There are diverse perspectives in this conversation and we can talk respectfully even if we don’t all agree.
  9. Hate speech will not be tolerated.
  10. This is not about changing minds. It’s about listening and developing empathy and understanding.
  11. Avoid judgement and focus on listening with curiosity and for understanding.
  12. Confidentiality: what happens in the discussion, stays in the discussion.
  13. Consider adopting a “brave space” that allows people to take risks and speak candidly, but allows people to respond when it hurts their feelings and share why.
As a facilitator do not feel obligated to use all the questions listed however, feel free to use the questions below to help frame your dialogue: 
  1. What did the election mean to you?
  2. How are you practicing self-care post-election?
  3. If you participated in the election, how did you feel about it? Why?
  4. Can you think of reasons why some people might be disappointed/happy in the election outcome?
  5. During the election what how did you receive news?
  6. What are ways you would like to see elected leaders work together on issues facing our community, nation, or world?
  7. What are some public issues that are important to you? How can you and others address those issues by engaging different levels of government and connecting with others in their community?
  8. What barriers or challenges are there to addressing issues facing our community, nation and world? How can we overcome them?
  9. What is something that inspires you for the future of our democracy?
  10. What kind of reforms would like to see to make our democracy more just and inclusive?

Use these questions to help students focus on human-scale and utilizing their feelings to create social change within their community

  1. What will you do to ensure we address issues facing our community, nation, or world?
  2. Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?


Mental Health Resources 

University of Cincinnati Mental Health Resources

  • CAPS - CAPS is the University Counseling & Psychological Services for students. Call 513-556-0648 to schedule an initial consultation.  
  • Let's Talk - A free virtual consultation program which provides easy access to conversations with clinicians from CAPS. This service is available for all UC students, located anywhere, who may not need traditional counseling, but could still benefit from one-on-one support.   
  • Racial Trauma Resources - A collection of information and campus and community resources for race based stress and trauma.  
  • Reach Out - A free app available for smart phones that provides a wealth of information about mental health and suicide prevention for the UC community.   
  • Student Wellness Center Virtual Resources - A collection of virtual resources, apps, websites, podcasts, articles and more to help you maintain your health and wellness.  
  • Wellness Workshops - Join CAPS for free WebEx workshops on topics related to mental and emotional wellness. You can register for any of these workshops on our Campus Link page. 

Community Mental Health Resources

  • Inclusive Therapists – Inclusive Therapists offers a safer, simpler way to find a culturally responsive, social justice-oriented therapist. They center the needs of marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, the LGBTQ+ community, neurodivergent folx, and people with disabilities.  
  • Psychology Today - Connect with a licensed mental health professional in your community.  
  • Self-Help Tools - Interactive tools and resources provided by Mental Health America.  
  • Therapy Assistance Online -TAO is a free interactive, web-based self-help program that provides online and mobile. Tools to help you overcome the day to day challenges around stressors like anxiety, depression, or other concerns.  
Resources for Latinx Students
Resources for Black Students
Resources for LGBTQ+ Students
  •  The Trevor Project- The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.
  • The LGBT National Help Center- The LGBT National Help Center offers confidential peer support connections for LGBT youth, adults and seniors including phone, text and online chat