Skip to main content


Nominations for the Newsweek-Stubblefield Institute Civility Award are now in review. Thank you to all who submitted nominations!  Learn more

When differing viewpoints are respected and considered in ways that avoid labeling, alienation and silencing, it can strengthen our nation’s ability to solve problems.

The Stubblefield Institute studies and promotes civil political discourse.

Results and Outcomes

Results and Outcomes

Increasing polarization, divisive rhetoric, and decreasing trust in our governments have led to rising rates of political violence. The 24/7 news cycle blares out information that confirms our biases and drives us further apart. Politicians are hesitant to engage in honest debate, fearful that they will be castigated by their own party if they say something off the party script.

The result is fear, anger, and distrust, BUT we can change this narrative.

The Stubblefield Institute demonstrates how authentic and factual civil discourse across partisan divides leads to increased empathy, more productive debate, and innovative solutions.

In the classroom, the Institute trains the next generation of political, media, and public policy communicators who will one day be on the front lines of message development and delivery.

On campus, the Institute offers opportunities for students across fields of study to develop the skills to engage in effective civil discourse with a focus on community leadership and civil advocacy.

In the community, the Institute convenes public forums featuring diverse perspectives and hosts political debates that invite politicians into candid conversations for an informed electorate.

Donate to the
Stubblefield Institute Today!

Explore Civil Discourse

Welcome to the Stubblefield Institute
where civil engagement meets civic engagement

A non-partisan collaboration of experienced political science scholars, successful practitioners, students, and engaged civic activists, the Stubblefield Institute is located at Shepherd University, on the banks of the Potomac River separating Maryland and West Virginia—an area steeped in Revolutionary and Civil War history that is only 75 miles from Washington, DC.