Lunch with 12 Strangers

October 16, 2013

Last week, I participated in an initiative at James Madison University called "Lunch with 12 Strangers." Run by JMUTeach (a program designed to create teaching opportunities for students), the effort brings together nine students and three faculty member to dialogue together over food. Although I did know one of the other faculty members, it was mostly the idea of bringing together strangers to practice the art of civil discussion on difficult topics. Our overarching theme for the discussion was the topic "Is Morality Objective?" After an opening discussion about if there is a universal set of ethics, the materials to guide our discussion then included five short case studies with ethics-focused questions. Topics ranged from classroom ethics to politics to religious/cultural practices. It was an interesting discussion, but mainly it was good to see students coming together to discuss important issues.