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Host a Dialogue
at Your Own Institution

The Tolerance Means Dialogues (TMD) are public discussions designed to bring together students and thought leaders to find more constructive approaches to living together in a pluralistic society. 


TMD is a gift funded project, founded by University of Illinois Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson and Yale Professor William N. Eskridge, Jr. At each event, TMD awards two $750 scholarships (one to an undergraduate student and one to a graduate student) for essays on what tolerance means to them. The winning essayists take center stage at the Dialogue and present alongside the experts who act as catalysts for the Dialogue.  

All students who attend the Dialogue can join in the discussion by tweeting questions and comments to @ToleranceMeans. Prior winners of Dialogues scholarships have been featured in national news outlets like Forbes and the Christian Science Monitor. One student per event will be randomly selected to receive a Social Engagement Prize of $250 for adding to the Dialogue.

How to Host a Dialogue:

Partnering host institutions have the option to convene a single event at their institution, or a coalesced event with another local college or university. Events are often co-sponsored with registered student organizations such as the American Constitution Society, OUTLaw, and the Federalist Society. 


Coalesced events bring two host institutions together in a single platform event or back-to-back events at each host institution. Tolerance scholarship winners from each institution present their award-winning essays to a larger platform.

What the Dialogues fund:


  • Two $750 USD scholarships to students from each host institution

  • A single $250 USD engagement prize at each event

  • Food at the event ($500 for a single event, $1000 for a coalesced event)

  • Travel for TMD Dialogue Catalysts

What the host institution will need to fund: 


  • Venue at host institution

  • Live streaming/recording capabilities

  • Videography and photography

To get in touch with our team about hosting a single or coalesced Dialogue, visit our Get Involved page.

Sample events:


Here are examples of recent coalesced events in South Carolina and Utah: 

  • 2023 Constitution Day Dialogue: Hosted by the University of South Carolina and Benedict College (Click here to view the event)

  • 2023 Utah State Capitol Dialogue: Hosted by the University of Utah and Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School (Click here to view the event)

Here is a standard template for both a single and coalesced Dialogue with a partnering institution, showing how the event is broken down. You can view upcoming and prior events here.

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