Our Team

Each Dialogue features thought leaders who have moved the dial on public policy. They are legislators, attorneys taking cases to the United States Supreme Court, and scholars who advise lawmakers in state capitols and the US Congress.  These established experts are joined by esteemed members of the university or local community, who moderate the discussion.  

At each #TMD, our Dialogue Catalysts and your school's student winners give their insights on making the world more tolerant. Then we open it up for audience discussion.  The scholarship winners’ essays form the foundation for the Dialogue, making each unique to the host university and community.


Dialogue Catalysts


Executive Director

 Hannah Burnett  University of Nebraska Class of 2018  Master's of Fine Arts - Creative Writing

Hannah Burnett

University of Nebraska Class of 2018

Master's of Fine Arts - Creative Writing


Dialogue Moderators


Law and Dialogue Ambassadors


Public Deliberation and Engagement Experts

Are you an undergraduate student interested in interning as a Law and Dialogue Ambassador while earning class credit at the same time?

Partnering Organizations

The Tolerance Means Dialogues act cooperatively with ongoing initiatives at our partnering host institutions.  For example, at Loras College, we have partnered with the Intercultural Programs Office.  At the University of Pittsburgh, our inaugural Dialogue became part of the University’s Year of Diversity.

The brainchild of Professors Robin Wilson and Bill Eskridge, the Dialogues consciously partner with stakeholders in the community who care deeply about how differences in society may be more constructively embraced.  These groups range from advocates for religious groups and people of faith to groups seeking nondiscrimination protections for members of the LGBT community.

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Loras College supports a multicultural understanding that weaves the Loras College commitment to diversity into the educational, spiritual, academic, cultural, and social fabric of the campus. We fulfill this mission by providing leadership in education that celebrates individual differences of people within the Loras and Dubuque community by providing support for the tapestry of ideas and experience to which each person contributes to its overall environment. In facilitation of such endeavors, we especially encourage students of minority and international backgrounds to participate in its support effort focused on mentoring and leadership development to strengthen their overall educational experience.


THE FEDERALIST Society for Law and Public Policy

The Tolerance Means Dialogues have partnered with local chapters of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy at Concordia University, the University of Iowa College of Law and the University of Illinois. The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order.  It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.  The Society seeks both to promote an awareness of these principles and to further their application through its activities.



The intent of the Worldview Forum Series is to provide the community with the opportunity to practice critical thinking and civil dialogue in the comparison of various worldviews in a professionally moderated, academic environment. It is expected that the forums will help those who attend learn to identify the constitute elements of differing worldviews as well as their implications upon belief and practice.  Past topics have included discussions between Muslims and Christians, the commonalities between the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant faiths, just-war and pacifism, homosexuality, pagan religions, and much more.


1st Amendment Partnership

The mission of the 1st Amendment Partnership is to promote and protect religious freedom for people of all faiths. We represent the common voice of our partnering faith communities that encompass over 80 million Americans. We focus on public policies and education that recognize the profound contribution of faith and religious freedom to the common good.


Cline Center, University of Illinois

The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research is an interdisciplinary research unit of the University of Illinois’ College of Liberal Arts and Sciences directed by Scott Althaus, the Merriam Professor of Political Science and Communication. Its mission is to transform raw information into knowledge that advances human flourishing. By extracting structured data from unstructured text at extreme scales, the Cline Center bridges the gap between engineers developing new technologies and social scientists and humanists working to understand and address pressing societal challenges. The Center currently supports dozens of research projects in a wide array of disciplines—including projects on news discourse and public deliberation related to war, civil disobedience, inequality, and immigration.

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Out!Law educates members regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues in a positive and productive learning atmosphere; promotes a law school environment free from discrimination, bias and intolerance. Out!Law encourages both LGBT and heterosexual students to participate in this learning process


Technology Services Social Media Lab

The Technology Services Social Media Lab is a research support unit of the University of Illinois directed by Joseph Yun, Leader of Social Media Analytics. It endeavors to make social media data and advanced computational analysis methods available for researchers to use regardless of their technical skills. This is accomplished through designing intuitive graphic user interfaces for data collection and analysis and through partnerships with vendors. The Social Media Lab also provides consulting to help researchers design projects that are both effective and ethical in their use of social media data.




The Tolerance Means Dialogues have partnered with local chapters of the Christian Legal Society at St. Thomas and the University of Illinois. Christian Legal Society is dedicated to serving Jesus Christ through the practice and study of law, the defense of religious freedom and life, and the provision of legal aid to the needy.  The St. Thomas School of Law Chapter is co-hosting the dialogue at St. Thomas and the University of Illinois College of Law chapter is co-hosting a Fall 2018 dialogue on Constitution Day.