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How can we engage ethical issues in public life?

This site is a way to learn about and engage in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, and cross-campus project at the University of Florida to explore the ethical dimensions of controversial contemporary problems. Through teaching, research, and public engagement, we hope to develop better ways to understand what is at stake in these issues, to facilitate constructive reflection and dialogue about them, and to support effective action toward the common good.

Our project is part of the University of Florida Intersections program, organized by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere and made possible with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

News and Events

Student Ethics Cafes

Are you interested in learning more about controversial public issues, by talking about them with other students in a comfortable environment? Come to an Ethics Cafe! Ethics Cafes provide a friendly, informal setting for students to wrestle with hard moral questions. This fall, the Intersections group on Ethics in the Public Sphere will offer three Cafes where students can talk about contentious issues like immigration, education reform, and climate change. No previous training is necessary – bring an open mind, willingness to listen and share, and a desire to learn from your peers.

This spring, we will have three ethics cafes on campus. They are open to all students. All events will take place from 3 to 4:30 pm in Smathers 100.

  • Monday, Jan 20: Free Speech on Campus. Moderator April Hines, Smathers Libraries
  • Tuesday, March 17, Gender violence. Moderator: Dr Kim Walsh-Childers, Journalism
  • Tuesday, April 7, Reparations. Moderator: Dr. Rachel Grant, Journalism

Public Ethics Events

We will also host three public events at the Thomas Center, located at 302 NE 6th Ave. in downtown Gainesville. All are free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Public Ethics Panel: Immigration Reform

Wednesday, March 11, 7:00-8:30 pm
Moderator: Alexandra Cenatus, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere
Panelists will include Sy Green (Asylum Seeker), Adrian Hayes-Santos (Gainesville City Commissioner), and Herman Younger (UF ’19).

Public Ethics Panel: Climate Change

Wednesday, April 1, 7:00-8:30pm, the Thomas Center,
Moderator: Alexandra Cenatus, Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere
Panelists: Nkwanda Jah (Cultural Arts Coalition), Jim McFarlane (Climate Reality Leadership Corp), Marihelen Wheeler (Alachua County Commission), and Anton Kernohan (Climate Action Gators).

Public Ethics Cafe: Discussing Wealth Inequality in Gainesville

Wednesday, April 15, 7:00-8:30pm
Moderators: Dr. Jaime Ahlberg, Philosophy, and Dr. Anna Peterson, Religion

Last, we will host a Student Research Symposium to showcase student research on Religion, Ethics, and Gender. The symposium will take place on Thursday, April 16, 10:00-3:00 pm, in the Reitz Union – please check back for the room.