About Day of Dialogue
Day of Dialogue is a nationwide, free-speech initiative and website for students in public schools and colleges. Sponsored by Focus on the Family, the initiative equips students to exercise their religious freedoms on campus—and is designed to empower Christian students who have a heart for sharing Christ’s love and express a biblical perspective on current-day issues with peers. Participation in Day of Dialogue events is voluntary and student-directed—meaning it’s completely up to students, Christian clubs and students in youth groups to register online, download the free guides, and then lead the activities at their schools.
As you will see constantly reflected on the website, the heart of the initiative is to equip students to express the model presented by Jesus Christ in the Bible—who didn’t back away from speaking truth, but neither held back in pouring out His compassionate love for hurting and vulnerable people and defending those people from harm. At the same time, no student should feel like they have to hide their faith when they walk in the school door. That’s why it’s so important to carve out a safe space for thousands of Christian students to exercise their free speech rights. “We believe truth rises to the surface when honest conversations and a free exchange of ideas are allowed to happen,” said Candi Cushman, facilitator of Day of Dialogue and Focus on the Family’s education analyst.“It equips the next generation of Christian leaders with confidence that the Gospel of Christ speaks into even the most sensitive cultural issues.”
During Day of Dialogue events, thousands of students exercise their First Amendment rights to distribute Conversation Cards, put up posters and engage in other free-speech activities that communicate a grace-filled, biblical perspective. A key partner of Day of Dialogue is Alliance Defending Freedom, who provides free legal assistance to students who want to participate in the event, but whose rights are deemed to have been violated and have encountered unconstitutional censorship at their school.
This event equips students to exercise their freedom to share their deeply held biblical beliefs about God’s design for marriage and sexuality in a loving and respectful manner–especially when these topics are already being addressed in a one-sided manner on campus. The event carves out a safe place for faith-based perspectives and ensures that Christian students have a place at the table and an equal opportunity to share their viewpoint. The first Day of Dialogue occurred on April 18, 2011. “We’re helping to ensure Christian students have the chance to express their viewpoint,” said Cushman at the time. “What is freedom of speech, after all, but a guarantee of the right to have dialogue?”
Day of Dialogue also gives families and church leaders a key opportunity to engage with the youth in their life and discuss hot-button cultural topics in a way that equips teens to navigate difficult situations in their everyday life—and also empowers them with confidence to articulate their biblical worldview. A key way for parents and youth leaders can get started is to visit our Parent and Pastor sections.
I Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
And that’s what the Day of Dialogue equips teens to do.