To say that this is a unique and challenging time in American political history is an understatement of almost hilarious magnitude. Deceit, anger, racism, sexism, and countless other forces are sowing deep divisions within our country. But our time at Sanford is proving there are dedicated, compassionate, and impressively smart students—from both sides of the aisle—who want to find a way forward. 

The current political climate has thrown into sharp relief the enduring importance of expertise and empathy. Data collection, research, storytelling, and effective advocacy are becoming more important by the day. Communication is currency for today’s policy professionals.

To be understood, you must first be heard.

But to express anything online is to open one’s self—and one’s ideas—to criticism. But policy does not exist in a vacuum, and our desire to address hard questions is greater than our fear of how others might respond.

Policy touches everything. And while we have the great privilege of studying policy at Sanford, we take comfort in knowing policy is shaped across the country in town halls, on school boards, and each time a person votes. Each person has the power to affect policy.

But to affect it, one must first understand it.

Our goal is that this space will contribute to an ongoing dialogue about both the direction of policy and the nature of public discourse.

But more than that, we wish to empower anyone reading these words to understand the role of policy in their own life, and enable them to make their voice heard in the democratic process.