TMC

THE MILL CENTER

Defuse.
Investigate.
Build.

We turn down the heat on controversial topics so educators and students can untangle complex issues together.

What is The Mill Center?

The Mill Center is a non-profit organization that works in educational settings to teach the skills needed to inspire intellectual risk-taking, expand empathy, and deepen conversations.

What Drives Us

“It often feels like we are exchanging ignorance rather than knowledge when we discuss controversial issues. As students, we are not primed to have healthy intellectual discussion.”
 -Sian, age 16
In recent years, it has become more difficult to build bridges across ideological divides. Too many people affirm their beliefs by surrounding themselves with media, social groups, and institutions that shield them from contrasting perspectives. Dismissing divergent ideas (and the people who hold them) as wrong-headed or ill-intentioned has become common.
We are also prone to self-censorship, which makes building bridges even harder. According to the New York Times, more than 60% of 18-34 year olds in America have held back opinions in the past year for fear of retaliation. In another survey, 63% of college students agreed that the climate on their campus prevents people from saying things that they believe.
We need a new model for engaging with complex issues.
Building stronger and more compassionate communities requires us to understand the underlying logic of others’ opinions, even those with whom we disagree. It also requires us to see the possibility that our own deeply held beliefs may not always be right.
In order to build better solutions to our global challenges, we need a diversity of thought, ideas, and approaches. We need people who can think in ways that are curious, constructive, surprising, and brave.
At The Mill Center, we advance this kind of thinking.
Developing stronger and more compassionate communities requires us to understand the perspectives and underlying logic of others’ opinions, even those with whom we disagree. It requires us to be willing and able to challenge our own deeply held beliefs. In order to build better solutions to our global challenges, we need a diversity of thought, ideas, and approaches. We need people who can think in ways that are creative, constructive, surprising, and brave.
We work to activate these kinds of thinkers.

What We Offer

Research

Projects that explore people’s experiences with expressing different perspectives and capture best practices for creating open and tolerant learning communities

Learning Resources

Multimedia tools that use real-world examples and frameworks to build a more open classroom culture

Training

Learning sessions for educators who want to create the conditions for classroom conversations that expand students’ knowledge-building capacities

Testimonials
What students have said about The Mill Center’s approach:

Advance Praise for Our Teacher Institute!

Our Partners

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