Inside USD

Civility on Display

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) will host the 2nd Annual Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue on Wednesday, February 20, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the University’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ).

USD President Mary E. Lyons, PhD, and Carl Luna, PhD, professor of Political Science at San Diego Mesa College, invite the San Diego community to attend the conference which seeks to explore the ways in which civility can be promoted and restored in public discourse and in future political campaigns.

“You can see the rise of huge incivility in our national debate — just look at the vitriol in last fall’s campaigns and every day on the Internet, talk radio and cable news,” Luna explained. “You even see it locally, as with our most recent dust-ups between the mayor and city council. Incivility divides us, turns us into hostile tribes incapable of compromise when we the people should be looking out for the good of the republic as a whole.”

The discussion will be moderated by Luna and will include remarks from Reverend George Walker Smith, Founder of the Catfish Club of San Diego; Mary E. Lyons; and Constance Carroll, PhD, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.

Organizers hope that the conference will get the San Diego community thinking and talking about the need to increase civility in our public dialogue and to develop principles of civility San Diegans can pursue in public debate. Luna states that the overall goal is to help make San Diego America’s most civil community.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post (pictured, left) will deliver remarks as the conference’s keynote speaker. Panelists include Jeff Light, editor for U-T San Diego; Martha Barnette, co-host of Public Radio’s A Way With Words; Marty Block, former California State Senator; Maria Nieto Senour, PhD, psychology professor at San Diego State University; and 10News anchor Virginia Cha.

The event is free and open to the public.

– Melissa Wagoner

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