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Divisive Presidential Race a Focus of April 18 Conference

SAN DIEGO, CA: With a backdrop of rising anger and frustration permeating the U.S. presidential campaign, the 5th Annual Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue – featuring award-wining journalist and civic educator Alexander Heffner as the keynote speaker – returns April 18 at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.

Heffner, host of the PBS series The Open Mind, is known for his extensive reporting on millennials and the political engagement of young voters. Heffner in 2014 succeeded his grandfather, Richard Heffner, as host of The Open Mind, which was created in 1956 and is the longest-running public affairs interview program on American public television.

The Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue evolved from Restoring Respect, a community initiative that aims to bring civility back to the political process and issues of public importance. It was established by the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD), the University of San Diego’s School of Leadership and Educational Sciences (SOLES), the Catfish Club and others.

“We are particularly delighted to be celebrating our second annual student civility awards,” says Dr. Carl Luna, co-director of Restoring Respect and director of the Mesa/City/Miramar/USD Institute for Civil Civic Engagement. The C6 Awards -- Celebrating Civility Awards: Creating Civility On Our Campuses and In Our Community are conducted in partnership between San Diego Unified School District, SDG&E and a coalition of regional organizations and institutions. High school seniors and juniors from across the SDUSD were invited to demonstrate what civility means to them and how civility may be best expressed across our community. The top student nominees from each participating SDUSD high school will be profiled at the Restoring Respect Conference where the top three scholarship winners will be announced. “The C6 Awards represents an important effort to institutionalize best practices in civil discourse across the educational curriculum,” Luna said.

Panelists include Gene Cubbison, political reporter at NBC 7/39 television; San Diego Mesa College President Dr. Pamela Luster; University of San Diego President Dr. James T. Harris; Dr. Tyrone Howard, Professor of Education at UCLA; Olivia Light, Associated Student Government President at San Diego Miramar College, and closing remarks by SOLES Dean Dr. Nicholas Ladany.

Other speakers and panelists include Dr. Constance M. Carroll, Chancellor of the SDCCD; Dr. Maria Nieto Senour, President of the SDCCD’s Board of Trustees; the Rev. George Walker Smith, founder of the Catfish Club of San Diego and co-chair of Restoring Respect; and Tom Karlo, General Manager at KPBS radio and television.

The April 18 conference is scheduled to run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:00 a.m. USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice is located at 5998 Alcala Park in San Diego. The event is free and open to the public.

The Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue is sponsored by the SDCCD, the University of San Diego, the Catfish Club, the San Diego Unified School District, and The San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego Gas & Electric is the principal program sponsor. To register for the event please visit www.sandiego.edu/restoringrespect/

About the San Diego Community College District
As the second-largest of California’s 72 community college districts, the San Diego Community College District serves approximately 100,000 students annually through three two-year colleges and San Diego Continuing Education. The three colleges, San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College, offer associate degrees and certificates in occupational programs that prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and entry-level jobs. Mesa College also offers a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. Continuing Education offers noncredit adult education at six campuses throughout San Diego.

About the University of San Diego
The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning committed to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and the creation of ethical leaders. Chartered in 1949, the school enrolls approximately 8,300 undergraduate and graduate full-time equivalent students. The University of San Diego has a long history of public service and is recognized as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. The university’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, The School of Business Administration, The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, The School of Law, The School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences, The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education.


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. In February 2016, USD launched the public phase of Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represents the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university and builds upon the strong philanthropic momentum achieved by USD in recent years. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.

Contact:

Pamela Gray Payton
pgray@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4681