The Great Lakes Civility Project, which aims to build civility by teaching people to listen to and understand one another, is expanding from its introductory sessions to host its first “Civility Day” conference on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.
The day-long event will feature a series of panel discussions, led by founders and renowned journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson, as well as experts and politicians, to give individuals a chance to immerse in civility-building and try out tips and tactics.
Speakers and moderators include U.S. Representatives Fred Upton and Debbie Dingell, professors Dr. Anthony Perry, Dr. Tim Kiska and Dr. David Dulio, and lawyer Abed Hammoud. They will also include Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld from the Zekelman Holocaust Center, Barbara L. Jones from Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Glenn McIntosh from Oakland University, Lisa Nguyen from Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, and Gary Torgow from Huntington National Bank.
“The last decade has been one of the most politically and emotionally divisive in American history, and as we get closer to midterm elections, those tensions will continue to rise,” Henderson said. “Confrontation happens when civility breaks down, and it’s more important than ever for Americans to be able work through disagreements in a respectful, productive manner.”
“A huge part of civility requires seeing the other person as human and trying to understand where they are coming from,” Finley said. “Our goal is to teach people how to truly listen to one another to move past conflict and work together more effectively. You don’t have to agree – but listening to understand is key.”
- Opening Session + Civility in Action with Stephen Henderson, Nolan Finley, and Oakland University Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer, Glenn McIntosh, moderated by Margaret Trimer from Delta Dental of Michigan
- Having Difficult Political Conversations with Fred Upton and Rep. Debbie Dingell, moderated by Lisa Nguyen, Delta Dental Senior Special Projects and Public Relations Officer, Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson.
- The History of Dehumanization panel featuring Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld from the Zekelman Holocaust Center, moderated by Stephen Henderson and/or Nolan Finley
- Why Does Politics Make Us So Mad? Putting Politics in Perspective with Anthony Perry, political science professor from Henry Ford College, Barbara L. Jones from Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies; Dr. Tim Kiska, Associate Professor of Communication from University of Michigan-Dearborn; and lawyer Abed Hammoud, moderated by David Dulio, from Oakland University’s Center for Civic Engagement
The conference will take place from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Oakland University’s Oakland Center at 312 Meadow Brook Road, Rochester, Mich. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. The first 100 participants will attend free of charge, courtesy of a sponsorship from Delta Dental.
Additional Civility Day sponsors include Huntington Bank and Oakland University.
Registration and additional information are available at https://calendar.oakland.edu/polisci/event/5791.