Great Conversations kick-off event: ‘Civic Engagement and Governance in a Polarized Society’

Story by Shannon Dale

In an era of political division, opposing parties engaging in a respectful, meaningful conversation can seem like an impossible feat.

Gov. Bill Ritter
Gov. Bill Ritter

But the liberal arts have long celebrated diverse voices and civil discussion. And to encourage just that, the College of Liberal Arts will host a free, public conversation called Civic Engagement and Governance in a Polarized Society on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The program will feature a panel of exceptional liberal arts alumni and faculty: former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (’79); former New York Times Public Editor and now Facebook consultant Liz Spayd (’81); John Straayer, professor of political science; and Albert Bimper, associate professor of ethnic studies and senior associate athletic director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement in the Department of Athletics.

This discussion-in-the-round will focus on the importance of civic dialogue to strengthen our community. Panelists will discuss how to address the perception of the deep polarization of the American people and will explore our reality going forward. The audience will be invited to ask questions.

Elizabeth Spayd
Elizabeth Spayd

“We believe that one way forward at this time of incivility and divide is to demonstrate how liberal arts disciplines and skills can produce better understanding,” says College of Liberal Arts Dean Ben Withers, moderator of the panel. “It is part of our land-grant mission to serve all the people of Colorado, and we can do so by looking more closely at both the symptoms and root causes of our contemporary civic situation.”

Join this exciting Great Conversations event. Register online today at https://advancing.colostate.edu/GREATCONVERSATIONSSEPT2017.

Great Conversations, a 22-year-old program within the College of Liberal Arts, invites a community of engaged leaders to participate in lively discussion around the latest scholarship out of the College.

The details

Topic: Civic Engagement and Governance in a Polarized Society

Speakers: Former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (’78); former New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd (’81); John Straayer, professor of Political Science; and Albert Bimper, associate professor of ethnic studies and senior associate athletic director for Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement in the Department of Athletics.

Location: Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center at the new stadium, 701 W. Pitkin St., Fort Collins

Time: Doors open at 6 p.m., program begins at 6:30 p.m.

The event has reached capacity. You can be added to the waitlist by RSVPing at this link: http://col.st/f0OAw

For more information on Great Conversations membership and the upcoming kick-off event, please visit http://col.st/7VqXs or contact Savannah Kacher at Savannah.Kacher@colostate.edu or (970) 491-4030.

CSU University Communications Staff