Can you ever remember a more contentious election than the one of 2016? People are just dreading November 8 instead of looking forward to exercising their freedom that was so hardly fought for. Even the framers of the Constitution wanted citizens to feel free to discuss what ideas they had to make our democracy even better. And yet today, for whatever reason, we just shut down.
We invite you to open your heads, hearts, and hands in an effort to understand the many sides of this year’s election. By participating in a Civil Dialogue®, either by taking a chair, or just being an attentive audience member, you can exercise your democratic principles.
The Institute of Civil Dialogue and the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication have developed the format known as Civil Dialogue which allows people with differing viewpoints to share those ideas in a civil and safe way. Merely by understanding the rules of civility and being coached through a dialogue by an expert facilitator, you have the opportunities to practice voicing your ideas without attack or criticism.
Civil Dialogues will be held after each of the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. Burton Barr Library will host one on October 4, and Grace Lutheran will sponsor one as the program portion of GLOW on October 19. In these events, we’ll watch the debate live streamed with no commentary and stop the debate as soon as it’s done so as not to hear any commentators or spin doctors tell us who won. Instead, we want to hear your diverse opinions. We’ll address a provocative statement from the debate, allow participants and audience members to have a guided conversation, not in an effort to persuade, but in an effort to achieve mutual understanding for our differing viewpoints. This is a great chance for you to practice your democratic skills prior to the election.
Admission is free of charge, and we encourage you to invite people with differing viewpoints to attend so we can have a robust dialogue.
Because of the timing of the debate, the GLOW meal will begin at 5:00 pm with the program starting at 5:45 pm.