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Join Wayne State for “The Art of Civil Discourse"

Published Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

A campus-community conversation about dialogue.

Are you ready to learn how to put the “social” back in social media? Are you tired of being tired of the awful ways people talk to one another? Wayne State College will host a campus-community conversation on "The Art of Civil Discourse" from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Frey Conference Suite of the Kanter Student Center.

The event is open to Wayne State staff, faculty, students, and members of the community who want to learn how they can improve the culture of dialogue in our families, communities, and country. This group conversation event will allow participants to get to know each other as members of this community; discover how to hear and be heard; rediscover the “social in social media”; and enjoy a face-to-face encounter with fellow citizens.

For this event, 2017 TEDx Lincoln Speaker Kim Roth Howe of CoCreative Labs will co-facilitate a conversation with campus and community members to explore meaning and gain skills supporting the “The Art of Civil Discourse.”

According to Howe’s TEDx biography, “By day, Kim is the founding principal at CoCreative Labs, providing group facilitation and consulting for organizations seeking inclusive decision-making and authentic stakeholder engagement. By night, she is an annoyingly involved neighbor with a fierce belief in the power of community and connection across difference.”

CoCreative Labs’ clients have included Heartland United Way, Lutheran Family Services, American Cancer Society, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the City of Omaha, and a variety of other clients from the nonprofit, health/medicine, education, public/government, and community sectors.

Howe will be joined at the event by co-facilitator Stuart Chittenden. Chittenden is a self-described British expatriate who has called Omaha home for the past 10 years.

“I have come both to appreciate and to be curious about the state beyond the city. I believe that conversation helps us to live better and well, as individuals, families, and communities,” Chittenden says in his biography on his website, www.830nebraska.com. “Driven by that belief, I founded Squishtalks (www.squishtalks.com) to design and deliver conversation programs for corporate and non-profit organizations, for public and community purposes. Corporate clients have included Woodmen of the World, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska, First National Bank, Mutual of Omaha and Kiewit. Non-profit and community partners have included Justice for our Neighbors, Habitat for Humanity, Nebraska Appleseed, Joslyn Art Museum, Non-Profit Association of the Midlands, Film Streams, The Kent Bellows Studio, Girl Scouts of Nebraska and the Omaha Young Professionals Council.”

Pre-registration for the event is not required, though participants are encouraged to complete a survey prior to attending the event. The survey, which can be found at www.wsc.edu/civildiscourse, will provide participants with an overview of the goals and importance of the event and provide our facilitators with some preliminary information to help them personalize this conversation to participant interests. Participation in the survey does not commit you to participate, is not required for participation, and is open to all regardless of attendance. 

“The Art of Civil Discourse” is free. Light refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please contact Dr. Barbara Engebretsen at 402-375-7044 or baengeb1@wsc.edu.