Home Featured News Grand Valley State University to Hold Civil Discourse Cafe Symposium

Grand Valley State University to Hold Civil Discourse Cafe Symposium

(photo courtesy of Grand Valley State University)

By Daylyn Huff

Grand Valley State University is hosting their sixth annual Civil Discourse Cafe Symposium on Nov. 19 and Grand Rapids Community College students are welcome to join in on the discussion. 

The topic of discussion is complicated conversations. They hope to create an interactive, respectful and a peace-based dialogue around specific topics that would be difficult to talk about on a day to day basis. The symposium will focus on four story tellers, with two topics, civil discourse and water.

“Guest speakers will share stories about civil discourse around environmental issues like water equity and climate change,” stated Elizabeth Arnold, an associate professor of Anthropology at GVSU, in an email interview with The Collegiate. 

Arnold explained the importance of how story-telling can improve communication skills when dealing with tough topics and how society cannot function if people refuse to speak to others who share different points of views.

“This interactive event will focus on practicing civil discourse with one another as we share a variety of perspectives around issues of water and equity in our local and global communities.” Arnold stated. 

Peter Sinclair, a videographer who specializes in climate change and renewable energy, along with Lin Bardwell, who is a Program Assistant for the Division of Inclusion and Equity at GVSU will be guest speakers at the event.

Arnold said the event is an opportunity for  students, faculty and staff to join in on the conversation.

Civil Discourse Cafe: Complicated Conversations takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Tues. Nov. 19, at the Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton St, on the PEW Grand Rapids Campus.