Civility in Public Discourse is Subject of National Symposium

March 22, 2013

A slate of nationally known speakers will address the issues of civility in public discourse at a half-day national public policy symposium hosted by the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service at Bradley University on April 16.

The symposium on "Returning Civility to Public Discourse" will take place from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Peplow Pavilion in the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center. Admission is $50 for the general public, and $40 for OLLI members and ICC Adult Community Program participants. Register online at

Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and a 30-year Member of Congress, will give the keynote address. He will discuss “The Importance of Civility in the Public Service Arena” during the 12:15 p.m. luncheon.

The morning sessions will feature discussions of how to constructively communicate, find common ground, and arrive at bipartisan solutions.

The presentations and speakers follow.

Mickey Edwards - Director, Aspen Institute-Rodell Fellowships in Public Leadership and 16-year Member of Congress; “The Parties Versus The People.”

John Fortier - Director, Bipartisan Policy Center; “The New National Commission on Political Reform.”

Donald Wolfensberger - Director, Woodrow Wilson International
Center for Scholars; “Getting Back to Legislating.”

David Yepsen - Director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute; “The Role of Media in Our Lack of Civility.”

Clarine Nardi Riddle & Jonathon Miller - Co-Founders, No Labels; “The No Labels Movement.”

Frank Mackaman - Director, The Dirksen Congressional Center; “Civility in the Golden Age, 1959-1969.”

Dr. Robert Prescott - Chairperson, English Department, Bradley University; “Why Words Matter.”

Dr. Jackie Hogan - Chairperson, Sociology Department, Bradley University; “Why Words Matter.”

The symposium is endowed by the Dirksen Congressional Center in partnership with the IPL. The Institute promotes a return to statesmanship at all levels of government. Its goal is to become a Midwestern think tank advocating for a bipartisan leadership approach to resolve America’s most pressing problems.

Bradley is a top-ranked private, independent university in Peoria, Illinois, offering 6,000 students the choice of more than 100 academic programs. Bradley links academic excellence, experiential learning and leadership development with an entrepreneurial spirit for a world-class education. Its size provides students with extensive resources not available at most private colleges and the personal attention not commonly found at large universities.