Ambassador Allan Katz delivered a lecture on the American Public Square and civility Sept. 17 in Yates 221-222.
Dr. Holiman, professor of political science, delivered an introduction for Ambassador Katz in which he talked about the Ambassador’s record of public service and the new partnership between American Public Square and William Jewell College.
Katz, who served as Ambassador to Portugal during the Obama Administration, spoke about the origins of American Public Square and the organization today.
The initial impetus for the organization came when he worked as a County Commissioner in Tallahassee, Florida after a meeting with the public on a divisive issue.
After witnessing the intensity of this debate, the Ambassador saw a need for organizations that help foster the ability to talk with civility about controversial topics in America. This is a need that he has seen only grow as American public discourse has degraded and coarsened over the ensuing years.
The goal of American Public Square is to foster that civil discourse through a model that invites panelists with opposing views to engage in fact-based conversations on controversial and divisive issues in front of audiences with a broad array of structures in place to try and maintain civility.
After delivering his prepared remarks, Ambassador Katz opened up the floor to questions from the audience. Audience members asked the Ambassador insightful questions on topics ranging from the limits of civility to defining what civility even is.
The event was followed by a reception in the main hall of the Union where audience members were invited to introduce themselves and talk further with Ambassador Katz.
American Public Square will host another event at Jewell on Medicaid Expansion Nov. 4.