Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Jan. 24, 1997

Institute examines civil discourse

"Civil Discourse in a Democracy" will be examined during the 1997 Institute on National Affairs Feb. 3-10 in the Memorial Union.

The keynote address on "Teaching Tolerance" will be presented by Morris Dees at 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 3, in the Sun Room. Dees is the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit group that specializes in lawsuits involving civil rights violations and racially motivated crimes. The group has won a $7 million judgment against the Ku Klux Klan.

Dees also is the author of Gathering Storm: America's Militia Threat; A Season for Justice; and Hate on Trial: The Case Against America's Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. His film, A Time for Justice, won the 1995 Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.

There will be noon and evening lectures throughout the week. Among the speakers will be Osha Gray Davidson, author of The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South, which has been nominated for both the Robert S. Kennedy Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He will discuss "Race and Redemption."

Winona Laduke will discuss "A Native Perspective." She is the program director of the Seventh Generation Fund's Environmental Program, a Native American advocacy organization, and campaign director of the White Earth Recovery Project, a reservation-based, land-acquisition, environmental advocacy and cultural organization.

Michael Lux, senior vice president of People for the American Way, a nonpartisan constitutional liberties organization founded in 1980 to counter the Religious Right, will talk on "Religion and Politics: A National Perspective." Lux also served at the White House as special assistant to the president for public liaison, working on health care and budget issues.

Former editor of the Des Moines Register Geneva Overholser will give a speech titled "The Press: Tearing Us Apart, Bringing us Together." Overholser currently is the ombudsman at The Washington Post.

Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourner magazine, will discuss "A Crisis of Civility." Soujourner examines issues of faith, politics and culture.

Events will conclude with Theodore J. Lowi, professor at Cornell University and author of The End of Liberalism; The Politics of Disorder; American Government: Incomplete Conquest; and The End of the Republican Era. His talk, on "The Definition and Redefinition of American Ideology in the 20th Century," will be at noon Monday, Feb. 10 in the Sun Room. He also will discuss "The Consequences of the New Conservatism" at 8 p.m. in the Sun Room.

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