Symposium on Civil Discourse

IUPUI’s annual spring Symposium on Civil Discourse encourages a sustained focus on civil discourse and fostering a civil community within the IUPUI campus culture.  Each year’s symposium focuses on a topic that explores issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion in an environment where every voice can be heard.  Through keynote speakers, break-out and poster sessions, faculty presentations of scholarly works, and other learning opportunities, the Symposium seeks to present models for civil discourse for campus community members to consider as they engage in important and challenging conversations about and respond to issues and events impacting the campus, nation and world.

Past and planned themes for the Civil Discourse Symposium include:

2016: April 4, 1968

Keynote: James Still, Playwright, April 4: 1968, Before We Forgot How to Dreamjames_still

James Still reflected on his experiences in researching and writing his play about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedys’ powerful speech in Indianapolis, and what we can learn from this event as we experience significant political, social and cultural change today.  This Symposium was held on April 4, 2016.

2017: Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (working title)

This symposium will focus on the impacts that students and others face as they engage in social media, including experiences with online harassment, cyber-bullying and “monstering.”  It will also provide reflections, tools and strategies for managing and responding to such experiences.

2018: April 4, 1968 Revisited (working title)

This symposium will capitalize on the success of the 2016 symposium and also provide further reflection upon the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy’s speech.  Among the events planned will be a reader’s theater of James Still’s play, April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream.