A Test of Civil Discourse During Times of Crisis
Time & Location
About the Event
In 2016, following a contentious Presidential campaign season, City Club of Boise partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to organize a series of events exploring civility in our public discourse. The goal of this project, to paraphrase City Club founder Dottie Stimpson, was to "get people to start talking" to each other, and to chart a course for communicating outside of traditional partisan lines.
Now, nearly four years later, we appear to be at another test of civility. The 2020 Presidential election and a global pandemic of historic proportions are once again challenging elected leaders and citizens to talk to talk to each other – not at each other.
We invite you to join us as we revisit civility and civil discourse with a City Club Virtual Conversation looking at the role these principles should play at this moment and time, and the limitations of focusing on civility as a goal.
Melissa Davlin is the host of Idaho Reports and a producer for Idaho Public Television. Prior to that, she was a reporter for the Times-News in Twin Falls. Melissa is vice president of the Idaho Press Club and chairwoman of the IPC First Amendment Committee, which fights for access to public records and meetings for journalists across the state. She attended University of Idaho. She currently lives in Boise with her husband and their two children.
Dr. Stephanie Witt is Director of Training for the School of Public Service at Boise State University. She is also a Professor in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Political Science programs. Her research interests include intergovernmental relations and human resource management. She is the former Editor of the Social Science Journal, and has served as Department Chair, Associate Dean, and the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Nicole Foy is an investigative reporter at the Idaho Statesman. She has been a reporter in the Treasure Valley for almost three years. At the Statesman, Nicole covers government accountability and the Latino community in Idaho and in the agriculture sector. She graduated from Biola University and previously worked for the Idaho Press and the Orange County Register. Her Hispanic affairs beat reporting won first place in the 2018 Associated Press regional awards.
Moderated by Jen Scheider, Interim Associate Dean, Professor, Boise State University School of Public Service.
City Club of Boise will also honor a local high school student at the start of this program. This recognition is typically celebrated at the City Club’s Marilyn Shuler Human Rights Forum, but we are taking the opportunity today so that we can connect with students before the end of the current school year. The certificate of recognition is awarded to a student whose character and work exemplify the spirit of Marilyn Shuler’s commitment to human rights, civil discourse, and informed civic engagement. This year, we commend the service and work of Timberline High School student Blaine Dillingham.
Raised by two moms and proud of it, Blaine Dillingham has grown up loving politics. He has enjoyed working for the last several years to engage the politically disengaged. Through his YouTube channel, Next Gen Politics, he has interviewed teachers to showcase civil discourse, experts to make policy issues more accessible, and young strangers to build a bandwagon of civic engagement. As President of Young Democrats at Timberline, he has hosted guest speakers such as Representative Ilana Rubel and Mayor Bieter, held policy discussions, and planned debate watch parties to redefine how young people view politics. Blaine’s Independent Service Project for National Honor Society also aims to redefine politics for students by organizing them to push the Boise School Board to commit to a feasibility study on starting school later in the morning. And through his role on the YMCA’s Youth in Government State Committee, he seeks to maximize student enjoyment of the mock legislature program so as to boost interest in government.
This program will be delivered online using the Zoom platform.
This program is free, thanks to the support of our generous sponsors. City Club of Boise's Premier Sponsor is Northwest Nazarene University and the NNU College of Business and our Annual sponsor is St. Luke's Health Systems.
We’re happy to offer these free opportunities for people to safely connect and engage during these unprecedented times. Your contribution today, in any amount, will ensure we can continue to create the conversations that bring our community together. Donate here.