How Did We Get So Rude?
Promoting Civility in Public Discourse


Two Sessions: Wednesdays, Sept. 19, 26; 9:30-11 AM

Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church, DM

Cost: $18

Class Limit: 100


The diminution of the quality of public discourse is more than an annoyance: it is a serious problem for our country. Our willingness to become personally involved in the caucus process requires that we take time to understand issues, to attend events, to work for candidates and to hold candidates to standards of civil communication. The first session will examine how we became so rude and the factors that have increased the difficulty of civil discourse. We will have an interactive discussion on listening to each other—developing listening skills. The second session will provide ideas and practices which will help each of us as citizens renew positive, productive dialogue and effectively facilitate tough, yet civil, conversations.


Instructor Mary Kramer is an Iowa native who studied music and education at the University of Iowa. An educator and administrator in Iowa public schools, she also had a corporate career with Younkers and Wellmark before entering politics. Ambassador Kramer rose through the ranks in the Iowa Senate, ultimately serving as Senate President in 1997-2003. President Bush appointed her US Ambassador to the Seven Island Nations of the Eastern Caribbean, a post she served in from 2004 to 2006. Ambassador Kramer was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2017 she was appointed to the Iowa Senate as a workplace culture advisor.




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