Guest Speaker: National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Jim Leach

The Village Square and Florida Humanities Council Host National Endowment for the Humanities Chair Jim Leach
Leach launches 50-state Civility Tour

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – January 8, 2009 — On Tuesday, January 12, local non-profit The Village Square and The Florida Humanities Council will host a lecture by National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman Jim Leach as a part of a 50-state Civility Tour.

Leach’s lecture “Civility and Bridging Cultures” addresses the causes and consequences of the coarsening national political dialog. Leach warns “the temper and integrity of the political dialogue are more important for the cohesiveness of society than the outcome of any election.” According to Leach, transformational changes in communications technology, gerrymandered redistricting and stubborn qualities of human nature have resulted in under-representation of the vast American center in our public discourse and a potentially dangerous lack of civility in social life.

Leach served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 30 years as a Republican from Iowa. Prior to his appointment by President Obama to serve as NEH Chair, he was the John L. Weinberg Visiting Professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He also served as the interim director of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

The Village Square, a nonpartisan 501(c) 3 public educational forum organized by a diverse group of community leaders, seeks to improve the factual accuracy and civility of our public discourse at a community level. Co-founded by former City Commissioner Allan Katz and Tallahassee Community College President Bill Law, a list of board members can be found here: http://www.tothevillagesquare.org/board-of-directors.

The event is from 7 to 8 PM on Tuesday January 12 at the Challenger Learning Center on Kleman Plaza downtown. It is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP call 509-5236 or go online to www.tothevillagesquare.org/.

Additional biographical information about Chairman Leach and tools & resources for growing civil discourse locally can be found at The Village Square website www.tothevillagesquare.org.