Students Organize Panel For Ways To Discuss Divisive Politics

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The UTC Department of Political Science and Public Service will host an informational seminar called How Do We Respectfully Disagree and Still Be Friends? on Monday from 7-9 p.m. The seminar will  take place in the Chattanooga C room at the UTC University Center. 

All members of the Chattanooga community are invited to attend, listen and give insight. 

The event was organized jointly by a cohort of student political groups across the spectrum at McCallie School and UTC.  The purpose of the event is to bring the local community together to respectfully address sensitive matters of civil discourse in an era of social media and divisive partisanship. 

The evening's discussion and Q&A session will be led by a group of panelists including political science experts, local religious leaders, city government officials, law enforcement professionals and psychologists. Open to the public, this opportunity will bring speakers from broad walks of life to share their insights into healing wounds and having civil conversations about politics.

“As people head home for the holidays, many will encounter uncomfortable, possibly hostile situations where a relative or friend with opposing political views confronts them about their beliefs, said McCallie senior Ahmad Nisar. “Hopefully this event will help uncover ways to diffuse these situations, and redirect the arguments towards respectful discussion of ideas."

Speakers to provide their professional insight on this matter and answer any questions from the audience will include: 

Michelle Deardorff, Ph.D., department head, Political Science and Public Service, UTC 
Chas Barnes, MACMHC, NCC, clinical director, Elbow Tree Neurofeedback, LLC
Tricia Henderson, LPC-MHSP, assistant director, Office of the Dean of Students, UTC
And local civic and religious leaders 


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