Engaging in dialogue across ideological divides and seeking common ground during hyper-polarized times
Florida Gulf Coast University is hosting a virtual debate today on Affirmative Action in University Admissions and the Cost of Higher Education. It’s the first of a series of events being held by the university’s new Office of Public Policy Events which was created in response to legislation passed earlier this year (HB 951) that, in part, mandates that Florida’s public colleges and universities host events and speakers from a range of diverging opinions on public policy issues.
The debate’s two participants definitely hold diverging opinions on many, if not most issues. Dr. Cornel West is a progressive professor and author, and currently an Independent candidate for president; and Robert George is a conservative legal scholar and political philosopher, and Founding Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.
The debate is moderated by Dr. Christopher Phillips. He’s founder and executive director of Democracy Cafe, and author of a number of books, including his first — the international bestseller Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy, published in 2001 — and his most recent Soul of Goodness: Transform Grievous Hurt, Betrayal, and Setback into Love, Joy and Compassion.
Dr. Phillips has devoted his life to facilitating thoughtful and inclusive conversations among people of all walks of life, from all around the world, about deep and meaningful issues.
He stopped by the studio ahead of the virtual debate to chat about his process preparing for this sort of event, and to explore his views on the hyper-polarized time we find ourselves in.
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