Our Spring Series

in partnership with 

Logo: Kent District Library

Cultivating Community

through Civil Discourse

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan is pleased to partner with the Kent District Library on a three-part series that explores ways to make our community one that’s characterized by civility and respect for all.


Wyoming Branch, Kent District Library

3350 Michael Ave. SW, Wyoming, MI 49409


6:30-7:30 p.m.

Public invited. No reservations needed.

Free admission. Free parking.

Additional sponsorship

of this series

Sponsor logo of Henry Institute
Sponsor logo of Warner Norcross & Judd

Tuesday, April 10:  

“Searching for a Reconfigured ‘We the People’:

Embracing Counter Narratives for Just and Civil Discourse”

David Hooker, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

University of Notre Dame



Picture of speaker Dr. David Hooker

In a period of polarized political discourse, are there ways to share our stories and hear the stories of others that support more inclusive communities? David Anderson Hooker, a community builder with more than 30 years experience all across the globe will initiate a conversation that allows participants to wrestle with these issues. Audience members will come away with tools to engage more civilly.

Tuesday, April 17:

“The Loss of American Consensus:

Were We Better Off with the Cold War and

without the Internet?”   

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio

Picture ofSpeake Jack Lessenberry

Jack Lessenberry is a  journalist at Michigan radio with nearly forty years of experience in every medium from newspapers to the internet. He covered the Soviet Union and arms control issues long ago, and looks at how and why what we had in common eroded -- and suggests ways in which we could get a sense of community back, using media literacy as a starting point.  

Tuesday, April 24:

“Portraits of American Muslims: 

Civility in a Pluralistic Community”

Sarrah Buageila, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

Pictur of Speaker Sarrah Buageila

When nearly half of all Americans do not know a Muslim and 80 percent of news coverage about Islam and Muslims in the U.S. is negative, is it any wonder that conversations about this group are contentious, fractious, and often uncivil? Sarrah Buageila, researcher for the Muslims for American Progress Project, sheds light on Muslim Americans in Michigan, pairing hard facts with human faces.