Civil Discourse Series Held at the Wyoming Branch of Kent District Library

The World Affairs Council of Western Michigan (WACWM) is pleased to partner with the Kent District Library to present a series of programs titled “Cultivating Community through Civil Discourse” on three consecutive Tuesdays in April. The series will take place at the Wyoming Branch of Kent District Library, 3350 Michael Ave. SW.

“If there was ever a time for more focus on civil discourse, I can’t imagine it,” said Michael Van Denend, WACWM’s executive director. “We’re asking three excellent presenters to give our community some ideas about how we might be better at handling contentious topics with truth and grace, with the end goal to build a stronger community by understanding and celebrating our differences.”

The series is as follows:

Tuesday, April 10, 6:30 pm features David Hooker from the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame on “Searching for a Reconfigured ‘We the People.’” Hooker invites audiences to understand the stories that shape our community and how we fit into them, and leaves them with tools for better discourse.

Tuesday, April 17, 6:30 pm features Jack Lessenberry from Michigan Radio on “Were We Better Off with the Cold War and without the Internet?” Lessenberry, a long-time journalist who covered the Soviet Union and arms control issues, examines how and why what we had in common as a nation has eroded—and suggests ways in which we could get a sense of community back.

Tuesday, April 24, 6:30 pm features Sarrah Buageila of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding on “Portraits of American Muslims: Civility in a Pluralistic Community.” Buageila will share recent research done on the Muslim American community in Michigan, shedding light on this religious group so little-known and so often portrayed in a negative light.

Events are free and open to the public. No reservations are needed and there is free parking available. For more information on sessions, dates and times, as well as detailed information on speakers, visit or call 616-776-1721.