College Partners with Civic Organization to Lead Panel Discussions at Republican National Convention | Kent State University

College Partners with Civic Organization to Lead Panel Discussions at Republican National Convention

During the upcoming Republican National Convention, the Kent State University College of Communication and Information (CCI) will partner with Purple America, a national initiative aimed at refocusing the American conversation to a civil, productive and respectful dialogue on common values, to lead discussions important to information and media-related disciplines and democracy.

Located outside of the convention security checkpoint, Purple America’s 2,500-square-foot Purple Tent will feature speakers, panel discussions and roundtables for media, delegates, bloggers, students, politicians, business and civic leaders and anyone who wants to have civil dialogue on a range of topics from noon to 7 p.m. on July 18, 19, and 20 at Jane Addams Business Careers Center on East 30th Street in Cleveland.

Panel topics include (detailed schedule below):

Is Civility Dead? According to media reports, the theme of election politics in 2016 seems to be “Voters are angry.” If this is what public anger produces, we need a better source of civic motivation.

Engaging Millennials: Advocacy and Influence in the Digital Age with Facebook and Twitter. How can millennials use social media to foster a more civil dialogue?

Finding Common Ground: Crossing the Aisle: Major Public Policies Where Parties Share Common Ground in the Next Congress. Are there common values that we share as Republicans and Democrats to unite us?

Polling and Media: Bias in numbers and in the media: The media can promote extremism, hatred and panic to the public, but can it also lead us to greater civility and more productive debate? What you need to know about what’s behind those polling numbers?

“The Purple Tent partnership makes sense because we can address issues relevant to our audiences,” said CCI Dean Amy Reynolds, Ph.D. “How can media play a constructive role in promoting civil discourse? How can we help better educate the public on the critical role of media in providing information to voters and fact-checking candidates? We also need to engage in conversations that remind media professionals that when coverage focuses too heavily on polls and the horse-race aspect of politics voters don’t get the information they need to understand complex issues. The Purple Tent allows for the civil and informed discussion of these kinds of issues. We need more opportunities like this to engage politicians, journalists, civic leaders and others in these important conversations.”

Participating in the Purple Tent activities also gives several CCI students the opportunity to volunteer as live bloggers throughout the events. Follow their commentary on social media at #CCIPurpleTent, #CCIRNC and #Purple4Civilty.

“We hope the Purple Tent is a standing-room-only space all day long,” said Stuart Muszynski, president and CEO of Purple America and Values-in-Action Foundation. “We are really excited to have the Kent State College of Communication and Information as a partner because I can see how it can act as a model for civil dialogue on a major college campus, a model that can become the standard for others across the nation.”

Muszynski shared that through research, its organization discovered 12 shared American values: equality, love and respect, giving back, faith, self-expression, the good life, family, doing the right thing, opportunity, freedom, community and success.

“Our politics may divide us, but our values unite us,” Muszynski said. “This is why it’s important that we have a presence at the convention.”

All sessions are free and open to the public. As of July 5, there are no security checkpoints scheduled and parking is available in surrounding parking areas.

SCHEDULE (as of July 5, 2016)

Where:    Purple Tent located outside of Jane Addams Business Careers Center (2723 E. 30th St., Cleveland, OH 44115)

Monday, July 18

“Community Day” for Cleveland-centered organizations

Tuesday, July 19

  • Noon – 12:30 p.m. – Purple America intro
  • 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Keynote: Michael Steele
  • 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Is Civility Dead? According to media reports, the theme of election politics in 2016 seems to be “Voters are angry.” If this is what public anger produces, we need a better source of civic motivation.
  • Matt Dowd, ABC News, Michael Steel; Juan Williams, Fox News
  • 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Break
  • 2:45 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Finding Common Ground: Crossing the Aisle: Major Public Policies Where Parties Share Common Ground in the Next Congress. Are there common values that we share as Republicans and Democrats to unite us?
  • Stephen Dinan (author), Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform.), Rick Ungar (SIRIUS XM host / Forbes writer), Katie Walsh, (COS, RNC). Moderator: John Steiner, Mediators Foundation
  • 4 p.m. – Meet and Greet

Wednesday, July 20

  • Noon – 12:15 p.m.– Purple America intro
  • 12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. – Keynote
  • 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. – Engaging Millennials: Advocacy and Influence in the Digital Age with Facebook and Twitter. How can millennials use social media to foster a more civil dialogue?
  • Katie Harbath (Facebook), Sam Osbourne, (first-ever digital media director, RNC), Sara Tabatabaie (digital director, Rock the Vote)
  • 2:45 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Polling and Media: Bias in numbers and in the media: The media can promote extremism, hatred and panic to the public, but can it also lead us to greater civility and more productive debate? What you need to know about what’s behind those polling numbers?
  • Kellyanne Conway (pollster, Trump campaign), Kevin Cirilii (The Hill, Bloomberg), David Webb (Sirius XM), Cliff Young (president, Ipsos Polling)
  • 4 p.m. – Meet and greet

About College of Communication and Information
Four academic programs united in July 2002 to establish the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. The Schools of Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design joined in one college to create a unique learning community and to begin a pioneering effort in integrative research and professional practice. The College of Communication and Information continues to build its reputation for collaborative, applied and theoretical research while providing a first-class education for the next generations of communicators and leaders. www.kent.edu/cci

About Purple America
Purple America is a national initiative of Values-in-Action Foundation to re-focus the American conversation to a civil, productive and respectful dialogue around our shared values. Purple America is deeply concerned about the meanness, bullying, hateful speech and disrespectful behavior that has infected our media, neighborhoods, politics, workplaces, schools and communities, and we want to work for a more civil society. www.purpleamerica.us

About Values-in-Action Foundation
Values-in-Action Foundation is a character-building education and training organization. Through school workshops, community events, leadership training and media programs, Values-in-Action empowers teens and adults to build communities of kindness, caring and respect by putting their values-in-action wherever they go.

POSTED: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 4:51pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 7, 2016 - 10:25am