Hughes Center Joins Initiative to Revive Civility
Galloway, N.J. - The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at Stockton University is partnering with a national organization dedicated to returning civility to political dialogue.
As part of the Initiative to Revive Civility, a program of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, the Hughes Center will hold small-group and community discussions about civility in our political conversations during the 2020 election year. The Hughes Center was recently named as a Revive Civility partner.
Members of the public will be invited to participate in dialogue about how to reduce the hostility and polarization found in political talk today. Sessions will also be offered to Stockton University students, said John Froonjian, interim executive director of the Hughes Center.
“It’s important for students to know there was a time when people could disagree over politics and not call each other names,” Froonjian said. “We welcome their ideas on how we can return to more civil conversation.”
Froonjian said involvement in the program is an appropriate way to practice the civil civic engagement exemplified by the late Ambassador William J. Hughes, who passed away on Oct. 30.
Former New Jersey Governor Christie Whitman is an honorary national co-chair of the NICD, whose advisory board is chaired by former President Bill Clinton and includes former U.S. Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and Colin Powell, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and other bipartisan political leaders.
Whitman and former Governor Jim Florio will receive Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Hughes Center Honors program at the historic Seaview Hotel in Galloway on Nov. 14. The program recognizes outstanding New Jersey leaders. Other honorees include Mark Giannantonio, Sharon Schulman and Ike Ejikeme.
“I was a newspaper reporter who covered the Whitman administration in Trenton,” Froonjian said. “I saw first-hand how inclusive, tolerant and respectful the governor was to a great diversity of people.”
The nonpartisan National Institute for Civil Discourse (nicd.arizona.edu) was established in 2011 after the tragic shooting in Tucson that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
It created its Initiative to Revive Civility (revivecivility.org) in 2017 as a national effort to change the tone of modern politics by proposing strategies and programs to elevate political speech. The institute’s programs are aimed at individuals, politicians and agencies.
The NICD partners with organizations that pledge to promote civility, hold community conversations and work with government and news media to spread the word. The Hughes Center was formally listed as a Revive Civility partner in early November (revivecivility.org/partners).
Froonjian said the Hughes Center will begin promoting public dialogue sessions by January. He said the center may also participate and involve the public and students in other civility programs sponsored by the NICD.
About the Hughes Center
The William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy (www.stockton.edu/hughescenter) at Stockton University serves as a catalyst for research, analysis and innovative policy solutions on the economic, social and cultural issues facing New Jersey, and promotes the civic life of New Jersey through engagement, education and research. The center is named for the late William J. Hughes, whose distinguished career included service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Ambassador to Panama and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Stockton. The Hughes Center can be found on YouTube, and can be followed on Facebook @StocktonHughesCenter, Twitter @hughescenter and Instagram @ stockton_hughes_center.
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