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Lee Hamilton '52 to Discuss Civility and Democracy at National Constitution Center Event

Lee Hamilton '52 to Discuss Civility and Democracy at National Constitution Center Event

March 9, 2011

Also: Lee Hamilton '52 Returns to Alma Mater March 15 as Ubben Lecturer

68602March 9, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — On Saturday, March 26, in Philadelphia, Lee Hamilton will take part in a "public discussion on the future of civility in our democracy, featuring public figures and former politicians from the areas of law and government."  Besides Hamilton, a veteran statesman and 1952 graduate of DePauw University, the panel will include former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell; David Eisner, president and CEO of the National Constitution Center; John G. Palfrey Jr., Henry N. Ess III, professor of law and vice dean at Harvard Law School; and political activist and blogger Keli A. Carender.

The panel will be preceded by welcoming remarks from Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Following the panel, Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver a keynote address on the importance of civility in public discourse. 

The session is part of a two-day program presented by the National Constitution Center, "Can We Talk? A Conversation about Civility and Democracy in 1569America." Other participants include award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns.

The program "is an interactive, interdisciplinary forum that will bring together the best and brightest from such fields as history, government, communications, and political philosophy," according to an announcement. "This renowned group will guide public discussion of the role of dissent and protest throughout American history, and the degree to which dissent can and should be civil. At the close of the event, participants will present guidance on the tools, systems, and best practices that may contribute to productive social and political movements in the future of our nation."

"From the American Revolution to the Civil Rights Movement to present day debates, democratic dissent has been central to our nation's continuing quest to form a 'more perfect Union,'" says Eisner. "During this timely event, we will address ways in which people across the nation can come together to address difficult issues without impeding the vibrancy of our democracy."

Read more here.

Lee H. Hamilton is a Democrat who served 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and co-chaired the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study16052 Group.  He is currently director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

Next Tuesday, March 15, he'll return to DePauw to address "The U.S. Role in the World After Afghanistan and Iraq" in a Timothy and Sharon Ubben Lecture.  Details of the event, which takes place in Meharry Hall of historic East College and is free and open to the public, can be found in this article.

On September 22, 2010, DePauw President Brian W. Casey joined NEH Chairman Leach in an Indianapolis program, "Civility in a Fractured Society."  Learn more in this previous story.