Carolyn Lukensmeyer, CLAS Alumni Fellow : “Incivility and Political Dysfunction”

Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Carolyn Lukensmeyer
Iowa Theatre (166 IMU), Iowa Memorial Union (IMU)

“Incivility and Political Dysfunction:  What Can We Do About It”

Dr. Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer (BA English '67) is the Executive Director Emerita of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona, an organization that works to reduce political dysfunction and incivility in our political system.

She will explore the causes of the incivility and disrespect that dominate our politics as well as how we now treat each other, and will share the latest polling data on how Americans feel about the great divides in our country and the impacts on their lives. Most importantly, she will share the signs of hope that the National Institute for Civil Discourse is finding across the country including actions taken by elected officials, and what ordinary Americans are doing to respond to this crisis.

The evening before this lecture, Dr. Lukensmeyer is screening a documentary film titled Divided We Fall, which shows ordinary Americans wrestling with what it truly means to be an American, the divides that prevent it, and what we can do to bridge the gaps. The film will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 13, at Art Building West Room 240, with a question-and-answer session to follow. See event listing.

The National Institute for Civil Discourse was established in May of 2011 after the tragic Tucson shooting that killed six people and wounded thirteen others including former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

As a leader in the field of deliberative democracy, Dr. Lukensmeyer works to restore our democracy to reflect the intended vision of our founding fathers. She previously served as Founder and President of AmericaSpeaks, an award-winning nonprofit organization that promoted nonpartisan initiatives to engage citizens and leaders through the development of innovative public policy tools and strategies. During her tenure, AmericaSpeaks engaged more than 200,000 people and hosted events across all 50 states and throughout the world.

Dr. Lukensmeyer formerly served as Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff from 1993-94 and on the National Performance Review, where she steered internal management and oversaw government-wide reforms. She was the Chief of Staff to Ohio Governor Richard F. Celeste from 1986-91, becoming the first woman to serve in this capacity. She earned her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and has completed postgraduate training at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Ohio.