The 2021-22 Department of Applied Communication Leadership Lecture Series will kick off with a Sept. 28 lecture on how to have civil conversations during divided political times.
The lecture, “But I Don’t Know if I Want to Talk to You: Strategies for Increasing Conversational Receptiveness in Divided Political Times,” will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28.
Dr. April Chatham-Carpenter, a professor and chair of the Department of Applied Communication at UA Little Rock, will serve as the featured speaker.
Chatham-Carpenter volunteers her time with Arkansas Braver Angels, as well as with the national Braver Angels organization. She researches how dialogue can be used in the public square to create relationships between people. She believes it is very important to approach difficult dialogues with open hands and an open heart, emphasizing building relationships rather than demonizing those who disagree with us.
“During the past few years, political polarization is at a high level globally and in the United States,” Chatham-Carpenter said. “Engaging in dialogue with those who disagree with us on political issues requires conversational receptiveness and skills in having difficult conversations.”
This lecture will address the need for having difficult conversations, as well as communication strategies that can be used to have those conversations within and across the political divide. It will emphasize the importance of creating and maintaining ethical communication practices which value the worth of another person, while being willing to interrupt narratives which can lead to intractable conflicts.
In the next Leadership Lecture Series lecture, Melissa Stiles will discuss, “When to Speak and When to Listen: Lessons from a Development Professional,” on Feb. 22, 2022.