Monday, July 23, 2012

A Lesson in Civility for Inaugural Grandon Society Meeting

This year’s Summer Seminar provided a glimpse of the kind of programming available to members of the Jefferson School of Population Health’s Grandon Society.
This year’s Seminar, the inaugural meeting of the Grandon Society, was held at WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons. Chris Satullo, WHYY’s Executive Director of News and Civic Dialogue, provided the morning’s keynote with his presentation, “Keeping a Civil Tongue: How to Have a Better Dialogue, Next Time.” He was followed by Tony Auth, WHYY’s Digital Artist in Residence. Auth, whose distinguished 40-year career as a political cartoonist at the Philadelphia Inquirer included a Pulitzer Prize, spoke about his new adventures and experiments in digital story-telling, using pen and ink and watercolor, as well as digital apps.
The tandem provided an engaging message about civil dialogue and the polarity of what passes for dialogue in the politically charged times in which we live. Satullo, who formerly ran the editorial page  at the Inquirer, spoke of the need to establish ground rules, including: 1) Listen, just listen. 2) Tell stories, don’t trade positions. 3) Search for shared identities, values, even amid differences. 4) Find useful work to do together.
It was a perfect venue and subject for the Grandon Society’s debut. As JSPH Associate Dean for Continuing Professional Education Alexis Skoufalos told the crowd, “There is an underlying synergy between this new endeavor and public broadcasting’s mission to educate and inform the public about important topics that impact their daily lives, as individuals and as a community.”
We’d love to hear your ideas for future topics for Grandon Society events. For further information, or to join the Grandon Society, visit our Web site, here.