“I’m right. You’re wrong. And I’m going to prove it!” seems to be the elemental public conversation these days. With pundits, politicians and talk-radio hosts spouting inflammatory rhetoric from one end of the country to the other, it seems we’ve forgotten how to have polite, informed conversations about Touchy Topics. We hope to change all of that during this session of Beyond Barbie and help facilitate some uniting!
Kathryn Ruud, with a Masters in both German and linguistics, will give a fascinating talk on the how the language we use can incite divisiveness and how political candidates and the media can use these tactics to polarize us further. She will show us examples of iconic media moments that contributed to the strong divisions we have in American society today and apply them to conversations we all have around the dinner table.
Shannon Fisher, a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA, will speak about her experiences as an activist, lobbyist and community organizer. She will share stories of the intense friction she has witnessed between sparring legislators with opposing agendas – and even among activists working both within and outside of the political system.
Political figures are slowly returning a sense of etiquette and decorum to the legislative chambers. Some familiar faces from the world of Virginia politics might pop in to join this conversation. If you want to tackle the touchy topics of politics, religion and gender - please join us for this important evening.