Coming May 29: How to Listen. How to Talk:  Fractured Conversations  in a Polarized Society (details below)

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How to Talk. How to Listen:

 Fractured Conversations in a Polarized Society

 Community Forum on May 29 Explores How to Improve the Situation

From impasses in Congress to conversations in everyday life, strong and passionate viewpoints have created an atmosphere of distrust, anger and strife. How did we get here? What  perpetuates this divisiveness? How can we improve the situation?

The League of Women Voters of Albany County and the Women’s Press Club of New York State will host a community forum on “How to Talk. How to Listen: Fractured Conversations in a Polarized Society” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at the Bethlehem Town Hall, 445 Delaware Ave., Delmar.

Casey Seiler, a Times Union editor and columnist, will open the discussion with a look at the state of our discourse.

Susan Arbetter, host of the syndicated public radio program “The Capitol Pressroom,” will lead a panel discussion and conversation with the audience.  The focus will be ways we can restore civility in our everyday interactions and dialogues -- finding and forging common ground, extending tolerance and respect for one another and focusing on how we “listen” as well as talk.   

Panelists are:

·       Scott Fein, chair of the Government Law Center  at Albany Law School and a senior partner at the law firm of Whiteman Osterman & Hanna. Fein teaches civility and ethics to lawyers for the New York State Bar Association. He served as assistant counsel to former Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo.

·       Linda McKenney, a senior wellness coach and motivational speaker. McKenney is also a group therapist for Focus Healthcare and Four Winds Psychiatric Hospital. She is a former vice president of education and training at SEFCU.

·      Lara Whalen, dean of the School of Liberal Arts at Siena College. Whelan is founder and chair of Siena's Civil Discourse Working Group, comprised of students, faculty and administrators. Her teaching background is in rhetoric with analysis of arguments and construction of logical premises.

The program will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

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