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Arizona Western College Hosts the Civility Project June 22nd

Stephen Henderson and Nolan Finley Bring Tips, Insights, and Hands-On Skill-Building to Zoom Session Focused on Finding Ways to Build Understanding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 June 3, 2021

CONTACT: Lynne Golodner                                               
(248) 376-0406, lynne@yourppl.com

CONTACT: Lori Stofft, Vice President of Advancement for Arizona Western College
(928) 314-9595, Lori.Stofft@azwestern.edu

YUMA, Ariz. – In partnership with Arizona Western College, the Civility Project with Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson brings insights, tips, and hands-on skill-building to a June 22nd Zoom session designed to empower people to find ways to understand one another in an increasingly fraught time.

Sponsored by Delta Dental and TCF Bank, this lively, interactive virtual session will engage participants in learning about the importance of civility, the power to find ways to be civil in increasingly turbulent times, and how to spread civility.

To register for the program, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pd-yvrzkiGNKhmxGRqobzLYDa2qXustVw 

** Interviews with Stephen Henderson and Nolan Finley are available upon request. **

The program (4-5:30 p.m.) session will engage participants in hands-on conversation that explores opportunities for building civility in their relationships, workplaces, and communities. Held on Zoom, small groups of participants will connect in Breakout Rooms throughout the session, putting the parameters of civility to work.

“We are honored to bring the Civility Project to Yuma,” says Stephen Henderson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Executive Editor of BridgeDetroit and host of “Detroit Today” on WDET FM. “Anywhere people are interested in finding ways to understand one another, we want to encourage that instinct. We are better when we can truly listen.”

“Yuma is leading the way in putting tough issues front and center,” says Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor of the Detroit News. “The desire of community leaders across the political spectrum to address issues of inequity and tension through productive conversation and empower people with the tools to build civility is making this region a leader in civic dialogue.”

The event is a collaborative effort sponsored jointly by Arizona Western College, Arizona State University, Sunrise Optimist Club, Arizona Complete Health, the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce and UA-Yuma.

“Our team is really excited to bring this workshop here for the sake of deepening that collaborative spirit Yuma is known for,” says Lori Stofft, Vice President of Advancement for AWC. “In order for us to work together to make good things happen for our neighbors, it’s important that nobody feels disenfranchised or disconnected. Our connections with each other are our greatest power.”

About the Civility Project

Celebrated journalists first connected when they served as the Editorial Page Editors of Detroit’s two newspapers - Finley at the conservative Detroit News, who still holds the position, and Henderson at the liberal Detroit Free Press. But while people put them together to watch sparks fly, the pair built an unexpected and fruitful friendship despite their different perspectives on pretty much everything. The one thing they agree on is the importance of ongoing dialogue – which includes a healthy dose of disagreement and an intense desire to come together over common interests, one of which is a passion for bourbon.

“It never occurred to us that we couldn’t be friends because we disagree,” says Finley. “We never avoid conversation, we never pull punches, we sort of enjoy the mix-up.”

Americans used to engage in civil conversation with people of opposing viewpoints – enjoying the banter and debate. Today, many Americans believe they can’t be friends with people whose politics are different. And with the increasing political divide, not understanding the other side can be dangerous.

Finley and Henderson formed The Civility Project as a way to bring people of opposing viewpoints together for healthy disagreement, personal interaction and constructive conversation. In virtual and in-person workshops, participants learn how the pair navigate their often fraught relationship and gain tools for doing so in their own lives and workplaces. Participants engage in enlightening discussion, learn to listen well, and learn why listening is a key element of civility.

“If we reach the point where we dehumanize the people we disagree with, society begins to fall apart,” Henderson says. “We must learn to talk to people as people, rather than political adversaries.”

Based in Detroit and serving audiences across America, the Civility Project places people before the moment of disagreement in discussion of how we come to our beliefs and viewpoints. It is funded by Delta Dental and TCF Bank.

To book a session, contact Lynne Golodner at (248) 376-0406 or lynne@yourppl.com.

Learn more at www.greatlakescivilityproject.com. 

Follow the Civility Project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreatLakesCivilityProject/.

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