Friday, August 20, 2010

NEH Chairman Jim Leach speaks about "Civility in a Fractured Society" at BBHC on Sept. 18

Press release from the Wyoming Humanities Council:

On September 18, the public is invited to participate in events honoring Jim Leach, chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, who will visit Wyoming as part of his fifty-state civility tour. Wyoming welcomes Leach to Heart Mountain Relocation Center at 10:30 a.m. for a public ceremony and tour, followed by a 1:00 p.m. conversation with students and faculty at Northwest College, Powell. Culminating the visit will be a 7:30 p.m. public address by Leach on "Civility in a Fractured Society" at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody.

Leach introduced his fifty-state tour in November 2009 to call attention to the need for civility in public discourse. "Civilization requires civility," says Leach. "Words matter. Polarizing attitudes can jeopardize social cohesion."

Leach began his four-year term as NEH chairman in August 2009 after serving 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a congressman representing southeastern Iowa, he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus. Cosponsors for the events are the Buffalo Bill Historical Center; the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation; and the Wyoming Humanities Council.

Leach's visit will also launch the Wyoming Humanities Council's year-long civility initiative, which will include an innovative lecture and discussion series, a visiting scholar, and grants for civility-themed projects.