I am so happy to announce the first ever DINNER, DEBATE & DISCOURSE event!
The idea of starting a community debate night is something I have wanted to do for over five years. As someone who has always enjoyed the art and spectacle that a good debate brings, I have the utmost hope for the longevity and impact this event series can have in our community.
It is clear to me, and probably you; we have lost our ability to communication -and in particular- disagree with one another in a respectful, conscious way. This is no doubt, in large part, thanks to technology and media.
Our media thrives on the drama that yelling and insulting one another brings; meanwhile technology has made it far too easy to be nasty, call each other names, and in generally be disrespectful to one another without the repercussions that one might face in person.
This has spilled out into our communities and our society with devastating results. Important topics that should be -and need to be- discussed are often taboo. We avoid bringing up current events in fear of being seen as partisan and those of us who do voice our opinions are immediately labeled into one or two camps, even if these labels don’t apply to us.
Most of the “debate” on issues is instead left to our elected officials and those who hold positions of power. However, even at the highest levels of government and business, true debate is almost always canned in favor of either stalling or deploying tactics that enable them to enact their agenda without public discourse or feedback.
What little debate we have is so neatly designed that to voice disagreement with your debate opponent would be frowned upon as if you had just throw a tomato at their mother. Make no mistake, the type of “debates” we see on TV are nothing more than theatre and another form of distraction.
Not this event.
This event was created to begin the process of restoring civility to public discourse, to encourage respectful disagreement, to hear differences of opinion, to engagement in challenging ones views and opinions with the intention of restoring our ability to communicate effectively in the face of disagreement.
This event series is designed to be welcoming to everyone from our community. We offer this event along with a healthy, filling meal on a weekday evening to ensure folks feel they can take a night to engage with their community without needing to worry about dinner.
My goal is to see this event become a trusted space for thoughtful, necessary and meaningful debate on a wide variety of issues as we head toward the 2020 elections. It is my hope that we will work toward creating a space that will allow for meaningful debates during the 2020 election cycle that are unlike any other political debates we have seen in quite some time.
I don’t expect this to be flawless, or easy. I anticipate bumps in the road, and I understand that disagreement and getting uncomfortable while remaining respectful is not something we are accustomed to. However, I ask you to join me in helping to create an environment where all of us feel welcome and able to share our views.
There is nothing more dangerous than living in our own heads and within our own bubbles. We must hear our opinions out loud and to those we disagree with in order to form a better sense of the world.
Thank you for believing in this vision and for actively participating in creating a healthier community for all of us.
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1582375665242412/
Location: GT Circuit - 225 W Fourteenth St, Traverse City, MI 49684
Doors: 5:30pm - Program: 6:15pm
Questions/Media Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org