LWVSSMS Fall Kick-Off meeting

2018 Fall Kickoff
Bob Barrett on Civil Discourse

What is it? Why does it seem important? How is it done?
How might the League of Women Voters help?


Saturday, September 22, 9am – Noon
Lida Urbanek’s home, 75 Tuscaloosa Ave., Atherton
Americans appear deeply divided and many report being increasingly stressed about the future.  Tribalism seems more prevalent.  People often say they no longer trust government to have their best interests in mind as laws are passed and policies made.  Many report being unable to even conceive of having a respectful, civil conversation with someone from “the other side.”

Based on more than 30 years of experience as a mediator and collaborative problem-solving practitioner, Bob Barrett will present some basics about civil discourse as a path forward.  He will cover how civil discourse can be distinguished from robust debate and discussion, why civility is important for producing positive change, and why it does not mean stifling dissent.  

 Bob Barrett


Bob has an undergraduate degree from Stanford in philosophy and was trained as a lawyer at the University of California, Berkeley.  He practiced litigation and later environmental law.  In 1983 he became a program officer at the Hewlett Foundation responsible for its grants in the fields of environment and conflict resolution and began his work with dealing more constructively with differences.  He later practiced as a mediator, facilitator, and consultant to public agencies in collaborative problem-solving.  Now retired, he devotes much of his time to deepening his understanding of civil discourse and how it might be improved throughout our country.

An important meeting you won’t want to miss!

Contact: Suzanne Fouché, 650-868-0320, safouche@comcast.net