As polarized perspectives and heightened tensions threaten common ground, the 2021 Public Affairs Conference seeks to create space for understanding.
Bridging the Divide is the theme of the conference at Missouri State University, scheduled for Sept. 27-30. It includes:
- Two pre-conference special events.
- A keynote speech from John Quiñones.
- Three plenary speakers.
- A total of 18 panel sessions.
“Our goal is to educate students and our community members to be citizens who make society better for everyone,” said Dr. Keri Franklin, associate provost for public affairs and assessment.
The conference will be a mixture of in-person events and live virtual programming. Zoom links will be made available on the conference schedule page the week of the conference.
All events are free and open to the public. No registration is required.
Thought-provoking insights into human nature and ethical behavior
Combining a moving life story, an exceptional career, incomparable insights and a powerful presence, Quiñones has emerged as one of the most inspiring keynotes in the speaking world today.
He will serve as the conference’s keynote speaker at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.
The keynote is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. The event is made possible by the Missouri State Foundation with media support from KY3/KSPR.
The foundation will host a VIP reception with Quiñones before his speech, which requires a ticket to attend.
Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host and senior producer of NPR’s Code Switch, will discuss issues of race, diversity and inclusion and topics from her podcast at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29 via Zoom.
Dr. Bill Doherty, co-founder of Braver Angels and a professor at University of Minnesota, will speak about Beyond political polarization: Finding common ground for the common good at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 30 via Zoom.
Daryl Davis, an award-winning conflict navigator, musician and author, will present How can you hate me when you don’t even know me? at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts. Tickets are not required, and complimentary parking is available in the BearPark North parking garage located next to the hall.
Schedule, parking and information
The Public Affairs Conference website provides background information about conference speakers and a complete program.
For in-person events, guests can park for free at BearPark North, with entrances off Cherry Street and Elm Street.
The free Bear Line shuttle provides transportation to Plaster Student Union from BearPark North.
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