Spring 2017



WEBINAR MONDAY February 6,  11:00 am-12:30 pm

“Incivility and Political Dysfunction: How Did We Get Here and What Can We Do,” explores the causes of incivility and political dysfunction, the impact of the 2016 Presidential election, and what we can do now. How did we get to this point, where incivility and political dysfunction has become the social norm? How did the 2016 Presidential election change the conversation and the tone? What can Americans do to help move the country forward? How can we listen and talk to “the other side”? This webinar will explore these key questions and provide participants with a mechanism to help shape our country’s future.

To learn more, visit NICD’s website at:www.nicd.arizona.edu and follow them on social media(https://twitter.com/NICDInstituteand https://www.facebook.com/NationalInstituteForCivilDiscourse/)

Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer is Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse (NICD). NICD works to move the needle on incivility and political dysfunction in order to strengthen our democratic traditions. As a leader in the field of deliberative democracy,she works to restore our democracy to reflect the intended vision of our founders.

Carolyn previously served as Founder and President of AmericaSpeaks and has made her mark as an innovator in deliberative democracy, public administration, and organizational development. Concerns about the deep partisan divide in Washington and the growing disconnection between citizens and government across the country led Carolyn to launch AmericaSpeaks in 1995. Her goal was to develop new democratic practices that would strengthen citizen voice in public decision-making.
Under Carolyn’s leadership, AmericaSpeaks has earned a national reputation as a leader in the field of deliberative democracy and democratic renewal. She and AmericaSpeaks have won a number of awards, including two from the International Association for Public Participation (2001 and 2003), the Organizational Development Network’s Sharing the Wealth Award (2006), the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for best practices, a Distinguished Service Award from the Federal Managers Association for Outstanding Leadership (1994) and a Best Practice Award from the National Training Laboratories Institute in 1993.

Prior to founding AmericaSpeaks, Carolyn served as Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff from November 1993 through June 1994. In this capacity she ensured that systematic thinking was part of the White House’s work on internal management issues and on government-wide reform. She also served as the Deputy Project Director for Management of the National Performance Review (NPR), Vice President Al Gore’s reinventing government task force. From 1986 to 1991, Carolyn served as Chief of Staff to Governor Richard F. Celeste of Ohio. She was both the first woman to serve in this capacity and, at the time of her appointment, the only Chief of Staff recruited from the professional management field.
Carolyn also led her own successful organizational development and management consulting firm for 14 years. In this capacity, she worked with public and private sector organizations on four continents.
Carolyn earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and completed postgraduate training at the internationally-known Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She is affiliated with the American Management Association, National Training Laboratories, Organization Development Network and the Organization and Management Division of the American Psychological Association.

Coming Out of the Locker Room: Lessons on Language and Gender from Presidential Politics


Jennifer Sclafani, Ph.D.

Webinar  February 22nd  11:00 am-12:30 pm

Throughout the 2016 presidential election, questions about what constitutes “presidential” language – and questions of appropriateness and political correctness more generally – have been at the forefront of political media coverage. They have now also begun surfacing in our daily conversations with colleagues, friends, and families. While Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about women have been described by some as textbook examples of sexist and misogynist language, others have excused it as merely “locker room talk,” or ritual male bonding that is often rationalized by the expression “boys will be boys!”

Linguists have been studying the language of male and female bonding for decades. In this webinar, we will discuss findings from research on the differences in how men and women really interact with each other; we will critically consider the social norms that make us interpret men’s and women’s language differently (often without realizing it); and we will discuss the implications of excusing offensive language just because it happens “behind closed doors”. Finally, we will consider how new media technologies are blurring the boundaries between private and public talk, and how we can better navigate these boundaries in our own lives.

Dr. Sclafani is Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Georgetown University, where she teaches courses in sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, language and gender, and political discourse analysis. She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University and has also taught at Hellenic American University (Athens, Greece) and the University of Vienna (Austria). She has also worked as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Italy, France, and her hometown of Boston. Her research has focused on how people use language to construct meaning, navigate social relationships, and negotiate social categories like gender, social class, and race. She also researches the language of political leadership and is currently working on a book entitled Talking Donald Trump: A Sociolinguistic Study of Style, Metadiscourse, and Political Identity (Routledge, 2017).


Keith will address for us issues of “Race” including helping us understand “Identity Politics” and the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

http://68.media.tumblr.com/b4950b18ca092b65fadea79ec4356e06/tumblr_inline_ncl3mbd7ne1ripux3.jpgKeith Boykin (Author, TV Commentator)

Thursday, March 2nd, 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Keith Boykin is a New York Times best-selling author, assistant professor of political science at Columbia University, TV commentator, journalist, actor and public speaker.  He is currently teaching a course at Columbia on “Race and Politics” and is a regular commentator on CNN.

Each of Keith’s four books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough, which won the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Nonfiction in 2013.

Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Keith attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, where he was once the highest ranking openly gay person in the Clinton White House. He also helped organize and participated in the nation’s first ever meeting between a sitting president and leaders of the LGBT community.

He is a veteran of six political campaigns, including two presidential campaigns, and he was named one of the top instructors when he taught political science at American University in Washington.

He starred on the 2004 Showtime television series American Candidate, and then became a co-host of the BET TV series My Two Cents, where he interviewed celebrities, politicians, and public figures. Currently a CNBC contributor, MSNBC commentator and BET columnist, Keith is also the former editor of the online news site, The Daily Voice. He has appeared on numerous national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

A founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition, Keith has spoken to audiences, large and small, all across the world. He delivered a landmark speech to 200,000 people at the Millennium March on Washington and he gave a stirring speech about the AIDS epidemic in front of 40,000 people in Chicago’s Soldier Field in July 2006.

Keith was an associate producer of the 2007 feature film Dirty Laundry and appeared in the 2014 BET drama series, Being Mary Jane.

His third book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America, spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Keith won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting the Soul, and his first book, One More River to Cross, is taught in colleges and universities throughout the country.

Keith has lived in 12 cities, visited 48 of the 50 U.S. states, and traveled across four continents. In 1997 President Clinton appointed him, along with Coretta Scott King and Rev. Jesse Jackson, to the U.S. presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Keith currently lives in New York.


Michelle M. Tokarczyk, Ph.D

WEBINAR  March 22nd, 2017 11:00 am-12:30 pm

Many Americans have difficulty talking about class. While progressives have emphasized the need to understand what’s been called the trinity of oppression— race, class, and gender—class is frequently omitted from meaningful consideration. This webinar will examine why it is so difficult to conceptualize and thus talk about class difference. We’ll delve into the myth of the United States as a classless society, examine the slipperiness of class markers, and discuss what descriptors like wealthy and working class mean to people. The webinar will explore class as relational and fluid. When we consider socioeconomic class, we will consider economics, power, and aspirations.

Michelle M. Tokarczyk is a professor of English and an affiliate of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Goucher College. She has been active in working-class studies for almost 30 years. Her first co-edited anthology Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory, received Honorable Mention as one of the Best Books of the 1990s in Lingua Franca and the Susan Koppelman Award for the Best Anthologies. She has subsequently published on working-class literature and working-class undergraduates. Tokarczyk has been an active member of the Working-Class Studies Association since 2003, and has served as its president. Her blog posts have appeared in Working-Class Perspectives and Contemporary Conditions. She is also active in the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), advocating for faculty rights as president of Goucher’s chapter of the AAUP and of the Maryland State Committee of the AAUP. Her recently published book of poetry Bronx Migrations depicts the lives of a working-class family migrating from the Bronx and the borough’s struggles in the tumultuous 1960s through the 1980s.

 2017 Transgender Awareness Conference

Co-Sponsored by Geisinger Medical College and Northeastern Pa. Diversity Education Consortium

April 10, 2017
8:30 am-2:45 pm
Medical College Auditorium