Wilmington program asks: Why can't we all just get along?

Sun, 2018-08-12

WILMINGTON -- No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, what many people can agree on is the polarized climate that has permeated the country.

The Wilmington Memorial Library is looking to change that on a local level with its "Revive Civility" programming scheduled for the month of September.

"The time is right given the divisive tenor in politics, the increase in incivility you see on social media," said Tina Stewart, the library's director. "This would be a good opportunity to address the issue and see if we can get people to talk about the importance of civility and how we can improve what we do in our daily lives."

Last October, the Pew Research Center published a report on political polarization in the country from 1994 to 2017. The report found that divisions between Republicans and Democrats reached record levels during Barack Obama's presidency and continued to widen during Donald Trump's first year in office.

Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, the executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, will be kicking off the month-long program on Sept. 6. NICD is a non-partisan organization based at the University of Arizona. Lukensmeyer said they primarily focus their efforts in Maine, Ohio, Arizona and Iowa.

Lukensmeyer will touch on the causes of incivility and what people can do in their personal lives to address it.

"I hope people in Wilmington will take away some very concrete ideas of things they themselves can do," Lukensmeyer said.