Stephen L. Carter
SPOKANE, Wash. Stephen L. Carter, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University, and Sam Reed, Washington Secretary of State, will deliver keynote addresses for “Civility and Democracy in America,” a conference and dialogue on the state of civility in American democracy, at 5:30 p.m. March 3 at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash.
The keynote addresses are free and open to the public, as is a daylong academic forum, “Exploring the Relationship between Civility, Democracy and the Common Good,” to be held the following day at WSU Spokane on the Riverpoint Campus.
The forum, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 4 in the Phase I Classroom Building Auditorium (room 122), will feature panel discussions with leading scholars representing five distinct perspectives: history, religion, philosophy, art and architecture, and media.
“Civility and Democracy in America” is sponsored by the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University, in partnership with Humanities Washington and the Idaho Humanities Council and with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Professor of law at Yale since 1982 and a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Carter has helped shape the national debate on issues ranging from the role of religion in American politics and culture to the role of integrity and civility in our daily lives.
As a writer, editorial columnist and author of seven acclaimed books, Carter focuses much of his work on the creation of conditions for rational dialogue while preserving a rich diversity of viewpoints, both at home and in international affairs. Carter is also the author of three novels including New York Times bestseller “The Emperor of Ocean Park” (Vintage, 2007).
Books by Carter also include “Civility: Manners, Morals and the Etiquette of Democracy” (Harper Perennial, 1999), “Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby” (Basic Books, 1992), “The Culture of Disbelief” (Anchor, 1994), “Integrity” (Harper Perennial, 1996), “God’s Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics” (Basic Books, 2001), and most recently “The Violence of Peace: American’s Wars in the Age of Obama” (Beast Books, 2011).
Carter is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. He has received eight honorary degrees from schools including Colgate University, Bates College and the University of Notre Dame.
Reed, Washington’s 14th Secretary of State, is widely recognized for implementing sweeping improvements to the voting process following the contested 2004 gubernatorial race, the closest in U.S. history. He is an outspoken champion for a return to civility in politics.
Honored for his fair handling of the election and resulting court cases, Reed, in turn, championed major election reform that resulted in a new statewide voter registration system designed to limit opportunity for fraud.
Reed’s achievements also include launching the nation’s first state government digital archives.
Reed earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from WSU in 1963 and 1968 respectively. He was elected to the office of Secretary of State in 2000 and re-elected in 2004 and 2008.
Prior to his service as Secretary of State, Reed was elected Thurston County auditor five times and served as the Assistant Secretary of State under Lud Kramer and Bruce Chapman.
“Civility and Democracy in America” is one of four national conferences on civility in democracy funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The other conferences are being hosted by the American Bar Association in Chicago March 3-5, the California Council for the Humanities in Los Angeles March 4-5, and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia March 25-26.
The Foley Institute was established in 1995 to honor U.S. Representative Thomas S. Foley’s lifetime of public service to both state and nation and his tenure as 49th Speaker of the House. The institute’s mission is to foster civic education, public service and public policy research in a nonpartisan, cross-disciplinary setting.
For more information, visit the conference site at http://foley.wsu.edu/civility.