One way we do this is our “Dinner at the Square” series where people of opposing backgrounds and opinions come together over a meal to learn to relate to each other without having to agree on the issue being discussed. Dinner is followed by a moderated panel discussion with questions from the audience. The panels represent a broad range of political and ideological perspectives on the topics being discussed. We utilize on-site fact checkers during the panel, discourage applause during the conversation, and employ a “civility bell” which is rung if the conversation becomes less than civil.
Allan Katz, United States Ambassador to Portugal (2010-2013) and University of Missouri Kansas City Distinguished Professor, founded American Public Square in Kansas City. He was also a co-founder of the Village Square in Tallahassee.