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POSTPONED: Exploring Gender and Identities

5:30 PM 7:30 PM

POSTPONED: Exploring Gender and Identities

5:30 PM 7:30 PM
APS is proud to offer programs that are free and open to all. If you’d like to help offset the cost of this program, we’d be so grateful for your support!
UPDATE: The September 26 program will not take place as scheduled. Please see our full message below for additional information. 

A message about the postponement of the “Exploring Gender & Identities” program

For ten years, American Public Square at Jewell has provided the community the opportunity to hear civil, fact-based discussions about some of the most prominent and controversial topics of our time. We deeply believe in the power of conversation, the evaluation of facts, and the deliberation of diverse points of view. They are mechanisms for critical thinking, compromise, and mutual respect.

We have never been faced with cancelling an APS program—until now. The September 26 program, “Exploring Gender & Identities” hosted by APS, Kansas City PBS and the Johnson County Library will not take place as scheduled.

We are disappointed to take this step. We are not afraid of controversy, nor do we feel the need to surrender to opposing voices. We simply believe we can no longer honor our mission through this program.

APS’ mission is focused on improving the tone and quality of public discourse and creating paths toward actionable common ground. One way we do this is by engaging diverse segments of our society to ensure multiple perspectives are explored. Upon the cancellation of two panelists invited to represent the transgender community, we are now unable to present the community with a conversation we feel effectively represents the diverse perspectives of this issue.

With legislation targeting the rights of transgender individuals continuing to develop in Kansas, Missouri and across the nation, we still believe this is an important conversation to have. We will continue to explore ways to host this conversation and we will do it for…

    • Transgender individuals who have been targeted, feel unsafe and are wearied by their fight for liberties most other Americans have.
    • Allies who feel deeply protective of their loved ones, friends, and colleagues, seeking to live comfortably in their own skin.
    • Women who have fought throughout history for their own liberties and have questions, concerns, or strong beliefs about how society will navigate the changing definitions of what it is to be a woman.
    • Those who want to ensure patients and providers effectively understand the implications of gender-affirming care if it is to be available at young ages.
    • Citizens who know little about these issues at all and seek to better understand them so they can effectively develop their own point of view.

We express our deep gratitude to the panelists who planned to participate in this conversation, and we look forward to hearing from them in the future.

To the transgender community—our intent for this program has never been to debate your personhood.

To close, we reiterate a message from APS Founder and CEO, Allan Katz, in his June 15 note, “Selecting our Panelists.”

“It is not our role to temper strong emotions or limit perspectives—it is our job to expose diverse and divergent perspectives…. [because] we believe exposure to diverse and divergent perspectives is a constructive learning tool—a way to understand the nuance and complexities of the issues we face as a nation.”

We look forward to continuing to explore these nuances and complexities with you. See you in the audience soon.

-The American Public Square at Jewell team

Program Materials

Access APS' digital Fact Sheet, with an embedded program guide below.

This event is brought to you by Kansas City PBS, American Public Square at Jewell and the Johnson County Library.


Thank You to Our Season Sponsors

Hall Family Foundation

Health Forward Foundation

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art


Sue Seidler Nerman and Lewis Nerman

Marny and John Sherman

William Jewell College