News and

American Public Square at Jewell releases its 2021 Annual Report

June 1, 2022
American Public Square at Jewell is pleased to release our 2021 Annual Report

Kansas City, MO: American Public Square at Jewell (APS) has released its 2021 Annual Report, highlighting the organization’s continued efforts to increase civility, facts and perspective in our nation’s discourse.

Many believed 2021 would offer much-needed stability after the considerable challenges faced in 2020. Yet, the start of 2021 was marked by an unprecedented breach of the U.S. Capitol. The following days, weeks and months would bring the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, a historic military withdrawal from Afghanistan, increased antisemitic events following heightened tensions between Israel and Palestine, and more. Each of these events underscored the fact that our nation’s divisions are far from healed. At APS, they were clear reminders that the role we play in our nation’s discourse remains incredibly important.

The 2021 APS Annual Report highlights the organization’s efforts to address ongoing divides across the nation, while also working to return to a new normal as COVID vaccines created an opportunity to return to in-person gatherings. In the report, readers will find stories highlighting:

    • How APS programming addressed top-of-mind issues, such as a path forward after January 6th, racial reconciliation, the COVID-19 vaccine, the rise of antisemitism and more.
    • An evening of unity at the 2021 Evening at the Square event featuring Professor Robert Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett, authors of “The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again.”
    • The evolution of APS’ Civics Education Initiative, which deepened its focus on student engagement and the topics of misinformation, civil engagement, and debating vs. deliberation.
    • And more!

View the report here.

Media inquiries can be directed to Robin Smith via email

American Public Square at Jewell celebrates National Week of Conversation

National Week of Conversation (NWOC) 2022 takes place April 24-30, powered by the #ListenFirst Coalition of 300+ organizations, including American Public Square at Jewell.

In addition to the thousands of local and regional events that take place during NWOC, Americans of all backgrounds are invited to listen, extend grace, and discover common interests through the America Talks event, a digital event that connects individuals from across the nation in one-to-one or small group conversations. Along with our partners, APS invites you to join this hopeful mission to defeat toxic polarization and heal America by transforming division and contempt into connection and understanding. Learn more and register here.

Locally, American Public Square at Jewell is supporting National Week of Conversation through a variety of efforts.


    • The team at APS is excited to release an APS Discussion Guide, which offers community members a guide for hosting and participating in APS-style conversations, which seek to increase civility, use of facts and exposure to diverse perspectives.


    • On Wednesday, April 27, APS college interns have organized an evening of intergenerational bridge building, in partnership with the KC Public Library and Consensus KC. Participants include current students and community members born in 1962 or earlier who will be paired for dialogue about generational divides. The goal is to learn from each other and establish common ground between different generations. Learn more and register here.


    • On Thursday, April 28, APS will present a special student-produced program focused on education reform and diversity in schools, “Erasing the Red Lines: Are our schools embracing the future or embodying the past?”.  Students from across the KC metro who have participated in the 2021-22 Civics Education Initiative have led the design and production of the program, from selecting the topic, securing sponsors, seeking panelists and more. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more and register here.

Learn more about National Week of Conversation here.

American Public Square at Jewell wins Gold Philly for its 2020 Annual Report

UPDATE: November 9, 2021

American Public Square at Jewell is honored to receive a Gold Philly at the annual Philly Awards, hosted by Nonprofit Connect.  The Philly awards are hosted each year to recognize excellence in nonprofit marketing and communication.  Read the annual report here.

July 13, 2021
American Public Square at Jewell is pleased to share a collection of stories and outcomes from 2020, a year like no other

Kansas City, MO: American Public Square at Jewell (APS) has released its 2020 Annual Report, highlighting the organization’s efforts in what became a globally unprecedented year.

In the report, readers will find stories highlighting:

  • How APS programming shifted to address pandemic-driven social distancing (virtual events, a new podcast and more!).
  • New student programming centered on teaching youth the fundamental value of civil disagreement as a bedrock of democracy.
  • A dynamic programming lineup that made space to address issues driving civil unrest – pandemic politics, racial tensions, the divisive presidential election, and more.

View the report here.

Media inquiries can be directed to Robin Smith via email

November 2021 Update: COVID-19 and American Public Square at Jewell Programming

November 9, 2021
UPDATE: COVID-19 impact to APS programming

Following updated guidance from local and national public health officials, APS has updated our COVID-19 policy relative to in-person programming.  Individuals attending APS programs will be required to wear masks, unless they show proof of vaccination.  Read the full statement below.

American Public Square at Jewell’s mission is rooted in uniting communities through civility, facts and perspective.  We remain committed to creating space for civil dialogue and we want everyone who wants to participate in these important conversations to have a safe way to do so.

So that we can continue to convene, educate, and engage our community, here is what you need to know about upcoming APS events:

We will lean on public health guidance. APS will leverage a variety of public health protocols at our events—social distancing, contact tracing, limited or modified food and beverage service, and capacity restrictions.

We will ask for your help. APS events will be hybrid events. Individuals attending APS events in person will be required to wear masks unless they show proof of vaccination. If you are attending an event in person, please be prepared to show the original, a copy or a photo of your vaccine record.

Anyone who prefers not to share their vaccination status are invited to join us through our virtual event experiences.  Similarly, anyone who is exhibiting any symptoms of illness or believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 is also asked to participate in the event virtually.

We will stay connected to you and the changing circumstances. APS will also closely monitor changes in public health guidance and will provide updated information should circumstances change prior to an APS event.

In times like this, we are grateful for the spirit of community and our shared commitment to strengthening relationships. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

KC-based American Public Square at Jewell (APS) announces collaboration with Newsweek

June 25, 2021
The collaboration will drive nationwide engagement in APS’ programming, centered on civil, fact-based discourse that spans policy issues and political spectrums.

Kansas City, MO: American Public Square at Jewell (APS) announces a new collaboration with Newsweek, a premier news organization that has been bringing high-quality journalism to readers around the world for more than 80 years.  Through this partnership, APS and Newsweek will work together to engage audiences nationwide in APS’ signature programming, which offers civil, fact-based discourse on complex topics such as immigration, gun violence, race relations, mental health and more.

Newsweek will serve as a co-publisher and producer of programming given their shared interest in providing readers quality content that examines local, regional and national issues from all angles.

On the new partnership with APS, Newsweek deputy opinion editor Batya Ungar-Sargon noted, “Newsweek is extremely invested in the values that animate American Public Square at Jewell–the idea of civil discourse and debate, the idea that we’re not afraid of wading into difficult conversations because we are convinced that more unites us than divides us. I so admire what APS has done and we want to show solidarity when it comes to this sacred work our nation depends on.”

Coming at a time when tensions remain heightened across policy and social issues, this collaboration will enable APS and Newsweek to expand their audiences nationwide. It will provide individuals an opportunity to better understand complex issues, hear differing perspectives from experts, and learn more about how to become involved on a personal level.

Those interested in APS’ work and the Newsweek partnership are invited to engage with American Public Square at Jewell on our social media platforms, including YouTube where all APS programming can be viewed for free.

About APS: American Public Square at Jewell is a Kansas City-based nonprofit community organization working to improve the tone and quality of public discourse. Through its diverse events, programs and resources, APS offers a better understanding of divergent perspectives with a focus on civility, facts and balanced perspectives – a key step toward mutual respect, compromise and resolution of challenging issues.

About Newsweek:  Newsweek is a premier news magazine and website that provides the latest news, in-depth analysis and ideas about international issues, technology, business, culture and politics. In addition to its online and mobile presence, Newsweek publishes weekly English print editions in the United States, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia as well as editions in Japanese, Korean, Polish, Serbian and Spanish.

Media inquiries can be directed to Robin Smith via email