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Civility's Role in Social Justice

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0043
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

As civility seems to decline due to increasing political polarization and easy mass communication via social media, should we remain civil in social and political discourse or does civility hinder progress? Does civility hurt or help the fight for social justice? Olúfémi O. Táíwò, assistant professor of political philosophy and ethics at Georgetown University, attempts to unpack the role of civility in today’s world and what its potential hazards might be specifically regarding justice.

Táíwò examines what role civility already plays in the pursuit of social justice—both in past campaigns about social norms, like the “Ms.” form of address for adult women and the emerging norms of etiquette that encourage people to ask others their pronouns. He’ll also discuss what role it could play in future campaigns for justice, and what’s at stake—not only for the general public but even for activists, organizers, and political gadflies—if civility is left by the wayside.

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