May 11: Civility at Home

Continuing our series of community events around the theme, #CloseToHome.

Saturday May 11, 2019, 11 am – 12:30 PM


Civility at Home: A Community Conversation with Will Haskell and Harry Arora, explores the idea of civility in private — through the eyes of two public figures from different sides of the aisle.

Most of us have family members who disagree with our political ideas. How do we nurture our personal relationships while navigating a culture that increasingly seeks to divide us? What strategies can help us find common ground? What is the proper way to respectfully disagree with a loved one? Why is your uncle such a nuisance at Thanksgiving? This candid discussion will confront these questions and more in an effort to make everyone’s family get-togethers more enjoyable.

Facilitated by TownVibe publisher Geoffrey Morris, the panel discussion will feature State Senator Will Haskell and Harry Arora, a recent candidate for Connecticut’s 4th Congressional district. Both are known for their exemplary civility in the public sphere.

Will Haskell is a Democratic member of the Connecticut State Senate, representing District 26. He was raised in Westport, Connecticut. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2018. Haskell’s political experience includes work for the Democratic National Committee’s voter protection team. He also interned with Hillary for America and the offices of Rep. Jim Himes and Sen. Chris Murphy.

“Civility in our political dialogue is absolutely crucial to a well-functioning democracy,” said Senator Haskell. “The critical issues we face cannot – and will not – be solved by shouting at each other or dismissing another person’s ideas, simply because we may not agree with everything they say or do. Civility at Home is a great opportunity to put this into action and I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate.”

Harry Arora ran on the Republican ticket for Connecticut’s 4th congressional district in 2018. He came to the United States 25 years ago from India as a graduate school student. He has an undergraduate degree in Engineering, an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from Harvard University. Harry and his wife have lived in Fairfield County for the last 17 years where they are raising their three children.

“Dialogue and discussion are the most important tools for advocating our causes and our needs as individuals and citizens,” said Mr. Arora, “Effective dialogue requires honesty, open mindedness and civility. However true the content, if dialogue is offensive and uncivil, it will defeat its own purpose. Civility in our dialogue is often being lost. It is important we recognize that passionate and forceful dialogue can and needs to be civil and respectful. I commend Thrown Stone for bringing attention to Civility in our discussions.”

The program is also part of American Creed: Community Conversations, a project of Citizen Film in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Writing Project, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Light refreshments will be served. Admission is Free.

Ridgefield Library

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