"I am optimistic we are about to embark on a journey to showcase the City of Stamford as a civil city," said Mayor Michael Pavia just before kicking off the first presentation of his multi-part Civility Symposium Monday night at the Ferguson Library.
To start things off, James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust in L.A. & world-renowned expert on the role of art museums in civic life, visited Stamford to present the role of art in civility.
"We have a national discourse that frequently gives points for the best sound bites and negative campaigning is often rewarded more heavily in the voting booth," said Pavia. "Civility signifies a great strength of character. Civility represents respect for the views and ideas of others. Civility is the very foundation of what it means to be a citizen."
Cuno echoed the mayors thoughts in his presentation to those gathered. Giving an overview of his work and findings in the field Cuno's lecture boiled down to one key point on civility.
"[Civility is] the respect we give to the object as it exists apart from us," Cuno cited from Lionel Trilling. "We discover that there are several cultures instead of just one... we are threatened by our own discovery. Suddenly it becomes possible that we are just others. We, ourselves are an 'other' among others.
"And this, I think, is the basis of civility," continued Cuno. "The respect for the other—and for others, with others, in the common pursuit of understanding."
Current additional lecture dates and topics are as follows:
Civility in the Media
Wednesday, October 3, noon
WNYW Fox 5 News Anchor Ernie Anastos, an Emmy-award winning news anchor. Anastos is
widely recognized and respected journalist with over 30 years experience in the news industry.
Civility in Politics
Wednesday, October 17, 5:30 p.m.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994. Prior to serving in the Senate, Snowe represented Maine’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years, becoming only the fourth woman in history to be elected to both houses of Congress. Sen. Snowe has made bipartisan consensus-building on key issues a hallmark of her career in Washington.
Civility in Law Enforcement
Tuesday, November 13, 6 p.m.
William Bratton, who served as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department for seven years
before retiring in 2009, as well as New York City Police Commissioner and Boston Police Commissioner. Mr. Bratton is now Chairman of Kroll, the world’s leading risk consulting company.
Civility in Management
Tuesday, December 4, 6 p.m.
Edward Reilly, President & CEO of American Management Association, the world’s leading not-for-profit, membership-based management development, research, and publishing organization.
Civility in Education
February 7, 6 p.m.
Joel Klein, who served as chancellor of the New York City School System from 2002-2011. Among his many achievements as chancellor, Klein created and implemented comprehensive education reform that resulted in increases in student performance. Klein currently serves as executive vice president and CEO of News Corporation’s education division.