Perry World House Critical Conversations

April 19, 2023
By Carter Johns | Inspiring Impact

The ability to engage civilly with those holding alternate opinions, especially when it comes to issues with ethical or societal consequences, are cornerstones of a healthy democracy.

But in an age of social media and news programs that encourage contention instead of conversation and learning, even mild topics can spark heated exchanges.

Thanks to an anonymous gift, Perry World House recently launched the Critical Conversations event series. The aim is to demonstrate how opposing sides can discuss contentious topics of global importance, often with policy implications, relying on facts and research and without resorting to insensitive or inappropriate discourse.

“A great university is a place where students are exposed to different points of view and value civil disagreement,” says LaShawn R. Jefferson, Senior Executive Director of Perry World House. “Critical Conversations provides an opportunity for members of the Penn and local communities to remind ourselves that we can talk civilly about sensitive and consequential topics.”

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