Elected officials, professor to discuss tone of public discourse


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Two Kentucky elected officials and a University of Louisville political expert will take part in a community forum at UofL on Monday, Jan. 24, about the power words have to shape public sentiment.

    U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson and UofL political science professor Jasmine Farrier are the panelists in “Do Words Matter in Political Discourse? A Community Discussion.” All three will take audience questions at the free, public event.

    UofL media relations director Mark Hebert will moderate the forum, which begins at noon in Bigelow Hall, Miller Information Technology Center. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The university organized the event to encourage discussion of what some have called a growing lack of civility in American political discourse. Panelists also will cover free speech, 21st century media and political polarization at the session, Hebert said.

    Yarmuth, a Democrat, is in his third term in Congress. Grayson, a Republican, is leaving his state office Jan. 31 to direct Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. Both are friends of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has encouraged discussion of civility in the political arena.

    Farrier has been at UofL since 2001 and specializes in constitutional conflicts and the separation of power.