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Arts / Culture

St.Petersburg Is "Restoring Respect"

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Daylina Miller/WUSF
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Protesters and supporters argue at President Trump's first visit to Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base ";

What place does respect have in today’s society, and why does it seem to be missing? These are some of the questions a series of community conversations in St. Petersburg hopes to answer.

The Cathedral Church of St. Peter will be hosting the first talk in the series Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m., featuring a panel including Dr. Donald R. Eastman III, president of Eckerd College in St. Petersburg; Eric Deggans, television critic for NPR; and Dr. Brendan Goff, professor of history at New College in Sarasota.

The event, “Restoring Respect: Where Did It Go,” focuses on why there is division and turmoil in how we communicate today about divisive topics.

Judy Stark, the Chair of the Formation Committee for the Cathedral Church, said that “we are sticking our fingers in our ears and yelling past each other,” and that through this conversation, “we can learn to listen to each other.”

The event is free and open to everyone. Stark is hoping for a large variety of attendees to gain more perspectives of the issue and “to hear the viewpoints of people with whom we seldom have conversations, with whom we are seldom in the same room or at the same table.”

“Respect is an essential ingredient so that when you talk to somebody about an issue on which you disagree, that person knows you respect them and that you take their idea seriously even when you don’t agree with them,” said Deggans. “We’re sort of losing sight of that in a lot different areas of society.”

He added the issue is the need to “get back to that idea, where people have respect with everybody who’s at the table, even if you disagree with them.”

There will be follow-up sessions at St. Peter’s to talk about restoring respect in specific areas: Nov. 14 – In the Media; Jan. 16, 2018 – In Religion; Feb. 20 – In Race; March 20 – In Politics.

The Cathedral Church of St. Peter is at 140 4th St. N. in St. Petersburg.

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