Alexander Heffner, of PBS’s “The Open Mind,” will speak at RWU on Thursday

Host will talk about “Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship”

Alex Heffner
By Edward Fitzpatrick

BRISTOL, R.I. ­­– Alexander Heffner, host of the PBS show The Open Mind, will speak at Roger Williams University on Thursday, Dec. 6, about “Civil Discourse in an Uncivil Age: The Quest for a Post-Partisan Citizenship.”

“At a time when the nation is becoming increasingly divided and the public discourse is becoming increasingly coarse, we are pleased to bring Alexander Heffner to campus to talk about an alternative path forward,” RWU Interim President Andy Workman said. “I am sure that students, faculty and members of the public will find his message both timely and thought-provoking.”

“I’ll explore an increasing divisiveness in American discourse, the toxic climate of political rhetoric and violence, and steps to correct this plague on our democracy,” Heffner said. “It’s imperative that we the people, elected officeholders, digital platforms, and journalists all work to reverse the present disunity.”

The presentation will run from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Mary Tefft White Cultural Center in the University Library on the Bristol campus. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

As the host of PBS’s The Open Mind, Alexander Heffner covers American politics, civic life and Millennials. He is co-author of A Documentary History of the United States (Penguin, 2018) and lectures around the world in locations such as Newseum, National Constitution Center, Museum of American Finance, FDR Library and Museum, Post-Truth Initiative at University of Sydney, and many institutions of higher education.

His writing has appeared in TIME, USA Today, Daily Beast, New York Times’s Room for Debate, and The Wall Street Journal. And his work has been profiled in nearly every major media outlet, including The Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, MSNBC, C-SPAN, NPR, and BBC. He was the political director for WHRB 95.3 FM and host of The Political Arena. A native New Yorker, he is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., and Harvard.