The Art of Disagreement, a talk hosted by the UNC Institute of Politics Tuesday, focused on how to promote thoughtful debate in the midst of a politically divided era.
The two keynote speakers were Frank Bruni, a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times columnist, and UNC-system President Margaret Spellings.
The IOP organized the event as a response to the growing political polarization on college campuses. Tanner Glenn, founder and executive director of the IOP who helped organize the event, said one of the group’s objectives was to engage and inspire the next generation of public servants.
"Both Frank and President Spellings have a lot to contribute to the conversation about how we can respectfully disagree but still find common ground on issues that we care about," Glenn said.
The speakers also discussed the role of social media in growing polarization. Bruni and Spellings both discussed Twitter, and how the anonymity of the internet can cause people to use harsher language than they would in real life. People may also feel ostracized because their beliefs do not perfectly align within the categories of the Republican and Democratic parties.