Kent State CCI and Purple America to present RNC discussion panels

Alex Delaney-Gesing

Kent State’s College of Communication and Information and national initiative Purple America are partnering for next week’s Republican National Convention.

Purple America—a civic organization centered on creating a civil, productive and respectful conversation regarding American values—will host a series of discussion panels Tuesday through Thursday of the RNC.

The collaboration will feature a ‘Purple Tent’ set up for panel discussions, speakers and roundtables for everyone from media, bloggers and students to delegates, politicians and civil leaders, according to a July 6 Kent State news release.

On Tuesday, “Is Civility Dead?” will feature ABC News’ Matt Dowd and FOX News’ Michael Steel and Juan Williams. The subject matter will incorporate the election theme of “Voters are angry.”

A second panel—”Finding Common Ground: Crossing the Aisle: Major Public Policies Where Parties Share Common Ground in the Next Congress”—will be held later in the afternoon.

Discussion will center on the common values shared by both political parties that have the potential to bring them together.

RNC Chief of Staff Katie Walsh and SIRIUS XM host and senior writer at Forbes Rick Ungar, will be among the speakers. John Steiner of the Mediators Foundation will moderate.

Wednesday’s lineup will kickoff with “Engaging Millennials: Advocacy and Influence in the Digital Age with Facebook and Twitter.”

Featured speakers include: Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global politics and government outreach director; Samantha Osborne, the RNC’s digital media director—a new position this election year; and Sara Tabatabaie, digital director of Rock the Vote, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization centered on encouraging young voters to the pools.


The final discussion titled “Polling and Media” will look at the bias present among media and how it can affect polling numbers based on coverage they provide to the public.

The Purple Tent will be located outside the Jane Addams Business Careers Center at 2723 E. 30th St. in downtown Cleveland. All panel discussions are free and open to the public.

Contact Alex Delaney-Gesing at [email protected].