On the Decline of Civility in U.S. Politics and Public Life, with National Endowment for The Humanities Chair Jim Leach – March 4 at New York University


The John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at New York University will host a timely lecture by Jim Leach, chairman of The National Endowment for the Humanities, on the need to foster public civility in American politics and public life.

National Endowment for The Humanities Chair Jim Leach – March 4  at NYU
National Endowment for The Humanities Chair Jim Leach – March 4 at NYU

The John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress at New York University will host a timely lecture by Jim Leach, chairman of The National Endowment for the Humanities, on the need to foster public civility in American politics and public life.

The event, open to the public, will be held Thursday, March 4 at 6:00 p.m. at  the Humanities Initiative at NYU, 20 Cooper Square (@ 5th Street), 5th Floor, New York, N.Y.

Jim Leach spent three decades as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa. During his public career he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee, the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He founded and co-chaired the Congressional Humanities Caucus.

In 2008, after departing from Congress, he endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for president. He became a visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and, in August 2009, began his four-year term as NEH chairman.

In that role, Leach launched a 50-state tour in November 2009 to call attention to the need for civility in public discourse. “Civilization requires civility,” says Leach. “Words matter. Polarizing attitudes can jeopardize social cohesion.”

Media coverage is invited. Members of the media planning to attend should contact the NYU press officer listed with this release. Meanwhile, the general public should visit here to reserve a seat.

About the Brademas Center

The mission of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress is to increase the understanding of Congress—“the People’s Branch” of government— its role in making policy, its powers, processes and responsibilities. The Center’s bipartisan work is aimed at scholars, students, current and future public servants and the public. The Center conducts research, teaches, and holds public outreach events—such as symposia and conferences—and hosts policy addresses by members of Congress. Its programming explores issues and problems of the legislative branch from new perspectives. As a part of the New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Center strives to help the next generation of public service leaders develop a deeper understanding of how and why Congress makes decisions. The Center is named for founder John Brademas, who served in the U.S. House for 22 years (1959-81).

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337