Do You Hear Me Now? Civil Discussion in a Polarized Age

When speech is suppressed, wrote Frederick Douglass, it is a “double wrong.” Not only is the right to speak violated, so is the “right to hear.” Douglass called Freedom of Speech “the great moral renovator of society and government.” By hearing one another, we have a chance of becoming a more just nation. These are noble words, for sure, but what do they look like in action? Aren’t some things better left unheard?

This discussion considers the work of hearing from the perspective of a college newspaper editor, a local media leader, and a civics organizer from New Hampshire Listens. We’ll learn how newspapers decide what their readers need to hear and how listening can improve the quality of deliberation in New Hampshire cities and towns.

Cost is $15 per person and includes appetizers and one beverage (beer, wine, or non-alcoholic drink) in the relaxed atmosphere of Portsmouth Gas Light Co.


Suggested reading/listening:

How the Constitution teaches students to disagree civilly

Interactive Constitution

This series was made possible by the Mellon Foundation.




View the printed program

Event Details


Wednesday, October 12, 2022 5:30pm


Portsmouth Gas Light Co.
64 Market Street
Portsmouth NH 03801

Hosted By:

New Hampshire Humanities

Contact Info:

Catherine Winters,