'Conversations with America': Emory advances discourse on national issues

Aug. 28, 2017

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A new series, “Conversations with America,” is part of Emory University’s effort to advance and promote conversation and civil discourse on the most difficult issues facing our nation. Conducted in collaboration with nationally renowned NBC/Wall Street Journal pollster Peter D. Hart, several focus groups will be launched in select cities across the United States to foster a deeper understanding of American views on critical issues such as immigration, race, education and health care.

The “Conversations with America” series kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 29, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hart will moderate an open discussion among a diverse and balanced cross-section of American citizens, exploring attitudes on the current state of our nation and paying particular attention to the issue of immigration. The focus group will reveal the underlying dynamics of participant attitudes on recent issues ranging from North Korea to Charlottesville, while probing their stance on immigration issues, including those impacting higher education.

“We cannot begin to address the most divisive challenges facing our nation without first taking the time to listen to the broad range of opinions and experiences across the nation,” says Emory University President Claire E. Sterk. “'Conversations with America' aims to help us engage in the difficult conversations we must have as a community and as a nation. Universities like Emory stand in a unique position to help foster respectful dialogue that brings greater understanding and engagement. That is our charge as an institution of higher education.”  

The “Conversations with America” series will offer a valuable opportunity for Emory students, faculty and the public to pause and listen to a broad array of citizen voices and to learn about their diverse opinions on critically important national issues. The research team will provide a full-length video and independent summary to the Emory community and the public.

Peter D. Hart is regarded as one of the top analysts of public opinion in the United States. Since 1989, Hart has been the pollster for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal and is also widely known for his “Voices of the Voters” project for the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. Hart is the founder of Hart Research, which focuses on public policy and cultural issues. Hart has taught public opinion and public policy at Duke University, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley.