Civility Forum in Montgomery this Friday!

The winner of the new Whetstone-Seaman Faculty Development Award will present his paper at a forum on Friday, March 25. The forum, titled “Daring to Defend Our Rights: A Discussion of Civility in Alabama Public Life,” will be held at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (Alabama Power Auditorium) in Montgomery at 9:30 a.m. The forum is co-sponsored by the Alabama Humanities Foundation and the David Matthews Center for Civic Life.

The presentation by Nick Jones, philosophy professor at University of Alabama-Huntsville, of his paper “Civility, Sincerity and Ambiguity” will be followed by responses from five Alabamians, including noteworthy Alabama historian and Anniston Star columnist Dr. Harvey H. Jackson; media personality Tim Lennox; Birmingham entrepreneur and author Shelley Stewart; Central High School (Phenix City) gifted education teacher Barbara Romey; and David Mathews Center for Civic Life intern/Auburn University student Alexandria Smith. Christopher McCauley of the David Mathews Center will moderate discussion.

There is no cost to attend and light refreshments will be served beginning at 9:30 a.m.

The Whetstone-Seaman Faculty Development Award is an initiative of the Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) meant to offer Alabama junior scholars professional development opportunities. Deans of arts and sciences at accredited institutions across Alabama were invited to nominate the most promising junior humanities scholar to participate in an essay contest. The topic of this year’s contest was “Civility: What Does Civility Mean in the 21st Century Debate?” Nick Jones will receive a $3,000 award for his paper. The runner-up, Clifford Lee, a philosophy professor at Troy University, will receive a $1,500 award for his paper titled “The Courage of Civility: Taming Public Discourse and Ourselves in the 21st Century.” Funding for this award is provided by AHF board member Bob Whetstone and former AHF board member Janet Seaman.

A selection committee composed of humanities scholars reviewed the papers blindly and selected the top six for publication in the Alabama Humanities Review (

To hear more about the topic of civility and the March 25 forum, please listen to our interview on Troy Public Radio’s Community Focus program.

For more information, contact the Mathews Center at (205) 665-9005 or the Alabama Humanities Foundation at (205) 558-3993.