Compelling Perspectives

Lehigh Launches New Program, 'Compelling Perspectives'

Hosted by Lehigh President Joseph J. Helble ’82, Compelling Perspectives aims to widen the aperture on issues of societal importance by encouraging open conversations on challenging topics and modeling constructive discourse.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

If meaningful conversations about crucial issues in society can’t take place on a university or college campus, where can they?

A new program, Compelling Perspectives presented by Lehigh University, aims to create a forum for fostering discussions across differing perspectives on issues of critical and societal importance.

“Universities and colleges are not just centers of teaching, learning and scholarly work,” said President Joseph J. Helble ’82. “At their best, colleges and universities play an important role in modeling respectful public discourse and dialogue on complex issues.”

National security will be the topic of focus for the 2023-24 academic year.

Theresa May

President Helble will moderate a campus discussion with the first speaker for Compelling Perspectives, The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2016-2019), on Oct. 24, 2023.

To launch the series, Helble will moderate a campus discussion with The Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (2016-2019) on Oct. 24, 2023.

Later in the semester, Helble will host a discussion with an additional speaker offering a different viewpoint. The long-term goal of Compelling Perspectives is to provide a forum presenting a range of views on selected topics.

The exchange of diverse ideas and the consideration of alternative viewpoints through programs such as Compelling Perspectives help to promote critical thinking, empathy and openness, enabling society to address complex challenges from a more informed and comprehensive standpoint. Dialogue serves as a powerful tool to foster social cohesion, bridge divides, build trust and strengthen community bonds.

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, the release of President Biden’s national security strategy, and heightened geopolitical tensions in Asia and Africa, national security is a topic of timely discussion, with far-reaching impacts.

Compelling Perspectives will offer a forum where discussion on critical societal topics can be explored on Lehigh’s campus and where Lehigh, as an educational community, can serve as a model of respectful discourse.

“In a society made more divisive by amplified intolerance and singular-view echo chambers, Compelling Perspectives presents a fresh and nuanced approach to engaging in vital dialogue,” said Brett Ludwig, Lehigh’s vice president of communications and public affairs. “Our aim as a university is to present broad perspectives and encourage students, faculty, staff and members of our community to explore diverse viewpoints on topics that matter.”

Advance registration is required for attendance at Compelling Perspectives programs and will open in the new academic year.

Visit the Compelling Perspectives presented by Lehigh University webpage to find more information, which will be continually updated with information on new events.

Story by

Carina Sitkus

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