Friday, December 06, 2013

Rich Cizik

Yesterday, Rich Cizik spoke to my Political Campaign Communication course at James Madison University (the photo is one I took during his lecture). Currently serving as President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, Cizik previously served as Vice President for Governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). He was ousted from the NAE in 2008 due to his outspoken challenge to "culture war" priorities. A leading evangelical voice on global warming and other environmental issues, Cizik has weathered a lot of criticism but remains a strong voice for sustainability. Weaving together personal stories and academic research, he lectured Thursday on the problems of political polarization and what it takes to persuade people to change their minds. I appreciated his challenge to the students to be open to change and willing to speak out even if standing alone. I also enjoyed joining him and another professor for coffee after class to talk about religion, politics, and the environment.

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