Registration is open for the 2019 Greenlee Summit on communications, politics and civility

headshots of S.E. Cupp and Leslie Gaines-Ross
S.E. Cupp of CNN (left) and Leslie Gaines-Ross of Weber Shandwick

S.E. Cupp of CNN and Leslie Gaines-Ross of Weber Shandwick will present

With 93 percent of Americans reporting civility is a problem in society in a recent poll and an election year looming, the second annual Greenlee Summit will explore the role of communications and civility in our democracy on Sept. 5-6, 2019, in Ames.

Hosted by Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, the two-day summit will bring industry professionals, community leaders, educators and students together to discuss strategies for fostering civil discourse. Nearly 450 people are expected to participate in the event, which is made possible by the Kerry and Linda Killinger Foundation, the initial major sponsor.

“We chose this topic because the future of our professions depends upon it,” said Jeff White, Vice President of Business Development at Flynn Wright and Greenlee Summit co-chair. “All of us – whether we are press or advertising professionals or PR practitioners – need to connect with audiences and maintain their trust. Incivility erodes all of that.”

S.E Cupp, a CNN political commentator, culture critic and author, will present the first keynote lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Great Hall at the Iowa State Memorial Union.

Cupp is co-author of Why You’re Wrong About the Right: Behind the Myths and author of Losing Our Religion. She brings a conservative, feminist perspective to her weekly CNN program, Unfiltered, and is recognized for encouraging honest and respectful dialogue around politics, religion and the media in American life. Cupp also hosts her own radio show and writes a regular column in the New York Daily News and on The Daily Caller.

Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, will open the daylong conference with a keynote lecture at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in the Iowa State Center Scheman Building.

One of the world’s most widely recognized experts on CEO and corporate reputation, Gaines-Ross will share insights from the latest installment of Civility in America: A Nationwide Survey. The poll is conducted annually by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate with KRC Research to gauge Americans’ attitudes toward civility in a variety of areas impacting American society and daily life. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Barbara Riedesel Iverson Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Greenlee School.

Following the keynote, attendees can attend their choice of breakout sessions throughout the day. Panel presentations and moderated discussions will feature experts from various industry segments and respected organizations, including CBS News, Centro, Chicago Tribune, Cox Media Group, Edelman U.S. Public Affairs, The Harkin Institute for Public Policy and Citizen Engagement at Drake University, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, IREX, KCCI-TV, Meredith Corporation, the Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University, Wesleyan Media Project, WGN Chicago, WHO-TV and Vote Smart.

Registration is required for community leaders, professionals and educators for Friday’s events. The $125 fee includes morning refreshments, lunch, and a networking reception. Registration is not required for Iowa State students.

Cupp’s Thursday lecture, which is co-sponsored by the Association of Women in Communication Central Iowa Student Chapter, the Greenlee School and the Iowa State University Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government), is free and open to the public.

Building off the success of last year’s inaugural, sold-out summit, the Greenlee School is partnering with other groups both on and off campus, including Iowa State University’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, the Department of Political Science and the Greenlee School Advisory Council, which is made up of both alumni and friends in the industry.

“Civility is central to democracy because it’s important to respectfully address all sides of an issue in media or public discourse,” said Angela Powers, Greenlee School director. “Engagement for the 2019 Greenlee Summit is occurring on many levels, and we’re thrilled to have a wealth of diverse perspectives helping us make this a can’t-miss event for anyone who is interested in communications, media, politics or civility.”

Details and registration information can be found here: