Discussion Starters

Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy


Discussion Starters

Each of the videos highlights important points from the roundtable discussion, Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy public forum, and raise important questions like these shown below.

These videos and questions are meant to serve as discussion starters as you continue the national conversation around the theme.


What is Civility? A Roundtable Discussion

Civility and the Marketplace of Ideas

Who Can Express Anger?

Sanctions and Free Speech

How to Respond to Incivility


The following political cartoon and discussion activity are to be used in classrooms and community groups to begin a conversation on the relationship between civility and politics. 

Civility & Politics: Analyzing a Political Cartoon

Civility and Politics Cartoon



Civilityandpoliticscartoon






Civility & Political Discourse in Vermont: How Do We Compare to the Nation?

Hosted by the Vermont Bar Association in partnership with the ABA Division for Public Education & The Vermont Humanities Council

Montpelier, Vermont June 1, 2013

NEH Chairman Jim Leach, Keynote Speakers
Panel & Audience Discussion


Video Coverage at State Programs

Tennessee Bar Association and University of Tennessee- Knoxville host Civility and Effective Governance

Michigan Center for Civic Education hosts Civility & Free Expression: A Conversation on Gun Violence

Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. hosts Engaged, Not Engraged: Civility, Politics, and Civic Engagement



Civility and Free Expression in a Constitutional Democracy is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities under the Bridging Cultures initiative. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Bar Association, or any of its program partners.

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