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Civility in Action: Dialogues across Difference
Please join Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard for a series of
conversations focused on building civility across difference.
Photo portrait of Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley  
Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley
Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
Cultural Arts Center
7995 Georgia Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
Click here for directions and map.
Tuesday, February 28 7 p.m.
Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley
Co-pastors, Covenant Baptist Church of Christ  
Drs. Dennis W. and Christine Y. Wiley have decades of experience in theology, ministry, and counseling, and have led countless conversations about the intersections of racial difference and reconciliation. They are active in the struggle for justice for all people, with a special focus on the places where difference—around race, class, gender, or sexual orientation—has created barriers to communication. The Wileys’ dialogue will bring a special focus on how communities that have been divided by difference and incivility can move beyond bitterness to improved trust and potential understanding.

Photo of Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger speaking  
Chief J. Thomas Manger
Rockville Campus
Theatre Arts Arena
51 Mannakee Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Click here for directions and map.
Thursday, March 9 7 p.m.
Chief J. Thomas Manger
President, Major Cities Chiefs Association  
As Chief of Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, since 2004, Chief Manger leads a department of 1,252 sworn police officers and 669 civilian members. The diversity of Montgomery County, with nearly 1.1 million residents, has grown continually since 2010. With a special commitment to expanding community policing, Chief Manger has been credited with successfully leading law enforcement officials in how to engage with residents who are different from themselves in race, age, language, gender, and immigration status. His commitment to the highest ethical standards for policing and his enactment of new policies to increase departmental accountability have earned him significant recognition from the community. He continues to affirm that Montgomery County will maintain its policy of not asking people about their immigration status. 

Photo portrait of The Honorable Connie Morella in front of the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC  
The Honorable Connie Morella
Rockville Campus
Theatre Arts Arena
51 Mannakee Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Click here for directions and map.
Thursday, March 30 7 p.m.
The Honorable Connie Morella
Ambassador and Congresswoman  
Transcending partisan politics is sometimes the most important skill a politician can have. As a Republican who won re-election to Congress seven times in a heavily Democratic region, Connie Morella has spent much of her political life working across the aisle. While remaining a Republican she broke with her party by voting against bills that sought to combat illegal immigration and to make English the official language of the US. Throughout her political career she has taken courageous stands on women’s health, human rights, and domestic violence that have demanded collaborative approaches. Finding—and nurturing—common ground among those of different political persuasions has been her trademark.

Photo portrait of Mr. Neel Saxena  
Mr. Neel Saxena
Photo portrait of Imam Yahya Hendi speaking  
Imam Yahya Hendi
Germantown Campus
Bioscience Education Center, 151-152
20200 Observation Drive
Germantown, Maryland 20876
Click here for directions and map.
Monday, May 8 7 p.m.
Neel Saxena
Executive Director, Asian American LEAD  
Imam Yahya Hendi
Muslim Chaplain, Georgetown University  
As the child of Indian immigrants, Neel Saxena understands the cultural and linguistic difference that many Asian immigrants experience and is a vociferous advocate for education. As the executive director at Asian American LEAD, his work supports low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth, helping them to construct educational goals, learn about their own and others’ cultures, and take on leadership roles in the community. In Saxena’s experience, engaging across cultural difference can be empowering and transforming, for people on both sides of the conversation. Reaching across difference to make education accessible to all is his personal and professional mission.
As the first Muslim chaplain at an American university, Imam Yahya Hendi teaches across difference everyday. As a chaplain at Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, part of his job description is to lead explorations about religious traditions and the roles they play in multicultural societies. As religion continues to be cast as a political narrative—as much as a cultural or national one—speaking productively across different forms of worship will be a skill that is much in demand. Imam Hendi’s experience and theological training will shed light on these processes and their impacts.

About the Series
Civil discourse is a practice that strengthens society because it opens lines of contact and communication, and builds relationships. In the wake of a year marked by public incivility in politics, strained relationships in law enforcement, and violence that has planted suspicion across difference, more than ever our communities need to build bridges of understanding. A series of conversations led by MC President DeRionne Pollard will attempt to do that. The series will invite several experts in their fields to provoke dialogue that is inclusive, intelligent, and civil. By welcoming community members, students, faculty, staff, and elected officials, we invite all interested participants to join our engagement efforts to challenge misperceptions, interrogate contradictions, and explore solutions to community problems that respect all parties.
For information, call the President’s Office at 240-567-5267 or visit
Attendance at one or more of these events meets multicultural and diversity training criteria for Montgomery College staff.
For special accommodations, please email the Office of Disability Support Services at

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Special thanks to our co-sponsors:

Logo for Montgomery County Faith Community Advisory Council   Montgomery County Faith Community Advisory Council   Logo for Holy Cross Health   Montgomery County, Maryland Office of Human Rights – Creating a culture of service and a climate of fairness and inclusion (logo and tagline)   Montgomery County Office of Human Rights  
GGCC (Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, Inc. logo)   Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, Inc. The Universities at Shady Grove (logo)
Healthcare Initiative Foundation (logo)   Healthcare Initiative Foundation  
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – Since 1920 – Scholarship • Service • Sisterhood • Finer Womanhood (logo)   Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Leadership Montgomery (logo)
Montgomery County, Maryland (county seal)   County Executive’s Latin American Advisory Group
    Rockville Chamber of Commerce

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