Public Affairs Conference - How Can You Hate Me When You Don’t Even Know Me?

Public Affairs Conference - How Can You Hate Me When You Don’t Even Know Me?
Date and time
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM, September 30, 2021

Moderator: Missouri State University President Clif Smart

It’s simply amazing what empathy and civil conversation can accomplish. Daryl Davis should know. For nearly 40 years, the noted Black musician has gained acclaim for confronting extreme bias with civility. He’s engaged, face-to-face, those who hate him because of the color of his skin: members and leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. Disbelief is most people’s first reaction: How could he possibly be civil to “those people?” But Davis reached out in an effort to understand – not to change minds.

Those conversations forged unlikely but genuine friendships and over time, many of his new friends changed their own minds and renounced their old beliefs. Some even gave Davis their robes, hoods, Nazi flags and other symbols of their past. Davis is a brilliant storyteller with jaw-dropping experiences about building bridges of understanding using practical tools we can all employ to ignite positive change in our workplace, our community and at the family dinner table. As Davis says, “A missed opportunity for dialogue is a missed opportunity for conflict resolution.” 

Event sponsor


Open to public, alumni, current students, faculty, future students, staff