9th Annual Civil Discourse Symposium - Sharing our Stories: Moving from Division to Hope

John Noltner

Date and Time

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM


The RSVP deadline has passed for this event.


The keynote address will take place on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus at:

L.V. Eberhard Center 
301 Fulton Street W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

This event will also be live-streamed via Zoom at


This year’s Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Symposium is a three-day event that will culminate with an interactive keynote address from John NoltnerA Peace of My Mind's founder, photographer, and storyteller, on Wednesday, November 9 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. in the Eberhard Center on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Noltner’s presentation will include sharing images and quotes from his conversations with members of the Grand Valley and Grand Rapids communities about their hopes for our country, as well as material from Lessons on the Road to Peace, a multi-media project featuring conversations with ordinary Americans he met during his 40,000-mile drive across the country. Other highlights of the symposium include a curated photography exhibit, a photography studio experience for students, faculty/staff, and community members, and a studio workshop with Seeds of Promise, a community organization partner of the Center for this special event.

For complete details on the photography exhibit and studio workshops, please visit the Fall 2022 Symposium page.


John Noltner: Lessons on the Road to Peace
Frustrated with a polarized world, John Noltner drove 40,000 miles across the country interviewing and photographing hundreds of people from all walks of life. His keynote address is a multi-media presentation through which he shares his personal story of following his passion while at the same time revealing the wisdom of everyday Americans and their stories of hope, transformation, and forgiveness. With portraits and personal stories, ordinary people reveal extraordinary insights into how we can work toward common good and create a world that is more just for all. Noltner’s work is grounded in the belief that art and storytelling have the power to transform our hearts as well as our communities, and that we each have the power to create positive change in the world.

The keynote address is open to the public and will be interactive, incorporating small group discussions as well as a question/answer session with Noltner.

6:00-6:30 p.m. - Refreshments 
6:30-8:30 p.m. - Program

This event is approved for INT 100/201 credit!

This event also appears on the main events calendar tagged as alumni, brooks, civil, discourse, hauenstein, kaufman, sustainability, talking, together, and wgvu.


For more information, please visit:


Padnos/Sarosik Center for Civil Discourse
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 616-331-8044

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Page last modified October 26, 2022