Restoring Respect

A community conversation about respecting others who look, think, worship or vote differently

The series will be at the Cathedral in Harvard Hall starting at 7 p.m. All sessions are free and open to the public. They will also be live-streamed on the Cathedral Facebook page

Oct. 17: Restoring Respect: Where Did It Go?
* Donald Eastman, president, Eckerd College
* Eric Deggans, television critic, National Public Radio
* Brendan Goff, professor of history, New College

November 14: Restoring Respect: In the Media
 *Indira Lakshmanan, journalism ethics chair, The Poynter Institute
* Tim Nickens, editorial page editor, Tampa Bay Times
*Adam Goodman, Republican media campaign consultant

January 16: Restoring Respect: In Religion

February 20: Restoring Respect: In Race

March 20: Restoring Respect: In Politics
The final installment in the series, will feature panelists Adam Smith, political editor, Tampa Bay Times; Susan MacManus, professor of government and international affairs at USF and political analyst; and Alexios Mantzarlis, who leads the International Fact-Checking Network at the Poynter Institute.

5th Restoring Respect in Politics.gif


‘Respect: In Race’ Offers Voices of Youth

The fourth installment of our "Restoring Respect" series, at 7 p.m. February 20, focuses on the sensitive issue of race. Our panelists that night will be Ernest Hooper, columnist for the Tampa Bay Times, Rev. Kenny Irby, senior pastor of Historic Bethel AME Church and leader of minority-youth mentoring groups, and young people from one of those mentoring programs. "We think Pastor Irby and the young people he brings with him will give us an insight into respect that we could get in no other way," Dean Morris said. "The way minority young people dress or speak or the music they listen to often gives the rest of us an unwarranted license to disrespect them. Hearing from young people themselves about what it is like to be judged and disrespected because of who they are should be an eye-opening experience for all of us." Pastor Irby in 2016 was appointed the first community intervention director for the St. Petersburg Police Department. He is the program director for, an innovative role-modeling and mentoring program for black and Latino male youth. He chairs the city’s My Brother’s & My Sister’s Keeper, the local arm of a national program to provide mentoring, support networks, and opportunities for young people of color. He is an independent visual consultant and former photojournalist.

'Restoring Respect' Series Continued With Focus on Respect in Religion


'Restoring Respect' Series Continued With Focus on Respect in Religion

Our series, "Restoring Respect," occurred at 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 16, with its third installment: "Restoring Respect: In Religion."

The Cathedral had speakers representing the three great Abrahamic faiths: * Gelareh Asayesh
, author of Safron Sky: A Life Between Iran and America; * Rabbi Daniel Treiser, spiritual leader of Temple B'nai Israel in Clearwater; * The Rev. Bill Roen, a retired Lutheran pastor who led our recent presentation on the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

This yearlong series started in October with "Restoring Respect: Where Did It Go?" The second installment, in November, dealt with "Restoring Respect: In the Media." This discussion will focus on the role of religion in American life and will look at why some faiths feel disrespected, endangered and embattled, and how that could change.

“Lack of respect for those who look, think, worship, or vote differently is one of the compelling issues of the day,” noted Dean Morris. “It has become all too easy to dehumanize the people with whom we disagree or to think that shouting louder is the same as communicating. We want to contribute to a community conversation that helps people get beyond that and listen and learn from each other.”

Ms. Asayesh was born in Iran and came to the United States as a child, settling with her family in North Carolina. She was a reporter for The Miami Herald and The Baltimore Sun, and has written for The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and other national publications. She shares an interfaith marriage — she is Muslim, her husband is Jewish. Rabbi Treiser is a product of the Reform synagogue, youth movements, and camp movements. He has served in congregations in several states, has been a campus chaplain, focuses on youth ministry, and has led many trips to Israel. Pastor Roen has served in Georgia, Maryland, and Florida. He has a Ph.D. in English literature and linguistcs from the Catholic University of America and a divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Getysburg, PA.

On five Tuesday nights this fall through spring, we will address one of the key issues of our day: What happened to respecting others who differ from us? At a time when there is often heat but no light, more shouting than listening, and contempt for those who look or think or worship or vote differently, we will invite distinguished commentators, newsmakers, and academics to examine this issue and suggest a way forward. 

"One of our goals for the Cathedral is to establish us as a place in the public square where the important issues of the day can be discussed," Dean Morris said. "This series is open to the wider Tampa Bay community. We hope we can contribute to civilized conversation among people who may hold differing views on sensitive topics, something that has been lacking in society in recent years. We want to be able to hear from each other, listen, and learn." He added, "Our baptismal covenant calls on us to respect the dignity of every human being. That's every human being, including those whose actions or beliefs we find abhorrent. I struggle with how to do this, and I hope this series of conversations will help us all widen our understanding of what that might look like."

November 14: Restoring Respect: In the Media

An Article from the November 2017 CrossTown
More than 125 people turned out for the first segment of our five-part series, "Restoring Respect," on October 17. "The great news is, I didn't know most of our audience," Dean Morris said. "They were from the wider community — just what we hoped for. The fact that so many people attended tells me that our topic — restoring respect — is a subject of interest and concern for a lot of people." Speakers at the first session were Donald R. Eastman III, president of Eckerd College; Eric Deggans, television critic for National Public Radio; and Brendan Goff, associate professor of history at New College in Sarasota. If you missed it, you can watch the live stream on our Facebook page.

The series continues on Tuesday, November 14, at 7 p.m., focusing on the topic, "Restoring Respect: In the Media." Our panel will explore how journalists function in an era of "fake news" and what they can do to earn the respect of the public. Our panelists are: Indira Lakshmanan, holder of the Newmark chair in journalism ethics at the Poynter Institute. She has been a national and foreign correspondent for newspapers, a wire service, radio, TV, and magazines. She has been embedded with pirates in Southeast Asia, Maoist rebels in Nepal, and Khmer Rouge holdouts in Cambodia. (In the category of "small world," we have discovered that her high-school French teacher in Pittsburgh was a member of our congregation, Frank Casorio!) She is a frequent guest host on National Public Radio and writes a column for the Boston Globe. Tim Nickens, Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of the editorial page at the Tampa Bay Times. With columnist Dan Ruth he won the 2013 Pulitzer for a series of editorials urging the return of fluoride to the Pinellas County water supply. Tim is a member of our congregation, a graduate of Indiana University, and a former reporter, political editor, and assistant managing editor/metro for the Times. Adam Goodman, a media campaign consultant who has worked for dozens of Republican candidates across the country, including Jeb Bush and Rudolph Giuliani, through his company, the Victory Group. He is a frequent commentator on Fox News and CNN. He is the first Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Florida Trend magazine named him "one of the most influential Floridians.


Restoring Respect Series begins Tuesday October 17th

Where Did Respect Go?
Community Conversations Will Take On That Question
Our yearlong community conversation,
"Restoring Respect," opens October 17 with
a panel of three distinguished speakers
starting the discussion of this overall question:

What happened to respecting others
who differ from us?

The participants:
* Dr. Donald R. Eastman III, president of
Eckerd College;

* Eric Deggans, television critic, National
Public Radio;

* Dr. Brendan Goff, assistant professor of
history at New College, Sarasota

The first panel will look at how our nation has become angry, intolerant, and vocal in its lack of respect for others. It will examine how that disrespect is reflected or rejected in popular culture. And it will look back at previous movements that demonized those who were perceived to be the "unwelcome other" — immigrants and members of racial or religious groups.

"This series is open to the wider community so we can all engage in conversations about these important and sensitive topics," Dean Morris said.
"Lack of respect is something we all confront, day in and day out, regardless of whom we voted for in the presidential election, where we are on the political spectrum, where we get our news. This is a time of heat without light, shouting without listening. We want to contribute to a community conversation that helps us get beyond that, listen and learn from each other."

The series will be in Harvard Hall starting
at 7 p.m.