Let's Talk

Insight on today’s most pressing issues.

Let’s Talk About events are 90-minute forums designed to provide you with a welcoming space to learn about and discuss local and global issues that are often difficult to talk about.

  • Get facts from various perspectives on the front lines
  • Use the opportunity to ask a question that concerns you
  • Each discussion held at Central Library unless otherwise noted

Let's Talk About: Civility | February 23 at 1 p.m.

We live in a society where civility is on the decline. How do we get back to a place of mutual respect even when we disagree? Let's discuss it. 

Registration is required for this event. Seating is open and provided first-come, first-served. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.  


Rabbi Mona Alfi, Senior Rabbi | Congregation B’nai Israel
Rabbi Alfi is fueled by a passion for tikkun olam (repairing the world) and a vision for reaching out to Sacramento’s diverse Jewish community. As the spiritual leader of B’nai Israel, Rabbi Alfi hopes to foster a caring community that is engaged both in the life of the synagogue and in our broader society.

Merging religion and social action has been at the center of Rabbi Alfi’s career; cultivating relationships with varied branches of the local Jewish community – young and old, gay and straight, single and married, as well as members of the interfaith community of Sacramento.

Dr. Tecoy Porter Sr., Senior Pastor | Genesis Church
Leader, communicator, scholar and strategist typifies the life work of Dr. Porter. In 2003, Dr. Porter lead the construction of the Dr. Robert Porter Family Life Center – a multipurpose facility which houses worship services, athletic leagues and a multitude of outreach programs for the Meadowview community.
In response to the tragic Stephon Clark shooting, Dr. Porter was appointed by the Rev. Al Sharpton to form and lead the Sacramento Chapter of the National Action Network, one of the leading civil rights organizations in the nation.

Marisa Gottuso, Co-Chair | Better Angels Sacramento Alliance
Gottuso is the Co-Chair of the Sacramento Alliance of Better Angels, a national citizens’ movement focused on reducing political polarization in the United States by bringing liberals and conservatives together to understand each other beyond stereotypes, teaching practical skills for communicating across political differences, and making a strong public argument for a return to civility.

Gottuso was drawn to this work after witnessing the damaging effects of polarization within her church community, social circles and even amongst her own family members.

The Honorable Deborah Barnes, United States Magistrate Judge
Judge Barnes was appointed August, 2016. She is a graduate of U C Berkeley and earned her JD from McGeorge School of Law. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Barnes worked in the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and for the firm of Weintraub, Genshlea, Hardy, Erick & Brown.

Facilitated by:

Bill Slaton, Senior Consultant | Leading Resources Inc.
Slaton is a senior consultant specializing in board governance. For 16 years, he served as an elected board member of SMUD and served three terms as President of the Board. Slaton also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the governing board of California Public Employees Retirement System. Prior to his leadership roles on these boards, he served on two publicly-traded commercial bank boards as well as on various non-profit boards.

Leading Resources Incorporated is a management consulting firm founded in 1998, with a mission to develop highly effective leaders and leading organizations.

Be a part of the discussion before February 23

The Sacramento Alliance of Better Angels is hosting a series of programs leading up to the discussion on February 23. Take a look at the series and add one or all to your calendar today. Learn more about the Better Angels.

Reading list
Have Questions?
Do I have to take part in the discussion?

Only if you want to participate. You can join us as an observer or a thoughtful contributor and we promise to provide a respectful environment for you to learn about and/or discuss the issue.

Why don’t you talk about uplifting topics?

We do that too, but in a different way — at our storytimes and during our daily programs. Let’s Talk About is to provide our local community the opportunity to discuss the things that we don’t usually talk about, and with others who are interested in talking about it too.

How do you find people “on the front lines” for Let’s Talk About?

It’s a community effort. Some approach us and express interest in being part of the forum series, but most are found through our partnerships with organizations and individuals throughout the Sacramento community.

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