Visiting journalists, social activists, and filmmakers, along with Central Indiana community leaders, will address ethical communication during the inaugural Conference on Ethics & Public Argumentation (CEPA) April 1-4 at Butler University. Admission to all sessions is free and open to the public; seating availability is limited.

Elizabeth Bernstein Sean-Jacobs Elaine-HallGuest speakers include (pictured from left) Elizabeth Bernstein, whose Wall Street Journal column focuses on personal relationships; South African journalist turned scholar Sean Jacobs; and Elaine Hall, founder of the Miracle Project, a theatre and film program for children of all abilities. Three documentary films will be shown on the conference’s second day—“Undefeated: The Roger Brown Story,” “AUTISM: The Musical,” and “Medora”—followed by discussions with the films’ directors and featured subjects.

Local participants include the Rev. Charles Harrison of the Indianapolis Ten-Point Coalition; Jim Brainard ’76, Mayor of Carmel, Indiana; filmmaker Ted Green; WFYI President Lloyd Wright; district director Megan Sims Wilmes of Congressman André Carson’s office, and program director Danicia Malone of Colour Blind, Inc. at the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center.

In the conference’s keynote address, the Rev. Allan Boesak will reflect on his mentor and anti-apartheid colleague Nelson Mandela. Boesak directs the Desmond Tutu Center, a joint initiative of Butler and Christian Theological Seminary.

The full conference schedule is at

Sponsored by Butler’s College of Communication, CEPA was largely inspired by Butler alumni and friends, Craig Pinkus ’65, J.D.,  attorney and partner with Bose McKinney & Evans LLP of Indianapolis, and William Neher ’66, PhD, former interim dean of the College of Communication (CCOM) and professor emeritus of communication studies.

“CEPA is intended to promote dialogue between scholars of argumentation and significant thought-leaders in public and professional contexts where it is imperative to resolve major conflicts and challenges,” Neher said. “The invited participants are chosen because, by their words and deeds, they demonstrate a clear standard of ethical communication on the conference subjects.”

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson