Call to Action:

There is a well known story in Washington about the unlikely friendship that formed between Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill back in the eighties. It’s said that while the two leaders would battle over issue after issue each day, when 6pm rolled around they would put aside their partisan bickering and sit for a drink as friends.

Today, too often it seems that the bickering in this town continues far past six. Too often, it seems like nothing gets through the partisan gridlock. Too often, it seems like there are too few drinks being had by too few friends on the other side of the aisle.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

For nearly 10 years now, the Institute for Education has been reaching across that aisle to bring Democrats and Republicans together in cordial, respectful forums so that they can exchange views and get to know each other. Our Leadership programs have brought Democratic and Republican Governors together to discuss regional issues, and our Youth Global Citizenship has brought leaders of all political stripes together to give our students a more global understanding of an ever-shrinking global community.

Here at IFE, we believe the time to do more is now.

We believe that in order for R’s and D’s,and the leaders of our world community to work together well, they have to know each other well. We believe in order to have fewer pre-6pm arguments, we need to have more post-6pm attitudes.

To do this, IFE has launched a series of events entitled The Politics of Common Ground: A Return to Civility. Chaired by former Senators Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Don Nickles (R-OK), Representatives Tom Davis (R-VA) and Jane Harmon (D-CA), and IFE’s own George Vradenberg, the Common Ground events brings leaders of all political persuasions together to sit back, relax, have fun, and enjoy each other’s company. No politics. No issues. Just the same kind of camaraderie that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill developed not so long ago.

The Institution for Education has proudly hosted a growing number of popular programs since its founding. Between our INFO policy breakfasts, our Leadership Programs, our Youth Global Citizenship, and our Civility programs, we have a lot on our plate!

I know that you’re as excited as I am about the success of our civility programs. I look forward to seeing all of you the next time we’re able to kick back and have some fun. And who knows? Maybe the next day at the office we’ll all be able to find the common ground necessary to get more of the people’s business done.

Together, I believe we can work toward the return of civility. Together, I believe we can bring back the Politics of Common Ground. I’ll see you there.

Coach Kathy Kemper


Civility Program

Honorary Chairs

  • Senator Tom Daschle
  • Senator Don Nickles
  • Congressman Tom Davis
  • Congresswoman Jane Harman

IFE Chair

  • George Vradenburg

IFE Founder

  • Kathy Kemper