Town Square

How to Have Civil Conversations During Family Gatherings; Plus, the Latest on the Mass Shooting in Virginia

Ways to approach (or avoid) difficult subjects at the holiday dinner table.



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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

With the recent mass shootings at a Walmart in Virginia and Club Q in Colorado Springs, how can we feel safe? We talk with author and the retired FBI agent who created the FBI's active shooter program, Katherine Schweit, about what we can do, what are the warning signs, and how we can protect ourselves in order to stay safe.

If you find yourself in an active shooter situation, Schweit says, "Run. Hide. Fight." Click here to watch an informational video on what to do in these situations to keep yourself safe.

Then, we shift topics to discuss family dynamics and how to handle difficult conversations that come up during family gatherings. Given how common it is for arguments to arise during Thanksgiving, and how divided our country is on many issues, navigating these conversations away from family squabbles can be difficult.

We speak with two experts on how to have those difficult discussions during family gatherings without it escalating out of control.



Katherine Schweit

  • Retired F-B-I Special Agent who created the FBI's Active Shooter program
  • Author, "Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis"

Dr. Michele Williams

  • Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at the Tippie College of Business, University of Iowa

Dr. Jeff Temple

  • Vice Dean for Research and Scholarship, School of Nursing
  • John Sealy Distinguished Chair in Community Health
  • Director, Center for Violence Prevention, UTMB Health

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