Sutherland Newsletter – May 27, 2010


Tomorrow morning (Thursday, June 17), we look forward to welcoming all who have registered to attend the first session of the 2010 season of Sutherland’s award-winning Transcend Seriesleader-development program at the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City.


Jim Ferrell will again facilitate “The Choice in Political Leadership” seminar.  Jim is a widely-acclaimed speaker, author, and CEO of Arbinger Institute, a Utah-based organization respected internationally for its seminars on “conflict resolution,” its best-selling books that includeLeadership and Self-Deception and The Anatomy of Peace, and for helping a variety of decision-makers around the world to expand their influence constructively.  Six years ago, Sutherland Institute partnered with Arbinger to create this important component of the Transcend Seriesprogram.


Following check-in that starts at 9:00 am, the session will begin promptly at 9:30 am and conclude at 4:30 pm.  There will be a one-hour lunch break from 12:30-1:30 pm during which time session attendees will obtain lunch on their own at nearby restaurants.


The Transcend Series was created in 2004 to help Utah’s elected officials and other community leaders transcend politics as usual and thereby succeed in their efforts to make Utah a better place to live, work, and raise a family.



Sutherland Institute’s Center for Family and Society hosted an Immigration Forum on Thursday, June 24 on the timely topic: “Our Undocumented Neighbors: What the Conversation Should Be About.”


The Most Reverend John C. Wester, Bishop of the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese, and Brett Tolman, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, were the featured guests as Sutherland President Paul Mero served as moderator.


Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants live in Utah, and there is increasing debate regarding what do to about, with, for, or to them.  With animosity building among many citizens and civic leaders addressing the issue, the Forum considered several dimensions, emphasizing that the dialogue should be about real people and real families, not objectified “aliens” and abstract terms.


Mr. Mero posed a variety of questions to Bishop Wester and Mr. Tolman in an effort to explore key elements of the challenging immigrant issue.  Both agreed that while illegal immigration engenders passionate discussion, the onus is ultimately on the federal government.


“Much of this debate is based on emotion and sound bites,” Mr. Tolman said.  “There is some intellectual dishonesty on both sides.  However, the fact is that most of the people here illegally are good, hard-working people who want to be fully involved in our society.  But as long as the federal government remains stagnant on this issue, we will continue to see states address the problem in unique and individual ways.”


As Mr. Tolman views the issue from a legal and law-enforcement perspective, Bishop Wester’s assessment is from a religious perspective.


“This is a human, moral question, not just a political question,” Bishop Wester commented.  “We care very much about the law.  We also have to see the human element and recognize that these are real people we’re talking about.”


The full session will soon be available on Sutherland Institute’s YouTube channel


An op-ed written in conjunction with this Forum by Derek Monson, Sutherland policy manager, was published in the Thursday, June 24 edition of the Deseret News.



On Thursday, June 10, Sutherland Institute hosted a Candidate Forum at its offices in downtown Salt Lake City.  Following brief introductory remarks, Tim Bridgewater and Mike Lee, Republican primary candidates for the United States Senate, responded to questions presented by Sutherland President Paul Mero.  A condensed video summary of the event is now available at


“I wanted to learn more about how they think, not just what they think,” Mero commented following the session.


Mero probed the candidates, seeking to identify the principles and thought processes that guide each to his respective individual position on a variety of topics that included immigration, no-fault divorce, authentic charity care, litmus tests for U.S. Supreme Court nominees, and more.  Mero indicated that his intention was to get to the heart of who the candidates are as people.


The entire event can be viewed at