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Democracy Week seeks engagement in conversation, challenges

Campus Life Mar 14, 2022
The words Democracy Week 2022 on a red white and blue background
The words Democracy Week 2022 on a red white and blue background

KOKOMO, Ind. — What is democracy?

Indiana University Kokomo invites students, faculty, staff, and the community to examine this question at the upcoming Democracy Week, set for March 28 to March 31.

The event includes discussions and presentations on public education, religion, and the meaning of democracy. Organized by Eric Bain-Selbo, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS), it was created through a collaborative effort among faculty and staff.  

“The overarching goal is to increase the knowledge and the engagement of our students around not just politics in the strict voting sense, but in political life,” Bain-Selbo said. “There are opportunities for the campus and community to do the same, to get these groups together in interesting conversations.”  

While all topics during the week are related to the state of democracy in America, all take different angles.  

“For people who participate, they’re going to learn something about the challenges and opportunities that democracy has today in the United States,” he said, adding that democracy requires participation.

“That can mean going to a city council meeting, a school board meeting, writing letters to the editor or letters to your representatives,” he said. “We’re discussing what does democracy mean? How fragile is it? What are the challenges we face today?”

Events include:

Monday, March 28

  • Equal Pay Day table, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Alumni Hall. The Equity Ambassadors will share information highlighting disparities in pay between men and women. A reception will feature the work done to promote voting. 
  • National Issues Forumdiscussion, “A New Land: What Kind of Government Should We Have?” 3:30 to 5 p.m., Main Building, Room 052. Refreshments will be served.
  • What is Democracy? film screening, 5:30 p.m., Kelley Student Center, Room 130AC. Film and pizza party sponsored by the Multicultural Center and HSS.

Tuesday, March 29

  • Table Talk: Democracy in America, 11:30 a.m., Kelley Student Center, Room 130AC. Sponsored by Academic Affairs. Lunch will be provided. 

Wednesday, March 30

  • “Taking America Back for God: The Ongoing Threat of Christian Nationalism to Democracy in the United States,” 2:30 p.m., Kelley Student Center, Room 130AC. A public lecture by Andrew Whitehead, IUPUI associate professor of sociology and director of the Association of Religion Data Archives at the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture. Sponsored by HSS. This event is open to the public. 
  • Democracy Reception, 3:30 to 4 p.m., Kelley Student Center, Room 130B. Refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public. 
  • The Times of Harvey Milk film screening, 4 to 6 p.m., Kresge Auditorium. Sponsored by the LGBTQ+ Center and HSS. This event is open to the public. 

Thursday, March 31

  • “Democracy and Public Education: Who Should Control What is Being Taught?”, Panel discussion, 4 to 5 p.m. Main Building, Room 125. The panel includes Jim Coby, assistant professor of English, Sarah Heath, associate professor of history, and Lance Mason, associate professor of education. Refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public.

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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