Progressive/Conservative Summit seeks to find common ground in politics

Jeffrey Rosen, CEO of the National Constitution Center in Washington D.C.
Jeffrey Rosen
Image credit - National Constitution Center

The Hauenstein Center, in partnership with the GVSU political science department and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, presents the 13th annual Progressive/Conservative Summit on February 29 at the Eberhard Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.

The event will feature experts discussing the U.S. Constitution and the complexities of finding commonality among political parties when it comes to individual reform of the historic document.

The summit begins with a luncheon lecture at 11:30 a.m. from Jeffrey Rosen, CEO for the National Constitution Center, discussing his book, “The Pursuit of Happiness, How Classical Writers on Virtue Inspired the Lives of the Founders and Defined America.”

“The National Constitution Center is the only institution in America chartered by Congress to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people on a nonpartisan basis,” Rosen said.

Rosen said he can identify with the Hauenstein Center’s mission of trying to unite differing political viewpoints during the conference and building bridges. The center’s own programming uses the nation’s founding document as the lynchpin in finding accord among varying perspectives, he added. 

“The main value and tactic that the National Constitution Center has is to bring together people of differing perspectives,” Rosen said. “We believe with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes that the Constitution is made for people of fundamentally differing points of view.

“That's why almost all of our programs, podcasts and educational materials bring together diverse scholars — diverse in every way, including politically diverse — to explore areas of agreement and disagreement.”

To close the summit, Rosen will serve as moderator for a panel discussion at 6 p.m. with fellow constitutional experts: 

  • Caroline Frederickson, professor at Georgetown Law School and the former president of the American Constitution Society, who will represent the progressive perspective. 
  • Ilan Wurman, professor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, who will represent the conservative perspective.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the Hauenstein Center’s website .


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