Democracy 101: A Series of Critical Conversations


This series of co-curricular lectures, panel discussions and workshops focuses on the idea and practice of democracy. 

We welcome faculty, staff, students and community partners to present. Possible topics may include: student activism, how to run for office, the history of social movements, democratic values, the idea of commons, student civic development, the role of media in a democracy, how to organize for social change, and more!

LIB 100/201 approved and pizza will be provided.

Democracy 101: Deconstructing the American Dream - Winter 2020

Date:

Event:

Location(s):

Time:

January 15

What is the American Dream? 

Area 51

6-8 PM

January 22

Democracy and the American Dream:

This session aims to educate participants on how the foundations of our country shape our idea of the American Dream.

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

January 29

The Mythology of the American Dream:

This session aims to unpack the American Dream as a myth rather than a realistic concept. Facilitators will host an interactive session to explain the history of this myth and how the idea of the “American Dream,” along with concepts like “The Great Frontier,” “Manifest Destiny,” “individualism,” “whiteness,” and/or “Christianity” have shaped our nation. 

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

February 5

Native Americans and the American Dream - The First Americans:

This panel discussion will discuss how the disenfranchisement and erasure of Native American tribes and culture have molded and propelled the myth of the American Dream. 

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

February 12

Slavery and the American Dream: 

This interactive session will discuss how the institution of slavery erased Black Americans from pursuing the American Dream and how that era still affects Black Americans today. 

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

February 19

Immigrants and the American Dream:

This interactive session will focus the history of immigration in this country and how it has shaped, and continues to shape, our concept of who counts as “American.”

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM 

February 26

Open Mic Night:

This intimate open-mic session will invite students across GV to think about the American Dream through spoken word, song, dance, etc.

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

March 11

The Opportunity Gap:

This interactive session will help the audience explore the opportunity gap and how it prevents many in our country from achieving the American Dream. 

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

March 18

The Prison Industrial Complex and the American Dream: 

This panel discussion will focus on how what Prison Industrial Complex is, how it came to be, and how it contributes to the opportunity gap that is central to the myth of the American Dream. 

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8PM

March 25

White Nationalism as a Barrier to the American Dream

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM

April 1

Student Voter Engagement 

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8PM

April 8

Civic Courage

Mary Idema Pew Library

Multipurpose Room

6-8 PM


Have an Idea for a Democracy 101 Event?

Do you have a question about democracy, civic life or student democratic participation that you would like to explore?

Are you interested in presenting or facilitating a workshop or a conversation about a current public issue?

Do you have an idea or a project that promotes civic life and democratic participation that you would like to share?

If so, please submit your idea here!


Check out some of our events from Fall 2019!

Panelists from our Youth Political Engagement panel

Panelists from our youth political engagement panel discussion pose for a picture after their session. 

A full room of students listen in on a panel discussion about PFAS in Michigan.

Students listen in on an important panel discussion on PFAS in Michigan. 

Relando Thompkins-Jones speaks to a group of students about the importance of free speech and inclusion.

Relando Thompkins-Jones joined a panel of GVSU faculty and staff to speak to a group of students about the importance of free speech and inclusion. 

Mindy Holohan speaks to students about media literacy

In an interactive session on media literacy, Mindy Holohan joined GVSU student Jane Johnston and GVSU Librarian Elizabeth Psyck in sharing skills and lessons on the topic. 

Students and local officials gathered to talk about strategies for young women in leadership positions at Elect Her.

At 'Elect Her,' students and local officials gathered to talk about strategies for young women in leadership positions. 


Check out some videos from past DEM 101 events!

Didn't make it? Don't worry - you can still dive in to Democracy 101 by watching the videos below!

Why Democracy Needs the News

Student Media and Democratic Engagement

 

 

Media Literacy and You

PFAS in Michigan

Educating Toward Direct Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power

Human Rights and the Promise of Democracy