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.


Fall 2019 Events

Date

Event

Location(s)

Time

09/18/2019

PFAS in Michigan

Join State Senator Winnie Brinks, State Representative Rachel Hood, and GVSU Professor Dr. Rick Rediske in a panel discussion on the emergence of PFAS and the dangers it poses to Michigan water, as well as legislative action being used to combat contamination across West Michigan.

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

6:00-8:00pm

09/25/2019

GVSU Student Senate Panel

Join YOUR Student Senate representatives to learn more about GVSU Student Senate, shared governance, how you can get involved and make our campus and our world a better place through student government. 

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

12:00-1:00pm

10/02/2019

Media Literacy and You

In an age where media is increasingly pervasive, it is important to critically think about the messages we see, hear, and read online. Join GVSU Democracy Fellow Jane Johnston, GVSU Librarian Elizabeth Psyck and media literacy expert, Mindy Holohan, for this interactive event and learn how being media literate can help you better understand the world around you.

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

6:00-8:00pm

10/09/2019

Youth Political Engagement: A Panel Discussion

Join the Michigan Coordinator of Campus Vote Project, Sumaiya Ahmed Sheikh, along with students from GVSU and Michigan State University, to discuss the importance and impact of youth political engagement.

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

12:00-1:00pm

10/16/2019

Student Media and Democratic Engagement

Join GVSU students and faculty in this discussion on the role student media plays in educating voters. Panelists will discuss trends they've witnessed on campus, techniques they've used in their writing and reporting to educate their audience, and how they've collaborated with other organizations on campus to promote democratic participation.

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

6:00-8:00pm

10/23/2019

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as a Tool for Democratic Accountability - A Student's Perspective

Join students from campuses around Michigan to learn about their work as investigative journalists and the ways that FOIA has served them in their research, as well as in pursuit of democratic accountability. 

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

12:00-1:00pm

10/30/2019

Why Democracy Needs the News

While 'fake news' has become a concern for many, a bigger problem threatens the public's ability to make informed decisions: the collapse of local journalism. Building off of his work with the Pew Research Center and the Gallup Organization, Calvin College professor Jesse Holcomb will explain why community news is critical to civic life, and what can be done to save it. 

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

6:00-8:00pm

11/06/2019

Water Around the Globe

In 2010 the United Nations declared access to clean water to be a universal human right, but nearly a decade later that right is unfulfilled for close to 1 billion people around the planet. Grand Valley professor Jeff Kelly Lowenstein is leading a global investigation into why this is happening, and what can be done about it, with journalists, data scientists, photographers and students from more than 25 countries in five continents. Join us for a dynamic conversation about one of the world's most critical issues.

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

12:00-1:00pm

11/13/2019

Democracy in Classical Athens: An Organizer's Guide

We're taught that the ancient Greeks invented democracy, but how did they organize and perform it? We study the past not only to imagine where we come from about also to find alternatives to the way things are. Our session will investigate some original--often surprising, occasionally repellant--ways that Athenian democrats exerted, promoted, and protected themselves against opponents both external and internal, some imagined and some real.

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

6:00-8:00pm

11/20/2019

Free Speech and Inclusion: Holding the Tension on Campus

Join a panel of experts to talk about the challenges and opportunities of holding a fundamental and concurrent commitment to the First Amendment and the value of inclusion. What is "free speech"? Is "hate speech" a thing? How do we respond when we hear or see things that deeply offend us? 

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room

12:00-1:00pm

12/04/2019

iCivics Lunch and Fun!

Come enjoy free pizza and have some fun, while testing your civic knowledge! iCivics is a fun and interactive game! 

Mary Idema Pew Library Multipurpose Room 

12:00-1:00pm


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!


Past Dem 101 events have included sessions like...


This is What Democracy Looks Like! Breaking the Silence and Living the Legacy of MLK Jr.

This is What Democracy Looks Like! Breaking the Silence and Living the Legacy of MLK Jr.

Students participated in an open mic session dedicated to expressing the living, democratic legacy of Dr. MLK Jr. Participants were invited to express, discuss and share their ideas about "what democracy looks like" through spoken word, storytelling, performance, music, art, film, and poetry. 

Making Your Voice Heard: A First Time Voter Workshop

Making Your Voice Heard: A First Time Voter Workshop

Ottawa County elections official stopped by to help first time voters at GV learn, step by step, how to be an educated and prepared voter. They even got to test out the voting equipment for themselves! 

Laker Candidates Forum

Laker Candidates Forum

Students met with current and former Lakers running for office or who currently serve as an elected official. They spoke about their positions on the issues and their experience in the world of politics. 


Check out some videos from past DEM 101 events!

More videos coming in the fall of 2019. 

Do Protests Matter?

 

 

The Role of Media in Democracy

Human Rights and the Promise of Democracy

Educating Toward Direct Democracy

Hitler's Rise to Power

The Common Ground Initiative