Series of activities explores Democracy, Civility, and Freedom of Expression

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion is introducing a programmatic theme for 2020: Democracy, Civility, and Freedom of Expression. Throughout the spring semester, students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members are invited to engage in conversations about and consider the importance of each element of the theme. Activities and events will include interactive workshops, inspiring performances, high-impact public speakers, and innovative conversational gatherings.

Democracy, Civility, and Freedom of Expression Gatherings
Jan. - Apr.

Throughout the spring semester, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion invites students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to gather for conversational groups engaging in the theme.

Prospective participants may join by providing their availability for the following free events, which will be repeated throughout the semester.

  • Sunday Dinners – 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday Lunches – 11:30 - 1:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday Dinners – 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday Breakfasts – 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
  • Thursday Dinners – 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday Coffees – 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Once matched with a specific gathering, guests will receive an email notification confirming the date and time of their event. A second email, sent one week prior to the event, will contain the location of the gathering.

To join, submit your availability, via the following link.

Panel Event: Religion, Polarization, and the Public Space – Feb. 19

6:00-7:30 p.m., Loeb Playhouse. Free, general admission tickets will be required and will be available at the Purdue box offices. This panel will discuss the role of religion in the pursuit of democracy, civility and the freedom of expression and the challenges posed by increasing polarization in public discourse as it relates to religious identity and expression. A religiously diverse panel of well-known public intellectuals will explore this topic and others via conversation and contemplation.
Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi

President of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.

Sarah Hurwitz

Sarah Hurwitz

American speechwriter, who served President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and author of “Here All Along: A Reintroduction to Judaism.”

Ron Reagan

Ron Reagan

Contributor to MSNBC, former radio host and commentator who identifies as an atheist; son of late President Ronald Reagan.

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

 Iranian-American scholar of religious studies, writer and television host.

Rev. Naomi Tutu

Rev. Naomi Tutu

Reverend, activist and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Amy Goodman (moderator)

Amy Goodman (moderator)

Host and executive producer of Democracy Now!

Concert Event: Joint Performance by the Morehouse and Purdue Glee Clubs – Mar. 10

Morehouse College Glee Club

Morehouse College Glee Club

Purdue university Glee Club

Purdue University Glee Club

7:30-9:00 p.m., Loeb Playhouse. Free, general admission tickets will be required for this event and will be available at the Purdue box offices.

Panel Event: The Role of the Media in Democracy Now – Mar. 31

6:00-7:30 p.m., Loeb Playhouse . Free, general admission tickets will be required and will be available at the Purdue box offices. A distinguished panel of media professionals from multiple news agencies will convene for a timely and insightful conversation about the ever-changing landscape of the role of media in our democracy. 

Charles Blow

Charles Blow

Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, CNN commentator and critically acclaimed author.

Bill (William) Kristol

Bill (William) Kristol

Political analyst, commentator and co-founder/editor of The Weekly Standard.

Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson

National correspondent for National Public Radio.

Juan Williams

Juan Williams

New York Times Best-Selling Author, Fox News Political Analyst & Award-Winning Columnist.

Soledad O’Brien

Soledad O’Brien

American broadcast journalist and executive producer.

Special Event: Purdue in One Room – Apr. 8

6:00-8:00 p.m. Purdue Memorial Union, North and South ballrooms. Free, general admission tickets will be required for this event and will be available at Purdue box offices. As the culmination of the semester, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members will gather for “Purdue in One Room,” a celebration of constructive dialogue. The event will also feature a special guest speaker to be announced. 

Several events and programs connected to the Democracy, Civility, and Freedom of Expression theme are being planned by campus collaborators. Units interested in planning or hosting an event that connects with the theme should send information to diversity@purdue.edu.

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