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A Web Letter from the Office of the Provost - November 2019
Democracy, Civility and Freedom of Expression events coming in the spring

By Mary Jane Chew

Diversity and Inclusion

Democracy, Civility and Freedom of Expression events coming in the spring

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion is working with campus partners to plan events and activities for Spring semester that will fall under the timely theme of Democracy, Civility and Freedom of Expression.

The initiative will feature events and learning opportunities for faculty, staff, students and community members throughout the semester.

“We are incredibly excited to focus our semester-long efforts on promoting and exploring what it means to live and behave civilly in our democracy,” said John Gates, vice provost for diversity and inclusion. “It’s never been more important that we try to listen to and understand one another and to offer respect to those who may have differing opinions from us.  That’s what our democracy was built on.”

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration events and day of service activities in January will be the official launch of the theme – with a variety of reflective and informative events to follow.  Notable among them is a series of informal, conversational gatherings such as coffee meetings, lunches and dinners throughout campus and Greater Lafayette where participants will discuss a timely current topic with the goal of being open to other opinions and truly listening to one another.  The gatherings will culminate in a late spring event called “Purdue in One Room.”  

While details are still in the works – here is a brief overview of what is being planned.


  • 20 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
  • 21 & 22 – Interactive workshops for faculty, staff and students
  • 22 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration featuring Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former Senator (R-AZ) Jeff Flake
  • Jan through Mar – Democracy Gatherings


  • Panel Discussion on Religion


  • Morehouse College and Purdue University Glee Clubs Concert


  • Purdue in One Room

Gates adds that other campus partners have submitted proposals for themed events and those will be selected and announced by the end of fall semester.

Once confirmed, all Democracy, Civility and Freedom of Expression events will be listed on the Diversity and Inclusion web site.


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