March 4, 2019
Office of the Provost encourages all students, staff and faculty to attend March 21 Engagement Symposium
The Office of the Provost encourages all students, staff and faculty to attend the March 21 Engagement Symposium dedicated to the "Art of Democracy."
The agenda for the day illustrates a vigorous and varied response by community and campus presenters of sessions designed to inspire reflection and conversation. The opening and closing keynote addresses are offered by nationally acclaimed artists.
Lynnette Young Overby, choreographer and advocate for community arts engagement, and Professor Kevin Willmott Oscar-winning co-writer of "BlacKkKlansman," will share their perspective on community engagement with issues that face our American democracy. Livestreamed video, film and dance will combine with graphic art exhibits to showcase creative artistic treatments of these themes. The public is invited to interact with authors, living history interpreters, and community historians and proponents of engagement though a workshop, forum, game and other session formats.
Now is a particularly important moment to reflect on and re-energize democracy as we confront a global landscape that sees trends toward authoritarianism. A 2017 study found that just 19 percent of U.S. millennials agreed with the statement, "Military takeover is not legitimate in a democracy." Among older citizens, the total was a still-surprising 43 percent. Perhaps most alarming was the revelation that one-quarter of millennials agreed that "choosing leaders through free elections is unimportant." Just 14 percent of baby boomers and 10 percent of older Americans agreed.
The symposium is free of charge, but registration is required to attend many of the sessions.