The political challenges before us today -- issues of polarization, race, economic inequality, health, belonging, justice, and more -- need the critical and creative ideas and participation our bright and diverse student body can bring.
The Politics Department seeks Giving Day funds for a new “Civic Discourse and Democratic Engagement” series of public and campus-wide discussions and workshops during the 21-22 Academic Year. The project emphasizes helping students build and practice skills of productive political discourse and engagement, centered on the civic ideal of equal citizenship in a political community.
Students take the knowledge, skills, and experiences they gain at UCSC with them, and can use them to help build a more inclusive, vibrant, and just democracy. This series aims to contribute to the democratic capacities of our students and our campus community, as well as to the circles of community beyond our campus.
Drawing on Giving Day funds, we will organize one or more public, campus-wide discussions and workshops during the 2021-22 academic year. The format we imagine would involve a combination of discussions of some of the debates and differing perspectives surrounding important current events, together with some skill-building work and interactive dialogues.
Some of the topics we are interested in exploring include:
- Civic Discourse and Productive Discussion across Difference Workshop: Developing Civic Voice and Dialogue
- Debating Democracy in America: Past, Present, Possible Futures and the Roles We Play
- Models of Democratic Activism and Engagement: Local, National, Transnational
To incorporate a range of valuable speakers and contributors, and to reach out to broad audiences, we will be seeking collaboration with colleagues in other departments and programs (such as UCSC’s Institute for Social Transformation, and Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, and the UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement) and with members and leaders of the local Santa Cruz community as well as our extended UCSC alumni community.
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