Democracy & Debate Theme Semester launches

July 2, 2020

This week marks the launch of the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester, a unique opportunity for teaching and learning about free speech and the exchange of ideas, democratic engagement from a global perspective and what it means to be a member of a democratic society.

The theme semester will link courses and events from across the University of Michigan and incorporate online learning opportunities, as well as voter engagement through the Big Ten Voting Challenge, which was established by Ford School professor Edie Goldenberg.  Programming will emphasize the importance of active engagement in the democratic process, and will integrate discussions about current events and social movements.

Dean Michael Barr is a co-chair of the steering committee for the semester’s activities. “I’m really excited for the upcoming launch of the Democracy & Debate Theme Semester. It will let students, faculty and staff engage in pressing issues of the day,” he says in a video marking the launch.

The activities include a critical conversation about the Declaration of Independence, and panels, webinars and interactive sessions, design jams, Democracy Cafes, debate watch parties, as well as virtual and in-person classes about racial justice and inequality, public health and poverty, and climate change and environmental justice, among others.  

The Ford School will host the Secretaries of State of Ohio (a Republican) and Michigan (a Democrat) speaking together about the importance of voter registration, voter engagement, and voting.

More details of the semester’s activities can be found in a July 1 article in the University Record.