Democracy 2024 Events

If your department or group is hosting an event on campus in 2024 that seeks to empower students, faculty, staff, and/or community members to develop the skills of citizenship so that they are equipped to defend democracy, please use our form to submit your event details.

Upcoming Events

Jesuit Refugee Service Advocacy Day

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 

Meet Senator Murphy from 12:30 - 1:00 PM
Meet Senator Blumenthal from 3:00 - 3:30 PM 

Come virtually meet Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal to discuss advocacy issues regarding refugees and asylum seekers. 

JRS Seeks to accompany, serve, and advocate the cause of refugees and other forcibly displaced people, that they may heal, learn, and determine their own future. 
Sign up on WesNest or by emailing

Will there be Legal Accountability for Donald Trump? A Conversation with Journalist Andrea Bernstein

Wednesday, April 17 at 12:15 p.m.
Frank Center for Public Affairs, Room 101 

Fresh from the courtrooms where Donald Trump has been on trial in New York City, journalist, author, and podcast host Andrea Bernstein will give an insider's perspective on how the legal actions against the once and would-be president are playing out, with their profound implications for democracy. Bernstein will give a behind-the-scenes account of her year-long investigation on the secret machinations that led to the current six-three conservative majority on the U.S.

Lunch provided.

Sponsored by Wesleyan's Government Department and the College of Social Studies


Revolutionary: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

April 25, 2024, 5:30 p.m.
Frank Center for Public Affairs, Forum

In these turbulent times, journalism, like democracy itself, feels more revolutionary than ever as the boundary between journalism and activism blurs.

Please join us for a conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, about journalism, social justice, and the praise and backlash that reporting provokes. Hannah-Jones has spent her career investigating racial inequality and injustice, and her reporting has earned her the MacArthur Fellowship, known as the Genius grant, a Peabody Award, two George Polk Awards and the National Magazine Award three times.

Joining her in this conversation are Tracy Heather Strain, Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, and Robyn Autry, associate professor of sociology and director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. Provost and Senior Vice President Nicole Stanton will provide introductions.

This event is sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life with support from the Wintman Family.


Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

September 25, 2024, 4:30 p.m.
Fisk Hall, Room 208

Mark Temnycky, nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center and freelance journalist, will speak about Russia's war in Ukraine, the ramifications it has across Europe, and why the U.S. should continue to support this country

Email for more information

Sponsored by Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Department


Past Events

Adam Gopnik: To Fix Democracy, Figure Out What’s Broken

Thursday, April 11, 2024, 4:30 p.m.
Frank Center for Public Affairs, Room 100

Join celebrated writer Adam Gopnik, best known for his essays in The New Yorker, for an impassioned talk on the need to protect democracy at such a fractious time in American political history.

“When democratic practices are in power, they look boringly normal; it’s startling to realize how fragile they really are, and how hard they are to recover when they’re gone. Cicero blithely believed that the institutions of the Roman Republic were so strong and long-standing that friends and colleagues like Octavian and Mark Antony couldn’t really be capable of ending them. They were. The successful defense of democracy at times demands a price so high that we tend to have amnesia about it afterward.” —Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker

Did it Happen Here? Perspectives on Fascism and America

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 4:30 p.m.
Frank Center for Public Affairs, Room 100 (new location)

Since the election of Donald Trump, politicians, historians, intellectuals, and media pundits have been faced with a startling and urgent question: are we threatened by fascism? Hear leading experts and scholars debate this urgent question when they come together at Wesleyan University for “Did it Happen Here? Perspectives on Fascism and America.”

Speakers will include:

  • Udi Greenberg, Dartmouth University
  • Samuel Moyn, Yale University
  • Gavriel Rosenfeld, Fairfield University
  • Tamsin Shaw, New York University
  • Jason Stanley, Yale University
  • Moira Weigel, Northeastern University

Also participating are Wesleyan faculty including Sonali Chakravarti, Ethan Kleinberg, Sean McCann, Michael S. Roth, Peter Rutland, and Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins.

Connecticut General Assembly Internship Career Trek

Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Students are invited to travel to the Connecticut General Assembly for an introduction to the legislative process and Q&A in the Hearing Room, a one-hour guided tour of the Capitol Building, lunch, and two hours of shadowing current interns.

The CGA Legislative Internship is an unpaid, for-credit internship working in the Connecticut state legislature. Interns work directly with legislators and caucus staff. Duties may include bill analysis and tracking; research; writing testimonies, social media or photography and video; liaison work and constituent casework. Interns gain behind-the-scenes insight into the legislator’s roles, politics and the policy-making process. CGA recruits sophomores and juniors in the fall for the spring internship.

Open to all class years and majors. First years and sophomores will receive priority in the selection process.


Hugo L. Black Lecture

Free Speech for Me, But Not for Thee: Campus Censorship from the 'Stop Woke Act' to Israel-Palestine

Monday, March 25, 2024, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Frank Center for Public Affairs 100 and a Zoom Webinar

Hear from Amna Khalid and Jeff Snyder from Carleton College. Presented by The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and moderated by Dean Mary-Jane Rubenstein.

Reception following the event at 6:30 pm, EST

Democracy in Action Convening

Across two days of thought leadership and engaging activities, participants will hear from a collection of scholars, community leaders, experts, and peers. Following a Friday afternoon filled with student-centered engagement opportunities, the convening opens to all with a keynote address by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson that evening. Saturday will be filled with sessions featuring faculty, students, and experts exploring topics that lie at the intersection of higher education and democratic life: the power of the media, civic education, and the arts as a form of activism. The convening will close with a galvanizing session with Anand Giridharadas that will make it clear how institutions of higher education must commit to defending our democracy.