12:00 PM ⋅ Media Literacy Workshop (for students)

Learn how to check facts, determine the credibility of source material, and critically engage with political media in this workshop, led and planned by Professor Logan Dancey and his tutorial of government students

Room 100, Frank Center for Public Affairs


1:00 PM ⋅ Civic Action Fair (for students)

This event highlights the diverse civic engagement opportunities within and beyond Wesleyan’s campus for students interested in becoming civically engaged. From environmental activism to community outreach, students are encouraged to explore and join initiatives that align with their passion for positive change 

Lobby, Exley Science Building 


3:00 PM ⋅ Check-in/Regisration

Entrance to the Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


4:00 PM ⋅ Welcome & Keynote Address by Michael Eric Dyson

Author and academic Michael Eric Dyson will offer the keynote address exploring the convergence of higher education and democracy

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


5:15pm⋅ Reception 

Reading Room in the Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


6:00 PM ⋅ Dinner 

Beckham Hall, Fayerweather




9:30 AM ⋅ Breakfast 

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


10:00 AM ⋅ Opening Remarks 

Welcome by Clifton Watson, Director of the Jewett Center for Commmunity Partnerships

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


10:15 AM ⋅ Session 1: Civic Education

This panel, featuring leading experts in civic education and seasoned educators, promises a rich discussion on educational practices with the power to transform the future of democratic participation. This panel includes Celina Su ‘99, renowned for her work on everyday struggles for collective governance. She will be joined by Joseph Kahne, the Co-Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at University of California, Riverside. His research focuses on the impact of school practices and digital media on youth civic and political development. The president of Citizens and Scholars, Rajiv Vinnakota, will bring the perspective of civic learning in higher education. Rounding out this discussion, Challa Flemming, a career educator, brings two decades of experience in education to the discussion, having served as a teacher, instructional coach, school principal, and assistant professor of graduate education at Relay GSE.

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


11:30 AM ⋅ Break 


11:45 AM ⋅ Session 2: Art and Activism

The Art and Activism session will feature a captivating screening by award-winning filmmaker and Wesleyan Film Professor Tracy Heather Strain. This session invites participants to consider how art can inform and inspire political and social change in our democracy. Professor Strain’s work focuses on the ways that race, gender, sexuality, and class shape our lives and reflect society’s political narratives.

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs


1:00 PM ⋅ Lunch

Beckham Hall, Fayerweather


2:30 PM ⋅ Session 3: Media & Democracy

This session explores how the ever-changing media landscape shapes our participation in democratic life with a particular focus on how the decline of local news has changed our conception of citizenship. This session convenes journalists and experts, including Khalilah Brown-Dean, a local journalist focused on the intersection of identity and access to democracy, Tracie Potts, an expert on local media and former broadcast journalist, Molly Jong-Fast, a national reporter and host of the podcast, Fast Politics with Molly Jong-Fast, and Kara Bettis Carvalho, an editor at Christianity Today.

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs  


3:45 PM ⋅ Break 


4:00 PM ⋅ Session 4: Closing Conversation

The convening will close with a galvanizing conversation between Anand Giridharadas, an internationally bestselling author and defender of democracy, and President Michael S. Roth ’78

Forum, Frank Center for Public Affairs