UConn hosts Democracy & Community Dialogue event on Inauguration Day
January 20, 2021
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The Dodd Human Rights Impact and the Democracy and Dialogues Initiative will host a community event to promote dialogue in light of today being Inauguration Day.
The Democracy and Community Dialogue event will be held between 4 and 6 p.m. where the UConn community will engage in small group discussions with a trained facilitator after an orientation by the organizers. They will later share relevant parts of those conversations with the large group, according to the event’s synopsis.
“We need to create spaces and we need to encourage one another to come to the table to talk about these questions, whether it’s the transference of power or the subject [of] race and racism in our society,” said Brendan Kane, an associate professor in UConn’s history department and the director of the Democracy & Dialogues Initiative.
“Universities should absolutely be in the business of promoting those kinds of conversations,” he said.
The event will center around three rounds of conversation. Round one will have participants speak from their own experiences, perspectives and values on democratic and civic engagement within American democracy.
Round two will “connect to those values shared from round one and have the group thinking more broadly on people’s social lives together,” Kane said.
Round three is a time for reflection on the challenges in people’s democratic lives and how they can take action.
“This is an important moment for us to think about where the country is going and how people are partaking in politics,” said Kane. The dialogue event has not been influenced by recent political events or determined by the election and current government.
“We will prompt no one about contemporary events. They can reflect, they can bring that in,” he said, but the facilitators are focused on civic engagement rather than taking a stance.
The goal of this large community conversation is to foster a longer-term commitment to civic discussion regardless of beliefs and political party and to facilitate the journey of UConn students in becoming global citizens.