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What it Means to be an American

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 5:30 pm
Student Center, Room 311

A Movie and Discussion about

What it Means to be an American

With Discussion facilitated by Dr. Samantha Baskind and Dr. Thomas J. Humphrey

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy come together from remarkably different backgrounds, life experiences, and points of view to explore the idea of a unifying American creed. Their spirited inquiry frames the stories of a range of citizen-activists striving to realize their own visions of America’s promise across deep divides.

  • Baseball manager Joe Maddon became a civic activist after a controversial immigration ordinance was passed in his PA coal country hometown.
  • Deidre Prevett, school principal in Muskogee Nation, E. Tulsa, OK, fights for low-income children.
  • In Wisconsin, Marine Tegan Griffith advocates for fellow vets and working people.
  • Junot Diaz draws on his working-class childhood experiences to make the case for public institutions like the NJ library where he learned to become a writer.
  • Based in Seattle, Eric Liu creates new civic rituals and brings community leaders together across divides.
  • Joan Blades, founder of and Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots form an unexpected bond.
  • Entrepreneurs Leila Janah and Terrence Davenport seek to create economic opportunity in the Arkansas Delta where the legacy of slavery and sharecropping persists.

Co-sponsored by the History Department and the School of Film & Media Arts