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Events Archive

Event Archive



Debating Public Policy Series: A Discussion on Reparations

A Discussion on Reparations

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How can the United States try to make amends for its original sin? What is owed to the ancestors of slaves and the inheritors of structural inequality? Which policies might best serve those endeavors? The Program for Public Discourse’s Debating Public Policy Series invites Duke public policy professor, William Darity, and Harvard law professor, Randall Kennedy, to deliberate these and other questions related to the theme of reparations, moderated by UNC law professor, Osamudia James.

Date: December 8, 2022
Times: 03:00 pm – 04:30 pm
Audience: Public
Venue: Zoom
A Discussion on Reparations
William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Previously he served as director of the Institute of African American Research, director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, director of the Undergraduate Honors Program in economics, and director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A Discussion on Reparations
Randall Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina. For his education he attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States.
A Discussion on Reparations

Event Moderator

Osamudia James joined the UNC School of Law faculty in 2021. Her writing and teaching interests include education law, race and the law, administrative law, and torts. James is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and popular press commentary exploring the interaction of law and identity in the context of public education. Her work has appeared in the NYU Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Minnesota Law Review, among others, as well as in the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post.

Educator Workshop: Working on Wicked Issues in Your Classroom

The Center for Faculty Excellence and the Program for Public Discourse are excited to present a new workshop series aimed at engaging with “Wicked Issues” in the classroom. Wicked issues, or wicked problems, are characterized by their complexity, their lack of clear solutions, and their tendency to place our highest values in competition with each other.

Join us on December 7 for the last session of the three part workshop series. In this interactive session for instructors titled "Working on Wicked Issues in Your Classroom", participants will work individually and with colleagues to troubleshoot the wicked issues that arise in their own classrooms. We will also begin to develop classroom activities that will push students to engage in more nuanced, complex thinking around divisive topics in their disciplines. Participants should come with a wicked issue in mind to discuss with the group.
Register for this event here.
Date: December 7, 2022
Times: 03:00 pm – 04:15 pm
Audience: Educators
Venue: Zoom

Speech Competition: How Can UNC Educate a Global Citizen?

Speech Competition
On November 30, the Program for Public Discourse, UNC Global, and the UNC Department of Communication hosted a speech competition at the Nelson Mandela Auditorium in the FedEx Global Education Building. Twelve students entered the competition and presented their arguments to a public audience on how the university could better shape UNC students to be more globally minded. Each student presented their ideas of how best the university could achieve that goal, drawing on both their education on speechcraft and their personal experiences of living in an increasingly globalized society.

The winners of the speech competition were those students that presented the best constructed and most persuasive speech:
1st: Parker Roy for his speech, International Interactivity
2nd: Christopher Williams for his speech, All Consuming
3rd: Vivian Kaye for her speech, Difficult Conversations
Date: November 30, 2022
Times: 05:30pm – 06:30 pm
Audience: Public
Speech Competition
Speech Competition
Speech Competition
Speech Competition
Speech Competition
Speech Competition

The First Amendment Jurisprudence of Justice Breyer

The First Amendment Jurisprudence of Justice Breyer
The Program for Public Discourse is proud to be cosponsoring a symposium hosted by the First Amendment Law Review and the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. On Friday, November 18, there will be an in-person symposium at the Carolina Club with virtual access on Zoom. The symposium will focus on the First Amendment rulings written by Justice Stephen Breyer over his 28 years on the Supreme Court.

Stephen G. Breyer served as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1994 until his retirement in 2022. Over his nearly three decades as a Supreme Court justice, Breyer cultivated a reputation for pragmatism, especially with regard to the First Amendment.

The Symposium will consist of a keynote address and three panels:
  • Justice Breyer and the Freedom of Expression
  • Justice Breyer and the Religion Clauses
  • What does Justice Breyer’s jurisprudence tell us about future First Amendment challenges?

  • Lunch will be provided for all attendees who registered to attend in-person

    You can read more about the event here.
    Registration is available here!

    The link to watch over Zoom can be found here.

    CLE participants – $35 (5.25 CLE Credits)
    General Admission – $0 (using promo code NOCLE)
    Date: November 18, 2022
    Times: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
    Audience: Public
    Venue: The Carolina Club

    Abbey Speaker Series: Conversation with Cal Cunningham and Senator Thom Tillis

    Conversation with Cal Cunningham and Senator Thom Tillis

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    The Abbey Speaker Series continues on November 10th at 5:30 p.m. with a conversation between Senator Thom Tillis and former NC State Senator Cal Cunningham on how to build and maintain friendships across the political divide. This event is co-sponsored by the UNC Institute of Politics.
    Date: November 10, 2022
    Times: 05:30 pm – 07:30 pm
    Audience: Public Event
    Conversation with Cal Cunningham and Senator Thom Tillis
    Cal Cunningham is founder of Cunningham Law, PLLC, where he represents clients in complex civil litigation across North Carolina.  He is also manager of Axiom Property Development, LLC, where he works to deliver workforce housing in the Triangle.  Cunningham obtained his BA with Honors and JD from UNC Chapel Hill and MSc from the London School of Economics.  He currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve and recently completed a fourth active duty tour.  He is also a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2020, Cunningham was the Democratic Nominee for United States Senate in North Carolina.
    Conversation with Cal Cunningham and Senator Thom Tillis
    Senator Thom Tillis was first elected to represent North Carolina in 2014 and is currently serving in his second term after being re-elected in 2020. Senator Tillis is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and Judiciary Committee. Before serving in the Senate, he was Speaker of the House in the North Carolina General Assembly where he played an instrumental role in enacting job-creating policies and reforming North Carolina’s tax and regulatory codes. He lives with his wife Susan in Huntersville, North Carolina, and they are the proud parents of two grown children and grandparents to two grand-daughters.
    Conversation with Cal Cunningham and Senator Thom Tillis

    Event Moderator

    Sarah Treul Roberts is a Bowman and Gordon Gray Term Professor of political science at UNC. She is currently working on a book project analyzing the rise of inexperienced candidates and anti-establishment rhetoric in congressional elections. She also serves as faculty director for the Program for Public Discourse and as a co-editor for Legislative Studies Quarterly.

    Educator Workshop: Classroom Discourse Through a Wicked Issues Lens

    The Center for Faculty Excellence and the Program for Public Discourse are excited to present a new workshop series aimed at engaging with “Wicked Issues” in the classroom. Wicked issues, or wicked problems, are characterized by their complexity, their lack of clear solutions, and their tendency to place our highest values in competition with each other.

    Join us on November 3 for session 2 of the 3-part workshop series “From Wicked People to Wicked Issues,” a collaboration between the CFE and the Program for Public Discourse. We will model one facilitation technique for grappling with wicked issues, using the topic of free speech and inclusion in classroom deliberation as our lens. Participants will work together to think about how important and sometimes competing values define wicked issues—and how to move dialogue forward.

    While we recommend participating in the entire series, we will provide online resources for those who cannot attend all three sessions.
    Participants of Session Two will be able to:
  • Define the wicked issues lens and apply it to the issue of classroom deliberation
  • Develop strategies to overcome psychological tendencies toward polarization and demonization of the other
  • Practice utilizing values to navigate wicked issues
  • Consider ways to implement a wicked issues approach in your classrooms

  • Register for this event here.

    Registration requires an ONYEN account. If you do not have an ONYEN, but would like to join the workshop, please email Kevin Marinelli at kmarinelli@unc.edu.
    Date: November 3, 2022
    Times: 03:00 pm – 04:00 pm
    Audience: Public
    Venue: Zoom

    Abbey Speaker Series: Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education

    Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education

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    Should universities make a greater effort to promote intellectual diversity? What exactly does intellectual diversity entail? Is intellectual diversity always desirable?
    On October 6th at 5:30 p.m., the UNC Program for Public Discourse in conjunction with the General Alumni Association hosts a hybrid Abbey Speaker Series event exploring intellectual diversity on campus. Come hear a panel discussion with teacher-scholars who approach this charged topic from different perspectives.
    Date: October 6, 2022
    Times: 05:30 pm – 07:00 pm
    Audience: Public Event
    Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education
    Rob Henderson is a doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Cambridge, where he studies as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. He is a faculty fellow at The University of Austin, where he also serves on the board of advisors. Henderson obtained a B.S. in psychology from Yale University and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Along with his popular Substack newsletter, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Quillette, among other outlets. His forthcoming memoir will be published by Gallery Books.
    Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education
    Amna Khalid is an associate professor of history at Carleton College. Having grown up under a series of military dictatorships in Pakistan, she has a strong interest in censorship and free expression. Khalid writes frequently about academic freedom, free speech, and campus politics. This year she is a fellow at the University of California National Center for Free Speech where she is working on a joint project on anti-critical race theory legislation as it pertains to higher education. Combining her interest in free expression and history, she hosts the podcast "Banished," about what happens when people, ideas, and works of art come into conflict with our modern sensibilities.
    Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education
    Michael S. Roth became the 16th president of Wesleyan University in 2007. He has overseen the launch of numerous academic programs at Wesleyan such as the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and the Shapiro Center for Writing. An author and curator, Roth describes his scholarly interests as centered on “how people make sense of the past.” His newest book, Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness, addresses some of the most contentious issues in American higher education, including affirmative action, safe spaces, and questions of free speech. Roth continues to teach undergraduate courses and has offered MOOCs through Coursera.
    Intellectual Diversity in Higher Education

    Event Moderator

    William Sturkey is an associate professor in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he teaches classes on modern American history. He is the author of Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White and the co-editor of To Write in the Light of Freedom: The Newspapers of the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Schools. His other writing has appeared in venues such as The Atlantic, Washington Post, New York Times, and Southern Cultures.

    Tackling Wicked Problems through Deliberative Engagement: How to Elevate our Community and Classroom Conversations in Hyper-Partisan Times

    Tackling Wicked Problems through Deliberative Engagement
    The Center for Faculty Excellence and the Program for Public Discourse are excited to present a new workshop series aimed at engaging with “Wicked Issues” in the classroom. Wicked issues, or wicked problems, are characterized by their complexity, their lack of clear solutions, and their tendency to place our highest values in competition with each other. Our three-part virtual series will begin with guest speaker Dr. Martín Carcasson discussing how to use a wicked-issues mindset to add nuance to our classroom conversations. In the second session, Dr. Kevin Marinelli (PPD) and Dr. Emily Boehm (CFE) will use this framework to examine the tension between inclusivity and free speech, especially on college classrooms. In the last session, we will encourage participants to identify the wicked issues that arise in their own courses and strategize about how to facilitate productive student dialogue. While we recommend participating in the entire series, we will provide online resources for those who cannot attend all three sessions.
    Participants of Session One will be able to:
  • Utilize a wicked problems mindset to reframe issues
  • Understand how value arguments can undermine or elevate conversations depending on their use
  • Identify positive and negative aspects of human nature and their impact on our ability to address shared issues
  • Understand the basic components of deliberative engagement
  • Develop classroom assignments and activities that build deliberative skills

  • Register for this event here
    Date: October 4, 2022
    Times: 03:00 pm – 04:00 pm
    Audience: Public
    Venue: Zoom

    Can We Talk?: Student Thoughts on Free Expression at UNC

    Can We Talk?

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    Join us on September 13 at 5:30pm to hear a panel of UNC students discuss free expression on campus and their thoughts on recently completed research on this topic by UNC professors. Thanks to the UNC Political Science Department for co-sponsoring.

    Our student panelists are:

    Aidan Buehler – philosophy and economics, 2024
    Nathan Gibson – political science, 2023
    Cho Nikoi – history, 2023
    Maddux Vernon – political science and peace, war, & defense, 2025
    The event will be moderated by Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor of the Practice of Marketing Mark McNeilly, coauthor of the recently published study, “Free Expression and Constructive Dialogue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill."
    This hybrid event will be hosted in Fetzer Hall in Room 109 and livestreamed on Zoom.
    Date: September 13, 2022
    Times: 05:30 pm – 07:00 pm
    Audience: Public Event
    Venue: Fetzer Hall Rm 109; Online

    Agora Fellows: Dialogue – How can UNC better serve its community?

    Agora Fellows: Debate
    The Agora Fellows meet bi-weekly on Thursday evenings, 7:00 - 8:30 pm.
    Interested in becoming a Fellow? Let us know here.
    Date: April 21, 2022
    Times: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
    Audience: Agora Fellows
    Venue: Bynum 111