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Event Archive


National Issues Forum: Creating a Culture of Consent

Join us for a National Issues Forum dialogue to discuss strategies to create a culture of consent on UNC's campus. High rates of sexual violence at UNC emphasize the need to work towards creating a culture of consent to prevent sexual and gender-based violence among our college community. Through this dialogue we invite students passionate about violence prevention and/or looking to learn more to share your input on what needs to happen to work towards a safer campus community. RSVP Here

This event is co-sponsored by the Student Dialogue Ambassador program supported by NC Campus Engagement, Campus Y Civic Engagement, and the Program for Public Discourse.

Date: April 24, 2024
Times: 4:00PM – 6:00 PM
Audience: Public Event

Agora Tar Heel Town Hall: Which issues matter to young people, and how can we inspire them to vote?

The Agora Fellows invite students across the university to participate in its final Tar Heel Town Hall of the semester on Friday, April 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m., in Graham Student Union 3408. Students will share their thoughts on the upcoming presidential election and communicate the issues that matter to them and their generation. We will also explore reasons for low voter turnout among young people and strategize opportunities to turn it around. Event satisfies CLE credit.
Date: April 12, 2024
Times: 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
Audience: Public Events

Nadine Strossen: Free to Speak

The Student Free Speech Alliance is thrilled to host Nadine Strossen, who is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law Emerita at New York Law School and past President of the American Civil Liberties Union (1991-2008), a Senior Fellow with FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education) and a leading expert and frequent speaker/media commentator on constitutional law and civil liberties. Strossen has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. She serves on the advisory boards of the ACLU, Academic Freedom Alliance, Heterodox Academy, National Coalition Against Censorship, and the University of Austin.

Strossen will deliver a lecture on free speech in the United States as part of George Mason University's Voices for Liberty Initiative, which is examining the role free speech has played and continues to play in advancing civil rights in America, particularly for historically disadvantaged and/or socially marginalized groups. Registration Link
Date: March 26, 2024
Times: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Audience: Public Events

Abbey Speaker Series: The Politics of the Israel-Palestine Conflict

On February 21st, 2024 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union Auditorium, two UNC political scientists Jeff Spinner-Halev and Navin Bapat discuss the politics conflict between Israel and Palestine as part of the Abbey Speaker Series. Spinner-Halev regularly teaches a course titled "Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense". His most recent book (co-authored with Elizabeth Theiss-Morse) is Respect and Loathing in American Democracy. Professor Bapat's research interests include examining conflicts involving violent non-state actors, such as insurgencies and terrorist campaigns. This event is co-sponsored by the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies; the UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies; and the Peace, War, and Defense department.

This event requires tickets. Tickets are free and over 300 tickets will be available to the public at the Carolina Union Box Office starting at 4 pm the day of the event. Only one ticket will be issued to each guest. Unfortunately, tickets are limited so you should arrive early to secure a seat. Tickets will be issued digitally via email or phone number and must be presented for entry. We will reserve a limited number of advance tickets for people traveling from out of town. Please email for a reservation. We are no longer reserving tickets via email. Please go to the Union box office after 4pm on 2/21 to secure your tickets.

Jeff Spinner-Halev teaches political theory in the department of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is the Kenan Eminent Professor of Political Ethics. He has a B.A. and PhD from the University of Michigan, both in political science. He regularly teaches the course at Carolina on the Ethics of Peace, War and Defense. His research focuses on the tensions that arise within contemporary liberal and democratic theory, and between theory and practice. His most recent book (co-authored with Elizabeth Theiss-Morse) is Respect and Loathing in American Democracy: Polarization, Moralization, and the Undermining of Equality (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming).
Navin Bapat is the Dowd Professor of Peace and War in political science and the chair of the curriculum of peace, war, and defense at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received a B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan in 1998 and pursued graduate studies at Rice University, where he received an M.A. and a PhD in political science. Professor Bapat’s research interests include examining conflicts involving violent non-state actors, such as insurgencies and terrorist campaigns, using formal and empirical methods. He is also involved an ongoing project examining the use and the effectiveness of economic sanctions. His book, Monsters to Destroy: Understanding the War on Terror, was published with Oxford University Press.
Date: February 21, 2024
Times: 05:30PM – 07:00PM
Audience: Public Event

Academia and the Anxious Generation: How Universities Lost the Trust of America

Join us for an enlightening evening with renowned social psychologist and professor, Jonathan Haidt. Haidt will discuss dynamics that are reshaping university campuses, explore America's dwindling trust in higher education, and offer suggestions as to what academic institutions must do to regain society’s confidence. This event is presented by Heterodox Heels and co-sponsored by the Program for Public Discourse. The event is free and open to the public, but please click here to register
Jonathan Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at NYU’s Stern School of Business. His research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultural and political divisions. Haidt is the author of The NY Times bestsellers The Righteous Mind (2012) and The Coddling of the American Mind (2018, with Greg Lukianoff). His new book, The Anxious Generation, is coming out in March.
Date: February 7, 2024
Times: 05:30 pm – 07:00 pm
Audience: Public Event

Agora Tar Heel Town Hall: Student Perspectives on Campus Protest (Students Only)

Social protest is a vital form of democratic expression with a long tradition on college campuses such as UNC. In recent months, universities have witnessed passionate protests addressing a variety of issues on campuses across the nation. Some even protested a recent PPD event. The Agora is proud to invite students to share their perspectives on campus protest as a mode of expression and political action: What are its functions? What are its limitations? Can protests go too far? Do we need more protest? What responsibilities should institutions bear to protect both protesters and the targets of their demonstrations? How can protest enhance or undermine campus public discourse? We invite you to engage these and other questions with us, as well as bring your own!
Date: February 2, 2024
Times: 01:30 pm – 03:30 pm
Audience: Undergradutes
Venue: Student Union 2518 AB

Intertwined Histories of Social Justice within Middle Eastern American and African American Communities: A Conversation with Dr. Cornel West

A Conversation with Dr. Cornel West
Dr. Cornel West (Union Theological Seminary) will speak about the comparative movements, both historical and contemporary, and what we can glean from thinking broadly about our pasts and present. Sponsored by the UNC Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies in partnership with IAH, the Stone Center, Center for the Study of American South, the Program for Public Discourse, Dean of DEI, and Dean of Social Sciences and Global Programs.
Date: January 30, 2024
Times: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Audience: Public
Venue: Moeser Auditorium, Hill Hall

Abbey Speaker Series: Frank Bruni and Bari Weiss in Conversation

This event time has changed to 7 pm-8:30 pm.

On January 22nd, 2024, at 7:00 pm, veteran journalists and former colleagues Frank Bruni and Bari Weiss reunite for a discussion of objectivity in journalism, as part of the Program for Public Discourses’ Abbey Speaker Series, co-sponsored by Carolina Alumni. Weiss is the founder and editor of The Free Press and host of the podcast Honestly. Bruni has been a journalist for more than three decades, including more than twenty-five years at The New York Times, the last ten of them as an op-ed columnist who appeared frequently as a television commentator. This event is open to the public and does not require registration. Pizza will be served after the event and students can earn CLE credit. We expect large crowds for this event. We will begin handing out tickets to people in line at 5:45 at the Union Box Office. Doors open at 6:30. You can no longer reserve seats via email.

Bari Weiss is the founder and editor of The Free Press and host of the podcast Honestly. From 2017 to 2020 Weiss was an opinion writer and editor at The New York Times. Before that, she was an op-ed and book review editor at The Wall Street Journal and a senior editor at Tablet Magazine.

Weiss is the winner of the LA Press Club's 2021 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism. She is also the winner of the Reason Foundation’s 2018 Bastiat Prize, which honors writing that “best demonstrates the importance of freedom with originality, wit, and eloquence.” In 2019, Vanity Fair called Weiss the Times's "star opinion writer."

Weiss is a proud Pittsburgh native. Her first book, “How to Fight Anti-Semitism,” was the winner of a 2019 National Jewish Book Award. She lives with her wife and daughter in Los Angeles.
Frank Bruni has been a prominent journalist for more than three decades, including more than twenty-five years at The New York Times, the last ten of them as a nationally renowned op-ed columnist who appeared frequently as a television commentator. He was also a White House correspondent for the Times, its Rome bureau chief and, for five years, its chief restaurant critic. He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including "The Beauty of Dusk," which reached #5 on both the hardcover nonfiction and the combined print and e-book nonfiction lists. In July 2021, he became a professor at Duke University, teaching media-oriented classes in the Sanford School of Public Policy. He continues to write his popular weekly newsletter for the Times and to produce occasional essays as one of the newspaper’s contributing opinion writers. A Carolina alumni and Morehead-Cain Scholar, Bruni began his career as a student reporter for The Daily Tar Heel.
Date: January 22, 2024
Times: 07:00 pm – 08:30 pm
Audience: Public Event

Speak Up! The Annual Speech Competition at UNC

Undergraduate students across the university are invited to participate in Speak Up! The Annual Speech Competition at UNC, co-hosted by the Program for Public Discourse and the Department of Communication. Students are welcome to prepare informative or persuasive speeches broadly related to this year’s theme, “On the Defining Issue of Our Time.” Potential formats might include policy speeches, calls to action, or call to attention. The winner will receive a cash prize of $500. Second and third place will receive $250 and $100 respectively. Space is limited, so please contact Professor Kevin Marinelli at by Monday, November 27 to schedule an audition or receive further information.
Date: December 5, 2023
Times: 12:30 p.m. – 01:45 p.m.
Audience: Undergradutes
Venue: Genome 1000