Cover art for podcast James Madison Center for Civic Engagement: Democracy Matters

James Madison Center for Civic Engagement: Democracy Matters

41 EpisodesProduced by (James Madison University)Website

A podcast exploring themes related to civic engagement in order to build a more inclusive, just, and equitable democracy.

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Episode 1: A Place to Start: Conversation with Professor, Artist, Community Organizer Pato Hebert.

June 17th, 2019


Artists use so many different mediums to comment on their surroundings, some use it as an opportunity to make a statement on current events and government action. Photographer and activist, Pato Hebert, sits down with …

Episode 2: Real Democracy Needs Everyone's Perspectives

June 24th, 2019


Dr. Barbara Schaal, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor Professor of Biology at the Washington University in St. …

Episode 3: Bringing Democracy to Life

July 15th, 2019


From teaching information literacy, to providing community gathering spaces, to fostering access to information, to connecting people with each other, and more, James Madison University Librarians Kristen Shuyler and …

Episode 4: Beware the Shrinking Imagination!

July 16th, 2019


Two questions animate our work: What if? How so? The work of imagining is something we should take very seriously in civic engagement. It's difficult …

Episode 5: Don't Cook Tonight! Call Ceola. Or How to Build Non-Colonial University-Community Partnerships with a Blue Hair Brigade

July 17th, 2019


Communities around the world are demanding full participation in every step of the research process, from identifying the issues to be looked at, to …

Episode 6: The SOUL of Campus Civic Life

July 18th, 2019


Academic communities can be major drivers of civic engagement and critical thought around major issues. JMU Senior Ethan Gardner talks with Anna Williams and Yeimy Gamez Castillo, two students from the Rutgers-Newark …

Episode 7: Bring on the Democracy Midwives!

July 28th, 2019


John Dewey said that "Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife." Although people who go to college are slightly …

Episode 8: So Much Noise and No One Needs A Broadcast Message

August 5th, 2019


Student attention is a scarce commodity. What are the best opportunities for capturing student attention to engage them in civic learning and …

Episode 9: Beyond the Lens: Justice Through Photography

August 12th, 2019


From Richmond to the West Bank, from Kentucky to Tanzania, photography has the potential to communicate lived experiences and complex social issues to those in power. In this episode, we talk with internationally …

Episode 10: Inclusive Music and the Value of 'Being With'

August 18th, 2019


What is inclusion and how can inclusive music contribute to a culture of democratic engagement through authentic experiences of participatory …

Episode 11: Women Breaking Barriers: A Timeline

September 4th, 2019


2019-2020 marks the 100th anniversary since the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which articulated that, "The …

Episode 12: The Ballot Box: The Only Place Where Jeff Bezos and the Janitor of McDonalds Are Equal

November 6th, 2019


Although there have been many advancements since the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is much to be done to improve the status of women, including among other things: ending sex-based …

Episode 13: Talkin 'bout the Revolution: What we can learn from women breaking barriers in early America

November 12th, 2019


History doesn't always move toward the inclusion of groups. Sometimes rights can be lost as well as gained. Take, for example, the American …

Episode 14: Plan, Do, Check and Prove: Educating for Democracy on Campuses and Beyond

January 6th, 2020


In this episode, we talk with Ian Simmons, the Founder and President of the Foundation for Civic Leadership and a member of the Madison Center's advisory board, about best practices and promising projects for enhancing …

Episode 15: Banking on Civic Learning

January 21st, 2020


Community banks are vital to the American economy and society. In this episode, we talk with JMU College of Business Finance Professor Dr. Carl …

Episode 16: Evaluating Political News in an Election Year

February 24th, 2020


In this episode, we talk with JMU School of Media Arts and Design Assistant Professor Ryan Alessi about the best strategies for evaluating political …

Episode 17: Is Civility a Cure for the Dysfunctions of Democracy?

March 21st, 2020


What do high levels of distrust and socioeconomic and political inequality portend for democracy and civility? In this episode we talk with Dr. …

Episode 18: Tearing the Veil From the Bottom Up: Civic Engagement thru Hip-Hop

March 28th, 2020


In 1897, W.E.B Du Bois wrote, 'Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil." In …

Episode 19: Leadership in a Time of Global Crisis: Serving the campus, community and beyond

April 5th, 2020


In this episode, we have an in-depth conversation with James Madison University President Jonathan R. Alger about what kind of leadership is needing during a global crisis and what it has been like to make important …

Episode 20: Protecting Democracy During Pandemic

April 20th, 2020


As more states prepare for primaries and as the nation plans for the November 2020 general elections, how should candidates approach campaigning and …

Episode 21: Counting for Community Resilience: Census in the Time of COVID

April 26th, 2020


Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Census faced serious challenges to achieving a complete and accurate count because of politics, budget …

Episode 22: Civic engagement, social distancing, and democracy reform

April 30th, 2020


Democracy is very much a collective activity. Inside, we come together to debate, discuss, do the work of government, and make laws. Outside, we …

Episode 23: The World Needs U.S.-China Cooperation

May 6th, 2020


As headlines declare relations between the United States and China have sunk to a new low, we talk with China expert and James Madison University …

Episode 24: New Politics in the Old Dominion?

May 14th, 2020


In this episode, we talk with Virginia State Senator Scott Surovell (JMU, '93; UVA Law, '96), the Senate Democratic Whip, about what happened in the 2020 legislative session, election reform, options for voting during …

Episode 25: UniverCity of Refuge

May 21st, 2020


We are experiencing a global migration and refugees crisis with nearly 71 million people who have fled their homes worldwide, the highest number since World War II. In this episode, we talk about the crisis and what can …

Episode 26: Justice As a House: When the Studs are Rotten, Paint Won't Fix It

June 5th, 2020


The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have brought attention to the racist policies and systems that engender …

Episode 27: Moving Beyond Lesser of Two Evils: A path to a fairer and more functional democracy?

June 9th, 2020


Have you ever felt like you were wasting your vote on a candidate because you could only choose one candidate on the ballot and wondered if there is …

Episode 28: Antiracism and Black Agency Through Arts

June 19th, 2020


In this episode we hear music, spoken word, poetry, and discussion about the role of arts as a means for education, agency and expression of …

Episode 29: Athletlics and Social Justice

June 25th, 2020


This episode features a conversation with Semaj Sorhaindo, JMU Football Student-Athlete; Nikki Oppenheimer, JMU Women's Basketball Student-Athlete; Arthur Moats, JMU alumn and linebacker for the Buffalo Bills, …

Episode 30: Why Isn't Democracy Working For Everyone?

July 8th, 2020


In his new book, Democracy in One Book Or Less: How It Works, Why It Doesn't, and Why Fixing It Is Easier Than You Think, David Litt addresses some of the most pressing challenges facing democracy, including partisan …

Episode 31: On Becoming a Hotbed of Democracy

July 28th, 2020


In this episode, we talk with Virginia House of Delegates Representative Schuyler VanValkenburg about civics education, changes in Virginia voting laws, vote-by-mail, redistricting reform on the ballot this November and …

Episode 32: What Miner Bo's Campaign Can Tell Us About Democracy

August 3rd, 2020


It's probably safe to say that Bo Copley never expected to run for U.S. Senate. A lifelong resident of Mingo County, West Virginia, Copley worked in the coal industry for 11 years until he was laid off on September 18, …

Episode 33: The American Presidency in Trouble and What Voters Can Do

August 11th, 2020


"The American presidency is in trouble," says CBS News correspondent John Dickerson in his new book, The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency. "It is overburdened, misunderstood, an almost impossible job to …

Episode 34: Is Vote by Mail the Solution to Safe, Accessible Elections?

August 27th, 2020


Amidst the COVID-19 public health crisis, many are pondering how we can have safe, secure elections this year while also ensuring access. In this …

Episode 35: #LetHerSpeak

September 10th, 2020


This episode features the audio from JMU Civic's virtual town hall with Libertarian Party presidential candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen. We discuss a range …

Episode 36: Election Emotions and What We Can Do About Them

October 8th, 2020


Are you feeling anxious, fatigued, worried, angry or hopeful about the election? In this episode we talk with Dr. Benjamin Blankenship, assistant …

Episode 37: The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family

October 14th, 2020


"Always remember-you're a Madison. You come from African slaves and a president." Dr. Bettye Kearse joins us for a discussion about her new book, The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President's Black Family.

See …

Episode 38: Local Action for Global Impact on Climate Change

October 16th, 2020


As part of Global Climate Change Week encouraging academic communities to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate …

Episode 39: More Democracy Is Better Democracy

October 23rd, 2020


How should we view the 2020 elections in the broader arc of American political history? What are some key questions we should be considering for …

Episode 40: Making Virginia the Burger King of Voting

October 26th, 2020


In this episode, students in our Elections 2020 class interview Chris Piper, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, about how the pandemic has affected election administration this year; historic levels …

Episode 41: Turtles Riding Dogs: The Politics of Civil Discourse on Campus and Beyond

October 27th, 2020


What does civil discourse mean to students? How can we have hard conversations in such a divisive political climate when the stakes are so high? In …

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