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

James Madison Center for Civic Engagement: Democracy Matters

72 EpisodesProduced by civic@jmu.edu (James Madison University)Website

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

episodes iconAll Episodes

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

June 17th, 2019

47:52

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

24:59

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

41:38

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

42:15

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

1:01:32

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

37:48

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

47:55

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

39:36

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

39:18

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

44:37

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

27:49

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

33:48

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

42:56

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

44:47

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

27:44

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

29:47

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

52:48

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

39:52

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

44:02

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

27:03

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

41:59

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

37:25

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

41:04

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

38:12

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

48:27

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

1:29:02

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

25:24

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

1:24:49

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

1:29:52

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

35:24

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

43:52

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

26:35

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

39:26

"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

39:00

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

35:21

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

40:59

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

44:21

"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

33:30

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

39:54

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

44:04

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

36:33

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 …

Episode 42: The Supremes and Elections

October 30th, 2020

21:18

Leading up to the 2020 elections, there are over 260 lawsuits in the courts about who can vote, when ballots can be cast and by when they must be counted. In this episode, we talk with SCOTUSblog reporter and Supreme …

Episode 43: Diversity and Democracy Through Higher Education

November 12th, 2020

44:31

In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Dr. Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities …

Democracy Matters - Episode 44: Achieving Health Equity

November 14th, 2020

28:30

Americans today live shorter, sicker lives than people in other developed countries, and, across the nation, health varies by income, education, race and ethnicity, and geography. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Linda …

Episode 45: Distrust of News, Divergent Sources, Doom Scrolling and Democracy

November 23rd, 2020

41:05

How have changes in the media ecosystem impacted knowledge of issues and informed participation in elections? How did media coverage of the 2020 elections compare to 2016? Why is there so much distrust in the news …

Episode 46: Compromise Is Fruitful and Conflict Is Destructive

November 25th, 2020

50:12

Should we be concerned about how legal challenges made by President Trump's campaign to challenge results in key states combined with the spread of …

Episode 47: No Power Superior to the People

December 2nd, 2020

34:47

Is the United States a democracy? Is representative government failing the American people? In this episode, we talk with former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel about how bringing the people directly into the operations of …

Episode 48: Democracy Is Not Static

December 17th, 2020

28:19

Dr. Melinda Adams, Associate Dean of JMU's College of Arts and Letters, discusses democratic transitions, what to expect in policy approaches to …

Episode 49: From Chaos to Compassion: A New Era for Immigration?

December 24th, 2020

46:46

Relying on executive authority and issuing 400 executive actions on immigration, the Trump adminsitration implemented policies on a wide range of …

Episode 50: 'Democracy Is an Act'

January 4th, 2021

1:05:38

In an essay published posthumously, civil rights icon and Member of Congress John Lewis, wrote, "Democracy Is Not A State. It Is An Act." The team at the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement reflects on 2020 and …

Episode 51: Insurrection and Sedition Explained

January 13th, 2021

1:02:44

In this episode of Democracy Matters, James Madison University History and Political Science faculty experts explain the ongoing insurrection, and …

Episode 52: Insurrection as a civically responsible form of social change

February 15th, 2021

46:22

In this episode, we talk with Ethan Zuckerman, associate professor of public policy, communication and information at the University of Massachusetts …

Episode 53: Does The President Have a Mandate?

February 28th, 2021

33:44

Does President Joe Biden have a mandate to enact his policies and agenda? Why are presidents drawn to mandate rhetoric? What can we learn from …

Episode 54: How Can Parties Bring More Women Into Power and Politics?

March 10th, 2021

28:22

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Kristin Wylie, associate professor of political science at James Madison University, about political violence …

Episode 55: Ungoverned and Out of Sight

April 7th, 2021

34:56

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Charley Willison, a National Institutes of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard University Department …

Episode 56: How Can Women Realize Their Full Political Potential?

April 15th, 2021

25:11

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, there is a record number of women serving in the 117th Congress. We talk with Dr. Kira Sanbonmatsu, …

Episode 57: Can We Stop Climate Destruction?

April 21st, 2021

26:15

The theme of Earth Day 2021 is action on Climate Change. In this episode, we talk with Dr. Tobias Gerken, assistant professor in the School of …

Episode 58: Is Big Government Back?

April 29th, 2021

39:26

"America is on the move again," declared President Joe Biden in a joint session of Congress on April 28, 2021 and on the eve of the 100th day of his …

Episode 59: Can transparency, oversight, ethics and accountability save American democracy?

May 19th, 2021

1:07:00

In this episode we talk with Walter Shaub, who leads the Ethics and Accountability Initiative at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), about what elected and other government officials, and the public can do to …

Episode 60: Free the Press

May 21st, 2021

53:15

In this episode, we talk with Jim Acosta, CNN anchor for weekend programming and the network's chief domestic correspondent, about the critical role …

Episode 61: Pulling Democracy Back from the Brink

May 28th, 2021

45:58

Why do we have to run an obstacle course when we go to vote every two years in federal elections? How can Congress strengthen American democratic …

Episode 62: Moving Beyond the 'Band Aid on Wound' Approach to Refugees

June 18th, 2021

40:07

For World Refugee Day, we talk with Jana Mason, Senior External Relations Advisor at the Washington, D.C. office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR-the UN Refugee Agency) about the root causes …

Episode 63: Durable Policy Solutions to the Humanitarian Crisis in Central America

June 22nd, 2021

26:03

Julio Rank Wright, Deputy Regional Director for Latin America at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), joins us to discuss the growing …

Bonus: E-Carceration and the Price of the American Dream

July 7th, 2021

26:43

In this episode, Diego F. Salinas, a JMU alum and our 20-21 Woodson Martin Democracy Fellow, reads his essay on E-Carceration and the Price of the American Dream.

Episode 64: Divergent Access and the Future of Voting Rights

July 8th, 2021

38:39

In the wake of the Supreme Court's Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee ruling, we are left asking what is a usual or unusual burden to voting …

Episode 65: 9/11 at 20 Mini Series Major Michael Benner

July 13th, 2021

33:07

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and explore the consequences of the U.S. response, the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement and JMU X-Labs have …

Episode 66: 9/11 at 20 Mini Series Gregory Sullivan

July 14th, 2021

21:16

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and explore the consequences of the U.S. response, the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement and JMU X-Labs have …

Episode 67: 9/11 at 20 Mini Series Samantha Huie

July 15th, 2021

18:35

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and explore the consequences of the U.S. response, the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement and JMU X-Labs have …

Episode 68: 9/11 at 20 Mini Series Dr. Mark Ehler

July 20th, 2021

35:14

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and explore the consequences of the U.S. response, the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement and JMU X-Labs have …

Episode 69: 9/11 at 20 Steven R. Shapiro

July 25th, 2021

54:50

In this episode, we talk with Steven R. Shapiro, the former Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation's oldest and largest …

Episode 70: 9/11 at 20 Terry Kessler

July 26th, 2021

22:30

In this episode, Terry Kessler shares his experiences, including two tours of duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Terry attended James Madison University where he was commissioned through ROTC as a Medical Service …

Episode 71: Can We Make Elections Fair?

July 27th, 2021

46:59

In this episode we talk with Dr. Jon A. Krosnick from Stanford University about how we can make elections more fair.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at

Loading ...

Listen to James Madison Center for Civic Engagement: Democracy Matters

RadioPublic

A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed
https://www.jmu.edu/civic/podcast/feed.xml

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens