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Democracy & Debate Theme Semester

This university-wide educational initiative will engage with students, faculty, and staff on an exploration of free speech and exchange of ideas, what it means to be a member of a democratic society, and democratic engagement from a global perspective.

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BIG 10 voting challenge

Your Voice. Your Vote.

Launched in 2017, the Big Ten Voting Challenge is a nonpartisan initiative created to spur civic engagement and encourage more students across the Big Ten to head to the polls on Election Day. Each of the 14 schools within the Big Ten Conference are competing in the challenge.

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Democracy Cafe

Communicate. Learn. Understand

Democracy Cafés celebrate the ability of people to meet in public spaces to exchange ideas, engaging each other both socially and intellectually.

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Featured Event

Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series - Cybersecurity, Technology, and Government

The event will feature speaker Javed Ali, former Senior Director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council and Towsley Policymaker in Residence, and our very own Ravi Pendse, U-M Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, as the event moderator. Join us for an insightful discussion centered on the intersection of cybersecurity, technology, and government and its role within the campus community, presidential elections, and more. Our guests will also be sharing their unique career paths into their respective fields. There will be Q&A opportunities throughout the event! You can also submit questions through your Zoom registration!

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Faculty Expert

Arnold Monto

Professor of epidemiology “We weren’t supposed to get to this point. If you have five clusters going on at the same time, it’s hard to say where it came from.” New York Times

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a portrait of Angela Dillard
What makes Democracy & Debate distinctive is not only the contributions from across the university, but also the connection to the presidential election season and watch parties for the debates. This gives us the potential to have conversations that span the campus, the state and the globe. We’ve never had a theme semester with this kind of reach.
- Angela Dillard, Professor, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Chair, Presidential Debate Academic Advisory Committee