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Democracy & Debate 2023-24 Events

The University of Michigan’s Democracy & Debate events provide an opportunity for learning and engagement across multiple platforms. Our collective goal is to share unique engagement opportunities that address the breadth of elements that constitute a democratic society. We encourage you to participate as an active member of our community.

These events seek to consider broadly the intersections between democracy and arenas that shape our collective experiences. They provide opportunities to examine the crucial intersection between democracy and racial and social justice and invitations to explore the impact of the relationship between democracy and our environments, from the arts to policy, from social media to climate change. The suite of events also examine pressures on democracies locally, nationally, and globally. All of the programs invite discussion and reflection on free speech, the exchange of ideas, and the responsibilities of members of a democratic society.

Through these activities, we seek to establish habits of active and informed democratic engagement in the years between presidential elections, as we continue to grapple with the multiple challenges that confront our nation and our world. Our list of events will grow, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Mar 7, 2024 11:30 amA. Alfred Taubman Wing Commons, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI

Emmanuel’s talk offers a critical examination of how cities utilize public resources, labor, land, and materials to address challenges and plan for the future of the built environment. The conversation explores SWF’s  practice of re-mapping cities’ resources at its Communiversity to create true Common Wealth – the spaces, structures, networks, resources, and opportunities essential to mending the urban fabric, healing communities, and equipping our neighborhoods to thrive, rather than merely survive. The talk invites us to imagine: “What if??? What if…. neighborhood development took place on a human scale, fueled by the critical connections that cultivate the relationships and collective commitment to do the necessary work?”

Emmanuel Pratt is an Urban Designer, Artist, and MacArthur Fellow. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of Sweet Water Foundation. Emmanuel’s praxis is rooted in decades of work that interrogates the cross-sectionality of architecture, urban planning, agroecology, and human development. His work builds upon and moves beyond the theory of Communicative Action towards the creation of a new paradigm of Regenerative Neighborhood Development (RND). Emmanuel was a Harvard GSD Loeb Fellow in 2017, a 2019 Joyce Award recipient, and a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.

Mar 11, 2024 3:30 pmA. Alfred Taubman Wing Commons, 2000 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI

Housing Works brings together cutting-edge research and creative practices that are having a real impact in the development and provision of equitable housing. Addressing our national housing crisis requires profound changes in how we fund and build housing. These changes may involve overhauls of the existing regulatory system, significant expansion of different funding sources, and creative adoption of new design and construction methods. This symposium invites academic field-leaders to present their work toward enabling equitable housing across diverse domains and to share their experiences bridging academic institutions and public entities.

Housing Works is organized and hosted by the University of Michigan’s Collective for Equitable Housing (CEH). We bring together architecture, urban design, and urban planning faculty at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to promote housing equity within the state of Michigan and beyond. By leveraging faculty expertise, funding, and community-based partnerships, CEH pursues research questions and impact-driven projects that address housing affordability, enable equitable development, and promote sustainable building design and practices.

This event is generously supported by the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial Lecture Fund at Taubman College.

Mar 11, 2024 4:00 pmJoan and Sanford Weill Hall Annenberg Auditorium (1120) 735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI

As the 2024 presidential campaign ramps up, candidates are facing pressure to pledge not to touch Social Security. While this pledge is framed as ‘protecting benefits,’ it is – in reality – an implicit endorsement of a 23 percent across-the-board benefit cut in 2033, when the Social Security retirement fund becomes insolvent. In that year, annual benefits would be cut by $17,400 for a typical newly retired dual-income couple.

US Budget Watch 2024 is a project of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget designed to educate the public on the fiscal impact of presidential candidates’ proposals and platforms. It does not support or oppose any candidate for public office.

Marc Goldwein is the Senior Vice President and Senior Policy Director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, where he guides and conducts research on a wide array of topics related to fiscal policy and the federal budget. He is frequently quoted in a number of major media outlets and works regularly with Members of Congress and their staffs on budget-related issues. 

Previously, Marc served as Associate Director of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (The Fiscal Commission) and senior budget analyst on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (The Super Committee).  He also conducted research for the Government Accountability Office, the World Bank, the Historian’s Office at the Social Security Administration, and the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley.  

In addition to his work at the Committee, Marc serves on Martha’s Tables’ Business Advisory Council and teaches economics at Johns Hopkins University and the University of California DC. Marc is the recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Excellence in Teaching award and was featured in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for Law & Policy. He holds a BA and MA from Johns Hopkins University.

Mar 18, 2024 6:00 pm Power Center 121 Fletcher St, Ann Arbor, MI

In partnership with Wallace House, award-winning journalist Kara Swisher discusses her newly released “Burn Book: A Tech Love Story,” her account of the tech industry and its founders who wanted to change the world but broke it instead.

Kara Swisher is the co-founder and editor-at-large of Recode, producer and host of the Recode Decode and Pivot podcasts, and co-executive producer of the Code Conference series. She also has a special series on MSNBC called Revolution on the impact of technology on work, society, and more, and is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times.

a portrait of Tabbye Chavous
Democracy & Debate has mobilized our communities to think more critically about movement towards a more diverse and inclusive society. The contributions this year from expert diversity scholars will continue to help us all better understand and further examine the history of democracy and leverage this opportunity to engage with students, faculty, and staff to envision a more just campus, community, and society.
- Tabbye Chavous, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer