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

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 media? How does the current mediascape with the ability to pick and choose from divergent news sources impact the ability of Americans to distinguish credible information from misinformation, disinformation and propaganda? And how has the rise of social media impacted elections? 

In this episode, we talk with JMU Professor of Political Science Dr. David Jones about the implications of the media for democratic participation, practice and governance. Dr. David A. Jones teaches courses and conducts research in U.S. politics, particularly in the areas of elections and media.

Episode 44: Achieving Health Equity

In this episode, we talk with Dr. Linda Plitt-Donaldson, Associate Dean of College of Health and Behavioral Studies and Director of the Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services at James Madison University, and with Dr. Laura Merrell, Assistant Professor in Health Sciences, about the social determinants of health and why everyone should care about health equity.

Episode 43: Diversity and Democracy Through Higher Education

What are some of the greatest challenges emanating from federal policy for institutions of higher education? How can institutions of higher education do better to reckon with their own histories of racial inequity and racial injustice? In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Dr. Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and with Jonathan Alger, president of James Madison University, about the role of higher education in advancing diversity and democracy, and higher education’s special responsibility to contribute meaningfully to the communities in which they are situated.

Episode 42: The Supremes and Elections

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 Court expert Amy L. Howe about the litigation arms race, the role of the Supreme Court in voting rights and election law, how trust in political institutions might be undermined by all the legal challenges and their timing this year, how the Supreme Court can ensure that the election litigation process isn’t hijacked for partisan political aims, and how the confirmation Amy Coney Barrett to be the 115th U.S. Supreme Court justice could impact elections. Howe also shares how Zoom has impacted coverage of the Supreme Court.

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

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 this episode, we talk about the politics of civility on campus and beyond with JMU students Wyatt Blevins (Political Science and Public Policy and Administration, '22), Chairman of the College Republicans; Robert Gruberger (History and Political Science, '22), Young Democratic Socialists of America at JMU; and Emily Baker (Political Science and English, '21), Campus Vote Project, Democracy Fellow.

Episode 40: Making Virginia the Burger King of Voting

In this episode of Democracy Matters, 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 of absentee and early voting; partnering with federal agencies and other states to combat foreign interference; and how litigation will affect when we know election results.

Episode 39: More Democracy is Better Democracy

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 governance in the wake of such a divisive election? What role does morality policy play in electoral politics? And what is the state of our political parties? In this episode, we dive into these questions and more with JMU Political Science faculty Dr. Marty Cohen and Dr. Kathleen Ferraiolo.

Episode 38: Local Action for Global Impact on Climate Change

As part of Global Climate Change Week encouraging academic communities to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions, we talk with Tom Benevento, co-founder of Vine and Fig about the 50 By 25 campaign working toward a clean, just energy transition in Harrisonburg. Read the full episode notes with links here.

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

“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.

Full episode notes here.

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

Are you feeling anxious, fatigued, worried, angry or hopeful about the election? In this episode we talk with Dr. Benjamin Blankenship, assistant professor of Psychology at James Madison University about what drives election emotions and what we can do to cope.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/10-08-democracy-matters-episode-36.shtml

Episode 35: #LetHerSpeak

This episode features the audio from JMU Civic's virtual town hall with Libertarian Party presidential candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen. We discuss a range of issues including the size and role of the federal government, military and national defense, healthcare, immigration, COVID-19 pandemic, criminal justice reform, the environment and more.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/09-10-democracy-matters-episode-35.shtml

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

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, we talk with Michael Pfeifer, a voting rights and political law attorney who says the key is to vote by mail. "The USPS has got this," says Pfeifer.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/08-27-democracy-matters-episode-34.shtml

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

"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 do." In this episode we talk with John about how expansive the presidency has become from what was initially intended for the institution and its responsibilities, and why no individual president can possibly live up to the expectations for the office. We also discuss the 2020 election and whether President Donald J. Trump has changed and reinvented the presidency.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/08-11-democracy-matters-episode-33.shtml

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

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, 2015. In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Director and Producer Todd Drezner about The Campaign of Miner Bo, which documents Bo Copley's bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2018.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/08-03-democracy-matters-episode-32.shtml

Episode 31: On Becoming a Hotbed of Democracy

Virginia has historically been one of the worst states for voting access and for voter disenfranchisement. In the late 1940s, the great historian of southern politics V.O. Key said of the Commonwealth: “By contrast, Mississippi is a hotbed of democracy.”

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 more.

See the show notes with discussion questions and links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/07-28-democracy-matters-episode-31.shtml.

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

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 rancor, gerrymandering, campaign finance, voter suppression, political corruption, the legislative filibuster and how people are represented (or not) in our political system. David especially focuses on voting rights, and how efforts over time to suppress voting rights based largely on race, ethnicity, and class have led to socioeconomic and political inequalities we see today.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/07-08-democracy-matters-episode-30.shtml

Episode 29: Athletlics and Social Justice

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, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals; Ta' Frias, JMU Track and Field Head Coach; Jeff Bourne, Director of Athletics, James Madison University; and Roger Soenksen, Faculty Athletic Representative and Professor in JMU School of Media Arts and Design about the role and agency of athletes, teams and athletic organizations in addressing racial injustice, systemic racism, and creating a more just and inclusive society and democracy.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/06-25-democracy-matters-episode-29.shtml

Episode 28: Antiracism and Black Agency Through Arts

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 antiracism and racial equity.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/06-19-democracy-matters-episode-28.shtml.

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

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 a better way? In this episode, we talk with Deb Otis, Senior Research Analyst in the Law and Policy Department at Fair Vote, about Ranked choice voting (RCV). RCV describes voting systems that allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference, and then uses those rankings to elect candidates who best represent their constituents.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/civic/RCV.shtml

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

The recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have brought attention to the racist policies and systems that engender violence (both sudden and systemic, physical and attitudinal) against Black people in the United States. The current protests are not just in response to these most recent killings – they are in response to the systemic racism that is woven through our society. In this episode, we are featuring remarks from JMU Civic's live streamed town hall on Wednesday June 3 about ending systemic racism and creating a more inclusive campus, democracy and society.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/06-05-democracy-matters-episode-26.shtml

Episode 25: UniverCity of Refuge

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 be done about it with Dr. Diya Abdo, founder of Every Campus a Refuge, Dr. Jamie Williams, associate director of JMU's Community Service-Learning, and Nadiya Khaydari, a junior at JMU majoring in Political Science and Economics and a Senator in the Student Government Association.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/05-21-democracy-matters-episode-25.shtml

Episode 24: New Politics in the Old Dominion?

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 the pandemic, and redistricting reform on the ballot in November 2020.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/05-14-democracy-matters-episode-24.shtml

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

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 Political Science Professor Dr. Edward Yang about how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting China-U.S. relations, and what can be done to improve and reinvigorate diplomacy between China and the U.S.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/05-06-democracy-matters-episode-23.shtml

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

Democracy is very much a collective activity. Inside, we come together to debate, discuss, do the work of government, and make laws. Outside, we protest and hold rallies. But much of this is not possible. Social distancing presents a tremendous challenge. In this episode from The Democracy Group podcast network, we look at the barriers and the opportunities as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/04-30-democracy-matters-episode-22.shtml

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

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Census faced serious challenges to achieving a complete and accurate count because of politics, budget restrictions, employing new technology and because social media amplifies the spread of misinformation and disinformation. The global public health crisis has thrown into sharp relief the importance of a complete count, including: ensuring accurate representation in governmental institutions, having accurate data for healthcare infrastructure and emergency preparedness, and access to funding communities desperately need. In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Jonathan Derks, Kearstin Kimm, Tristan Thorgersen, and Abby Wallen about their work this semester to reach hard-to-count communities.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/04-26-democracy-matters-episode-21.shtml

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

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Census faced serious challenges to achieving a complete and accurate count because of politics, budget restrictions, employing new technology and because social media amplifies the spread of misinformation and disinformation. The global public health crisis has thrown into sharp relief the importance of a complete count, including: ensuring accurate representation in governmental institutions, having accurate data for healthcare infrastructure and emergency preparedness, and access to funding communities desperately need. In this episode of Democracy Matters, we talk with Jonathan Derks, Kearstin Kimm, Tristan Thorgersen, and Abby Wallen about their work this semester to reach hard-to-count communities.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/04-26-democracy-matters-episode-21.shtml

Episode 20: Protecting Democracy During Pandemic

As more states prepare for primaries and as the nation plans for the November 2020 general elections, how should candidates approach campaigning and how should elections be administered during a pandemic? What is the role of the media and what will matter most to voters when they cast their ballot in November? In this episode, we talk with Dr. Larry Sabato, Robert Kent Gooch Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia and director of the Center for Politics about the fundamental need to ensure voters have a voice in government by deciding who governs even during a pandemic.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/04-19-democracy-matters-episode-20.shtml

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

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 decisions on big matters with incomplete information at an unprecedented pace - from reorganizing courses for distance and online learning to responding to local community needs.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/04-04-democracy-matters-episode-19.shtml

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

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 this episode, we talk with Dr. Jarrit Ahmed Sheel, Assistant Professor of Music Education at Berklee College of Music, who spent a week as the College of Visual and Performing Arts Cultural Connections Artist in Residence at JMU. Like Du Bois, Jarrit Ahmed Sheel also combines history, philosophy and music to deeply engage his students and audiences in efforts to tear down veils of exclusion and marginalization, whether they're race-based or class-based.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/03-28-democracy-matters-episode-18.shtml

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

What do high levels of distrust and socioeconomic and political inequality portend for democracy and civility? In this episode we talk with Dr. Robert Talisse, W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University about what civility is and why it fails.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/03-21-democracy-matters-episode-17.shtml

Episode 16: Evaluating Political News in an Election Year

In this episode, we talk with JMU School of Media Arts and Design Assistant Professor Ryan Alessi about the best strategies for evaluating political news stories in a hyperpartisan election year.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/02-24-democracy-matters-episode-16.shtml

Episode 15: Banking on Civic Learning

Community banks are vital to the American economy and society. In this episode, we talk with JMU College of Business Finance Professor Dr. Carl Larsson, and with Katie Jarrett, a senior in the School of Media Arts and Design and Corinne Barbieri, a senior Finance major, who are members of JMU's Banking Team.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/01-22-democracy-matters-episode-15.shtml

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

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 democracy.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2020/01-01-democracy-matters-episode-14.shtml

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

History doesn't always move toward the inclusion of groups. Sometimes rights can be lost as well as gained. Take, for example, the American Revolutionary period, which created opportunities for women to participate in politics. By 1828, however, women's politicization was seen more as a liability than as a strength, and contributed to a divisive political climate that brought the country to the brink of civil war. In this episode, distinguished American historian Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri joins us to discuss her path-breaking research in early American political history and why we need to have a grasp of the past to defend the rights of those who may be vulnerable to disenfranchisement.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/11-12-democracy-matters-episode-13.shtml 

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

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 discrimination, improving maternal mortality rates for black women, ensuring equal pay for equal work, increasing protections for the LGBTQ+ community, and addressing challenges faced by veterans and those who live in poverty. In this episode of Democracy Matters, we play a recording of Constitution Day speaker Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, who discussed the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and answered questions from JMU students. Foy was the first public defender to ever serve in the Virginia General Assembly and now devotes her time as an attorney advocate representing abused and neglected children in court. Additionally, Delegate Foy was one of the first African-American women to graduate from Virginia Military Institute.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/11-06-democracy-matters-episode-12.shtml 

Episode 11: Women Breaking Barriers: A Timeline

2019-2020 marks the 100th anniversary since the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which articulated that, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The 19th amendment was the result of centuries of activism and contributions from many social movements to ensure through the highest law of the land a "right through which all other rights could be secured." But as suffragist leader Frances Harper observed in 1893, "I do not think the mere extension of the ballot a panacea for all the ills of our national life. What we need to-day is not simply more voters, but better voters." Kearstin Kimm, a senior Computer Science major at James Madison University, spent her summer as a Democracy Fellow at the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement researching the history of women's rights in what we now know as the United States and the 19th amendment. Using her knowledge and technical expertise, she created a comprehensive timeline beginning in 1619 up to present day. In this episode, Kearstin discusses the timeline, which includes entries related to progress and challenges to the status of women, with photos and links to primary source documents. Women Breaking Barriers: A Timeline

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/09-04-democracy-matters-episode-11.shtml

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

What is inclusion and how can inclusive music contribute to a culture of democratic engagement through authentic experiences of participatory musicking? JMU's Center for Inclusive Music Engagement is facilitating innovative opportunities for all persons-particularly those are often marginalized in institutional music education contexts-to create, perform, respond, and connect with, in, through, and around music in ways they find meaningful. In this episode we talk with Dr. Jesse Rathgeber, an assistant professor of music education at James Madison University and associate director of the Center for Inclusive Music Engagement, and with Emily Veramessa, who graduated from JMU in 2019 with a degree in music education and is now the inaugural Engagement Fellow at the Center. JMU Center for Inclusive Music Engagement JMUke Jesse Rathgeber's scholarship, musicianship and engagement Emily Varamessa's scholarship, musicianship and engagement.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/01-01-democracy-matters-episode-10.shtml

Episode 9: Beyond the Lens: Justice Through Photography

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 acclaimed photographer Wendy Ewald about her work in Virginia and beyond using photography as a collaborative process to strengthen democracy. Ewald has spent more than 40 years collaborating with children, families, and teachers all over the world. In her work, she encourages her collaborators to use cameras (as well as using the camera herself) to record themselves, their families and their communities, and to articulate their fantasies and dreams. Ewald often has them mark or write on her own negatives, thereby challenging the concept of who actually makes an image. Wendy's website Literacy and Justice through Photography JMU's Center for Creative Inquiry (formerly known as Institute for Visual Studies) In Peace and Harmony: Carver Portraits

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/08-12-democracy-matters-episode-9.shtml

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

Student attention is a scarce commodity. What are the best opportunities for capturing student attention to engage them in civic learning and democratic engagement? In this episode we talk with Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Executive Director of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and Michael Peshkin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. As a first step to deeper engagement in civic life, Northwestern University registers every incoming student to vote during orientation, and voter registration exceeds 96%. The institutionalization of voter registration began with a Mechanical Engineering professor and students. The ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge encourages higher education institutions to help students form the habits of active and informed citizenship, make democratic participation a core value on their campus, and cultivate generations of engaged citizens who are essential to a healthy democracy. ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) Northwestern: Student Voter Registration Exceeds 96 Percent (video) How one university teaches its students to vote (and it's old-school) by Kim Castle, Janice Levy and Michael Peshkin The Cost of Convenience: An Experiment Showing E-Mail Outreach Decreases Voter Registration by Elizabeth Bennion (Indiana University) and David Nickerson (Notre Dame)

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/08-05-democracy-matters-episode-8.shtml

Episode 7: Bring on the Democracy Midwives!

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 more likely to vote, their participation in other forms of political engagement are actually slightly depressed. There is more we can do in both academic AND student affairs to really make a difference in preparing students to be actively engaged in democracy. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Elizabeth Bennion, Political Science Professor and founding director of the American Democracy Project at Indiana University South Bend, and Andrew Lardie, Associate Director for Service and Leadership at the McKeen Center for the Common Good at Bowdoin College.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/07-28-democracy-matters-episode-7.shtml

Episode 6: The SOUL of Campus Civic Life

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 University Honors Living Learning Community who attended the 2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Conference. Their conversation covers a variety of important topics on how academics can be infused with civic engagement initiatives. Additionally, they discuss the inspiring specific projects undertaken by Anna, who created a student union to facilitate communication and action in connection with the Student Governing Association, and Yeimi, who put together multiple public art initiatives to provide a platform for community members to share their stories on pressing issues. This episode is moderated and focused on the work of students.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/07-18-democracy-matters-episode-6.shtml 

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

Communities around the world are demanding full participation in every step of the research process, from identifying the issues to be looked at, to prioritizing them, to developing the research design, to creating the instruments used to collect the data, to being involved in the analysis of the data and in the development of policy prescriptions. As a result, increasingly university-based researchers are finding that a collaborative or participatory approach in which they co-investigating with the people most deeply impacted by a policy or issue is the only way they can proceed to do their work. Otherwise they can't get the cooperation of the people who are the source of the most important knowledge and insights. Dr. Kenneth Reardon, Professor of Urban Planning in the School for the Environment and Director of Urban Planning and Community Development at University of Massachusetts Boston talks about advancing student civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal partnerships, building institutional commitments to engagement, and enhancing higher education's contributions to the public good. He also talks about his work with the Blue Hair Brigade on the East St. Louis Action Research Project, which is the subject of his new book, Building Bridges: Community and University Partnerships in East St. Louis. Order the new book from Social Policy Press or on Amazon.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/07-17-democracy-matters-episode-5.shtml

Episode 4: Beware the Shrinking Imagination!

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 to engage our senses in this difficult and academic work and the shrinking imagination stifles our work. Professor Tim Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community and Associate Professor of Urban Education in the College of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University, discusses the five senses to engage in the work of imagining: hope, history, passion empathy, planning.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/07-16-democracy-matters-episode-4.shtml

Episode 3: Bringing Democracy to Life

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 Liz Chenevey discuss their research about how libraries of all types in Virginia and across the country support democracy and the civic life of their communities.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/07-15-democracy-matters-episode-3.shtml

Episode 2: Real Democracy Needs Everyone's Perspectives

Dr. Barbara Schaal, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor Professor of Biology at the Washington University in St. Louis discusses the importance of a liberal arts education, and of including science and scientific expertise in policy and decision-making processes to strengthen democracy.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/06-24-democracy-matters-episode-2.shtml 

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

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 us to discuss art's undeniable place in the conversation about democracy.

See the show notes with links mentioned in this episode at https://www.jmu.edu/news/civic/2019/06-17-democracy-matters-episode-1.shtml 

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