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Our Vulnerable Democracy: Past, Present, and Future (Virtual Series)

Virtual Program – Our Vulnerable Democracy: Past, Present, and Future

Mondays – April 26, May 3 and May 10 – Program Now Available via Video Links

Working with partner organizations, this three-part virtual program series will explore historical connections to recent events in our country that have revealed vulnerabilities in our democratic framework and offer opportunities for discussion and dialog on how we can move forward together.

Session One: From Red Shirts to Proud Boys – Museum Artifacts, White Domestic Terror and Election Fraud
Mon., April 26 at 6:30 p.m. 
Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Assistant Professor of Public History at Duquesne University, will connect recent events such as the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection to the violence and political upheaval that ended Reconstruction and biracial democracy in South Carolina in 1876. Dr. Taylor will invite participants to analyze artifacts from The Museum of the Reconstruction Era at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home and the South Carolina State Museum to build connections and trace the legacy of paramilitary violence. Through exploring this material culture participants will learn how those objects and institutions shape our understanding of the past. 


Session Two: Race and Democracy Today – Roundtable Discussion
Mon., May 3 at 6:30 p.m. 
Dr. Bobby Donaldson, Director of the Center for Civil Rights History and Research at the University of South Carolina moderates a lively discussion about race and democracy today. From the anti-racist demonstrations of last summer to the events of January 6th, a roundtable of academics, activists and organizers will discuss white supremacy, voting rights, and the ongoing work to ensure the right of all people to participate in our democracy.


Dr. Adolphus Belk, Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Winthrop
Marcurius Byrd, Organizing Director of the South Carolina Democratic Party
Jazmyne McCrae, Vice President of Repeal the Heritage Act and Co-Founder of Empower SC

Session Three: Democracy Dialogue facilitated by:
Dr. Jennifer Gunter, director of the Collaborative on Race at the University of South Carolina
Kabrina Bass, Executive Director of the Midlands Mediation Center
Mon., May 10 at 6:30 p.m. 
According to Vann R. Newkirk in The Experiment podcast, democracy, “is entirely contingent upon not just laws, but the interpretation of laws, and also contingent upon certain actors’ willingness to abide by laws and to uphold norms. That is, you know, a lot of what we think democracy is, is fairy dust.”

This session will allow participants to engage in dialogue with one another to investigate the meaning of democracy and how we might work to protect this fragile concept. This will all be conducted in a space where all are welcome as we begin our journey towards being a more inclusive and welcoming community. To this end, please be prepared to use your camera function so that we can better connect with each other.