Rebuilding Democracy Lecture Series

Democracy can trace its roots back to the Greek and Roman times. When the United States was founded, democracy was considered an experiment. While it has had to change as the nation matured, democracy has been tested in recent years. Now the nation is at a crossroads with new leadership – how to rebuild democracy while addressing inequities in our society that leave many feeling disenfranchised.

The Rebuilding Democracy Lecture Series will showcase how the liberal arts and sciences is at the center of a healthy democracy. We are taking a very broad approach, addressing various aspects of what needs to be addressed in order to rebuild democracy and bring together a very fractured society – everything from restoring civility, our legislative and judicial branches, rebuilding our diplomatic and intelligence offices, taking care of our military personnel, media as well as topical issues such as education, healthcare, public health, budget and finance, sustainability/environmental issues, social justice/human rights.

Guiding Principles

  • We are committed to a broad exploration of what democracy means and the issues impacting it.
  • We want to showcase the role of the liberal arts and sciences in a healthy democracy. This means looking at the sciences, natural and social sciences, and interdisciplinary approaches to democratic values and institutions.
  • We are firmly committed to including diverse voices and opinions.
  • Social justice and human rights are important components to rebuilding democracy.
  • We are committed to keeping this program free and accessible since it adds value to broad segments of our community and we hope that it helps our community become more engaged with democratic traditions in our country and around the world.

2023-2024 Speakers

Eddie Glaude Jr.
Author, political commentator and passionate educator
Nov. 8, 2023

State Sen. Sue Rezin
Sept. 21, 2023

2022-2023 Speakers

Mike Duncan
American political history podcaster and author
May 2, 2023, 4 p.m.

International Roundtable
A discussion of international relations, the state of democracy internationally and current events featuring five CLAS faculty members.
April 12, 2023

Douglas Brinkley
Presidential historian
September 15, 2022 

Nikole Hannah-Jones
Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project Staff writer at The New York Times Magazine
October 27, 2022

2021-2022 Speakers

Ray Suarez
Journalist and Author
April 5, 2022

Dr. Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Science
Feb. 17, 2022

Rep. Sean Casten (IL-6)
Oct. 18, 2021

Ben Crump
Civil rights leader and attorney
Sept. 22, 2021

2020-2021 Speakers

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16)
March 30, 2021

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
February 18, 2021

Eugene Robinson
Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist and MSNBC Political Analyst
December 1, 2020

Speaker or Topic Suggestion

Contact Us

Dean's Office
General Information

Phone 815-753-7953
Zulauf Hall 312

Add/Drop Class, Enroll, Transfer, Withdraw, etc.

Phone 815-753-0114
Zulauf Hall 201

Employment Opportunities