Democracy Days

Schedule of Events

Sept. 14-17, 2015

U.S. flags along border of sidewalk

St. Charles Community College's 15th annual forum known as Democracy Days will explore timely issues in America. Held annually around Constitution Day, the forum's mission is to explore the history, health and functioning of democracy in America and abroad.

The Democracy Days forum is free and open to the public. All events are located in the Daniel J. Conoyer Social Sciences Building (SSB) auditorium unless otherwise noted.

"Clybourne Park," An Introduction by the Director and Cast

10 a.m. Sept. 14, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Hear a lively discussion led by the SCC cast and director Tracy Bono about Clybourne Park, Bruce Norris’ searing drama which is being staged at SCC from Sept. 30-Oct. 4. The play is a marvel of language and explores race in America from the standpoint of property ownership and community. Copies of Clybourne Park are available in the SCC Library. 

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Tracy Bono
tbono@stchas.edu
636-922-8254

One Nation – Indivisible

11 a.m. Sept. 14, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Students from the SCC Secular Student Alliance explore the history and importance of secularism and democracy, such as fostering greater equality among diverse populations. The SSA emphasize the importance of student participation in political affairs and skeptical inquiry.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

Terrell Carter on the Post-Ferguson Racial Divide, Special Guest Lecture

Noon Sept. 14, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Terrell Carter, author of Walking the Blue Line: A Police Officer Turned Community Activist Provides Solutions to the Racial Divide, brings a wealth of experience in addressing race, community and criminal justice. As an African American from the Ville in St. Louis, Carter found himself subjected to racial profiling. As a St. Louis City police officer, he witnessed everything from daily heroism and instances of corruption in the police force to the best and worst in city life. Hear his ideas and join the conversation.

The presentation is sponsored by SCC Sociology and the SCC Arts & Humanities Division.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

The Declaration of Independence: Facts and Myth

1 p.m. Sept. 14, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Randy Beck, adjunct faculty in history, explains the history of the Declaration of Independence in regards to Thomas Jefferson's authorship, choice of words and myths that surround this first great document in American history. Bring your favorite copy of the Declaration with you to the talk.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

Tension: Ferguson, Birmingham and the Mind

2:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Recent events in Ferguson undoubtedly elevated levels of social tension within our city, state and nation. Was this tension a necessary condition of effecting positive social change? In his now famous 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr. claims that a certain kind of tension is often essential to change in a free and open society. In the course of arguing for this thesis, King makes an analogy between himself and Socrates, an ancient creator of tension within the mind.

Charles DeBord, assistant professor of philosophy, expounds on this point of Dr. King’s analogy by explaining and analyzing the ancient concept of dialectic and locating it within the Socratic method. He then extends the analogy into the practical realm, arguing that some of the tensions arising out of Ferguson fit Dr. King’s analogy while others do not.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Charles DeBord
cdebord@stchas.edu
636-922-8698

In the News: An Open-Mike Session for Students

10 a.m. Sept. 15, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Lisa Davis, adjunct faculty in political science, holds an open forum for students’ views, questions and experiences regarding current events and political issues that are impacting their lives. Come join the conversation! See how real politics can be. The dialogue will be conducted in a way to allow people to speak their minds without fear of ridicule.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Lisa Davis
ldavis@stchas.edu
636-922-8398

Sylvester Brown Jr. on Social Justice & Activism After Ferguson, Special Guest Lecture

11:30 a.m. Sept. 15, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Sylvester Brown Jr. is a voice for self-empowerment and justice. A journalist and self-described “change agent,” Brown is the founder of When We Dream Together, a nonprofit aimed at revitalizing urban communities. He is the founder and executive director of the Sweet Potato Project in St. Louis whose programs teach at-risk youth entrepreneurial skills. He will address the intersecting issues of social justice in our time. The presentation has been made available by a grant from the SCC Foundation.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

White Privilege and Democracy

1 p.m. Sept. 15, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Denise Halel, adjunct faculty in communications, discusses privilege, which occurs when one group has something of worth that is denied to others just because of the groups they belong to, an advantage that results in something favorable or positive. This discussion requires that we leave our comfort zone and explore what it means to benefit from unearned privilege.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Denise Halel
dhalel@stchas.edu
636-922-8254

"Selma," Film

7 p.m. Sept. 15, 2015
SSB Auditorium

SCC will present the acclaimed film Selma about the struggle for civil rights and a discussion afterward led by Paul Roesler, professor of political science.

Selma is sponsored by the SCC Criminal Justice Department and SCC Student Activities.

Also, don’t miss the discussion of the film at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Paul Roesler
proesler@stchas.edu
636-922-8265

Grand Juries: The Use and Abuse of America’s Most Secret Judicial Process

10 a.m. Sept. 16, 2015
SSB Auditorium

When grand juries were used to dismiss cases against two police officers who killed African-Americans, questions were raised about the purpose and lawful use of grand jury proceedings. This presentation by Bob Gill, instructional media manager, will relate the history of the procedure, its use over the years and discuss ways to improve or change grand juries to make them more fair and transparent.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Bob Gill
bgill@stchas.edu
636-922-8449

"Clybourne Park," A Discussion

11 a.m. Sept. 16, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Join SCC faculty as they examine Bruce Norris's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play Clybourne Park and the ramifications of race and ethnicity on our society and selves. Copies of the play are available in the SCC Library. SCC Center Stage Theater will perform Clybourne Park from Sept. 30-Oct. 4.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

The Struggle to Establish Democracy

Noon Sept. 16, 2015
SC 205

The historical reasons for the development of democracy in America are far different than those of other countries, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Steve Randoll, associate professor of history, explores how the differences in culture and history in different countries around the world have shaped the struggle to democratize in those countries, particularly in the Middle East, and have impacted the specific forms democracy has taken in those countries that have successfully democratized, such as Japan.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Steve Randoll
srandoll@stchas.edu
636-922-8644

Amy Hunter & Pastor Cori Bush on Race & Progress, Special Guest Presentation

Noon Sept. 16, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Two African American women report from the front lines of the latest wave of the civil rights movement.

Amy Hunter, a recent TED Talk presenter, is the director of racial justice for the YWCA of St. Louis, which is "dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all."

Cori Bush is a pastor with Kingdom Embassy International Church and nursing supervisor who has been active counseling and organizing.

Rachel McShane, adjunct faculty in biology, will chair the discussion.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Rachel McShane
mcshane@stchas.edu
636-922-8350

The Role of Higher Education in Promoting Democratic Principles and Social Justice

1 p.m. Sept. 16, 2015
SSB Auditorium

SCC President Ron Chesbrough and faculty panelists discuss higher education as a vehicle of inculcation of small ‘d’ democratic principles and as a promoter of social justice.

The panelists include Mitch Harden, assistant professor of psychology, Vicky Herbel, associate professor of sociology, Grace Moser, assistant professor of history, Ron Pettus, associate professor of history, and Isaac Ruedin, professor of philosophy.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

Obamacare Two Years Later

10 a.m. Sept. 17, 2015
SSB Auditorium

It has been two years since the Affordable Care Act was first implemented. Paul Roesler, professor of political science, discusses how the law made it through Congress and its successes and failures. Roesler will conclude with a discussion of “where we go from here,” including possible changes that could improve the law, and leave plenty of time for questions and comments.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu

Magna Carta – An 800-Year Anniversary Presentation

11:30 a.m. Sept. 17, 2015
SC 205

This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, but it is hard to say who is more excited about this: the British or the Americans. This seminal document is looked upon as a cornerstone of America’s system of justice.

Debra Crank-Lewis, professor of history, will look at the document’s origins in and impact on Britain and will then explore how this document has affected America and the notion of governmental authority and individual liberty.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Debra Crank-Lewis
dcrank-lewis@stchas.edu
636-922-8324

Selma: A Panel Discussion

11:30 a.m. Sept. 17, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Is history repeating itself? Many have drawn comparisons between the modern protest movement surrounding the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddy Gray, Eric Garner and the events of the civil rights movement. The film Selma really drives the similarities home.

Grace Moser, assistant professor of history, moderates an interdisciplinary panel, discussing Selma and similarities to events post-Ferguson and in the modern protest movement.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Grace Moser
gmoser@stchas.edu
636-922-8522

Expatriate: Immigrant, Traitor, Multicultural or All of the Above?

1 p.m. Sept. 17, 2015
SSB Auditorium

Virginia Guneyli, associate professor of English, is a teacher, author and expat who will discuss the evolution of the word “expatriate” as well as her own experiences with identity and culture as they relate to that word. She will share an interview with expatriate peers and authors and answer questions from the audience.

SCC Democracy Days, Sept. 14-17.

Contact Information:

Virginia Guneyli
vguneyli@stchas.edu
636-922-8617

St. Charles Community College is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Please email dss@stchas.edu with your accommodations request. It is recommended that you contact the college 10 business days prior to the event. See Accessibility for Campus Guests.

Contact Info

Michael Kuelker
mkuelker@stchas.edu