SCC Democracy Days

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Drs. Eugene Redmond & Treasure Shields Redmond will be giving a free public presentation on Zoom on October 20, 2020 @ 11:30 a.m. titled “From Black Power to Black Lives Matter: An Intergenerational Conversation & Performance." Live stream right here at stchas.edu/democracydays  -- a special co-production between Democracy Days and SCC History and SCC English.

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SCC Democracy Days 2020

An interdisciplinary forum assessing the history, health and functioning of democracy in America and abroad


20th anniversary event!

Monday, Sept 14

10 a.m. Disability Rights, Education & Democracy

Tracy Bono and Paige George explore disability rights, education and legislation. They will bring compelling examples of the fight for disability rights including Bono's personal story regarding her son. Paige George holds a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling. She has worked at SCC for 15 years with over five years serving as the Disability Support Manager. She is a member of the Association on Higher Education and Disability. Her goal is to make SCC a welcoming place for students with disabilities and to remove barriers to students reaching their educational goals. Tracy Bono (SCC Business, SCC Reading) is a parent advocate. She is often a guest speaker at disability rights rally events throughout the state of Missouri, has worked closely with state legislators regarding bills related to disability rights and is an administrator of the International Coalition Against Restraint and Seclusion.

11:30 a.m. No Holding Back

E pluribus unum – out of many, one. But are we really? From Coronavirus to the ghosts of the Confederacy, from Black Lives Matter to the Boogaloo Boys, it appears that we are in fact more divided than united. Some have gone so far as to suggest that we shouldn’t even try for one, we should just settle for we.

This presentation explores the significance of our traditional national motto: what does it mean to be one? Is there reason to believe that true unity is possible? If so, how might it be brought about? In light of both ancient and modern philosophy, Chaz DeBord (SCC Philosophy) argues that a number of popular conceptions of the American nation are inconsistent with true unity. He then describes some conditions for the possibility of unity and points to how these conditions might offer guidance for bringing the American one out of the American many.

1 p.m. Inside Elections: The St. Charles County Director of Elections Speaks

Free and fair elections are a cornerstone of democracy. Get the inside story from St. Charles County Director of Elections Kurt Bahr. Covid-19 has affected voting practices and the law has changed to reflect this. Director Bahr will discuss safety measures at polling stations as well as absentee voting and early voting by mail, methods which are seeing significant increased usage this year.

Tuesday, Sept 15

10 a.m. The Pandemic and Mental Health

As the world is continuing to endure the pandemic, racial injustice protests, unemployment and social and economic uncertainties, it is becoming clear that democracy and its systems are either failing many Americans or is working only for the privileged few. Experts are predicting that the emerging “second curve” of the Covid-19 will be in mental health impacting families, patients, health care workers and others who face trauma while dealing with social isolation and other ordeals relating to the pandemic. Vi Rajagopalan (SCC Psychology) will examine key issues and precautionary measures that families and individuals can focus on to develop healthy coping mechanisms right now to prevent or curb further escalations in stress related responses.

11:30 a.m. It’s All Our History

An interdisciplinary panel led by SCC profs representing Psychology, Sociology, English, and Occupational Therapy examining the importance of knowing and understanding African American history. The discussion proceeds from the assumption that we cannot understand the present without knowing and acknowledging US history through the lens of African American history. This panel examines how knowing and understanding this history can affect everything in society from accessibility of jobs and homeownership, to mental health and access to adequate medical care, and this panel calls for the inclusion of African American representation in our current education system as a standard, not an elective. Panelists include Marvin Tobias (Psychology), Dana Prewitt (Sociology), Rachel McWhorter (English) and Courtney Barrett (Occupational Therapy). Moderated by Grace Moser (History).

1 p.m. ‘You Can’t and I Won’t’: The Controversy Over Social Distancing During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Stephen Randoll (SCC History) explores the history of the 1918 pandemic in America and its bearing upon our current health crisis. The 1918 pandemic, a subject of Randoll’s graduate studies in history, claimed 675,000 lives in the US and upwards of 50 million people globally.

Wednesday, Sept 16

10 a.m. Poetry and Democracy in the American Tradition

How can poetry teach? And what does American poetry about democracy have to teach us in 2020, a year of acute challenge and change? When we study poetry and democracy, we realize that democracy is not only a system of governance; it’s a way of thinking and being, something that can inform the very acts of writing and reading themselves. Michael Kuelker (SCC English) will elaborate. Examples in this hour will spring from Walt Whitman (“I speak the password primeval, I give the sign of democracy”), the Harlem Renaissance, contemporary poetry slams, the verse of current US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo & many others who have taken part in the grand parade of American poetry.

11:30 a.m. Civic Engagement in the Wake of 2020

This panel will detail how instructors and students are pursuing activism, social justice, and service-learning projects in their remote and virtual classrooms. Bryonie Carter (SCC English) moderates.

1 p.m. Racism, Police and the Black Lives Matter Movement

A panel of SCC faculty discusses racism in the US and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Dana Prewitt (SCC Sociology) examines contemporary institutional racism from a sociological point of view, focusing on economic, educational, and health disparities. Paul Roesler (SCC Political Science) explores evidence of widespread discrimination in policing and shifting public opinion in favor of police reforms. Marvin Tobias (SCC Psychology) looks at updated research on bias and behavior and the role that racism has played in the response to the movement. Grace Moser (SCC History) speaks about the importance of understanding and including black history in our narratives so we can understand context.

Thursday, Sept 17

10 a.m. The Stock Market Indexes: Not a Macroeconomic Indicator

This presentation by William Baca-Mejia (SCC Economics) contests the mainstream view in economics that reduces democracy to a simple efficient resource allocation of the market. In news about the state of the economy, indexes of the stock market have been presented as indicators that reflect the well performance of the economy, suggesting that the higher these indexes, the higher the well-being of a nation. This is a misconception because it is the trends in consumption, business real investment, government purchases and exports (in terms of foreign consumption and investment) as well as unemployment and inflation what gives us a sense of how well the economy is doing. Along with data and theoretical principles, we will present the case of how an economy should be evaluated.

11:30 a.m. A Conversation on Police Reform with Sgt. Heather Taylor

Gabe Harper (SCC Political Science) will introduce some calls to reform the police including the push by some activists to “defund” the police. Sgt Heather Taylor will then discuss her observations on policing in America and her observations on these reform proposals. Sgt Taylor is a homicide sergeant with the Metropolitan Police Department of the City of St. Louis, and she is the President of the Ethical Society of Police (ESOP), an organization founded within the St. Louis Police Department to address race-based discrimination.

1 p.m. The Myth of Voter Fraud

A panel of faculty from SCC’s Political Science department will discuss allegations of voter fraud, including voter I.D. and concerns with absentee voting during a pandemic. The panel will discuss past allegations as well concerns about the 2020 presidential election and President Trump's suggestion to postpone the election.

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