Talking About the Fight for Democracy

Tisch College’s fall speaker series highlights civic leaders exploring topics such as voting rights, gun violence, misinformation, abortion, and education policy

This year, Tisch College of Civic Life is organizing its fall speaker series around the theme of the fight for democracy in its many forms. Speakers will include school shooting survivor and activist David Hogg  and civil rights lawyer and author Sherrilyn Ifill.

First up, on Monday, September 19, is Hogg, who survived the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead in 2018. He is co-founder of March For Our Lives, an organization dedicated to ending the tragic impact of gun violence.

Hogg’s activism has taken him around the country, meeting with affected families and diverse communities to deepen his knowledge of gun safety and the politics needed to end gun violence. Currently a full-time student at Harvard University, Hogg has become a powerful voice for civic engagement, activism, voting, and organizing. 

Civil rights lawyer and activist Sherrilyn Ifill speaks on November 9. Ifill was president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund from 2013 until earlier this year, leading the organization’s fight against voter suppression, inequity in education, and racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

She is the author of On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century and was appointed to President Biden’s Commission on the Supreme Court. She currently serves as a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation and was recently named one of Time Magazine’s Women of the Year.

Finding common ground is important for democracy to thrive, and the Generous Listening and Dialogue Center’s first in-person event at Tufts aims to do just that on October 12. The event will bring together different perspectives with the authors of the book A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Toughest Questions in K-12 Education, examining questions like testing, school choice, and diversity.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that overturned the constitutional right to abortion, more than a dozen states have enacted abortion bans. The effects of the ruling are the focus of a panel discussion on October 26 with experts including Tufts University School of Medicine faculty and Amanda Hainsworth of the civil rights division at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office.

As misinformation continues to flow in the country’s political discourse, business journalist and media executive Eric Schurenberg will offer on October 18 his perspective on the role journalism plays in upholding democracy. He is most recently the CEO of the company that owns Inc. and Fast Company. He’s also the host of the video interview program The Human Factor and co-host of the counter-disinformation podcast In Reality.

Check out these and more Tisch College speaker events and register for the events at the Tisch events website.

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