16 episodes

A podcast exploring themes related to civic engagement in order to build a more inclusive, just, and equitable democracy.

James Madison Center for Civic Engagement: Democracy Matters civic@jmu.edu (James Madison University)

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A podcast exploring themes related to civic engagement in order to build a more inclusive, just, and equitable democracy.

    Episode 16: Evaluating Political News in an Election Year

    Episode 16: Evaluating Political News in an Election Year

    In this episode, we talk with JMU School of Media Arts and Design Assistant Professor Ryan Alessi about the best strategies for evaluating political news stories in a hyperpartisan election year.

    • 29 min
    Episode 15: Banking on Civic Learning

    Episode 15: Banking on Civic Learning

    Community banks are vital to the American economy and society. In this episode, we talk with JMU College of Business Finance Professor Dr. Carl Larsson, and with Katie Jarrett, a senior in the School of Media Arts and Design and Corinne Barbieri, a senior Finance major, who are members of JMU's Banking Team.

    • 27 min
    Episode 14: Plan, Do, Check and Prove: Educating for Democracy on Campuses and Beyond

    Episode 14: Plan, Do, Check and Prove: Educating for Democracy on Campuses and Beyond

    In this episode, we talk with Ian Simmons, the Founder and President of the Foundation for Civic Leadership and a member of the Madison Center's advisory board, about best practices and promising projects for enhancing democracy.

    • 44 min
    Episode 13: Talkin 'bout the Revolution: What we can learn from women breaking barriers in early America

    Episode 13: Talkin 'bout the Revolution: What we can learn from women breaking barriers in early America

    History doesn't always move toward the inclusion of groups. Sometimes rights can be lost as well as gained. Take, for example, the American Revolutionary period, which created opportunities for women to participate in politics. By 1828, however, women's politicization was seen more as a liability than as a strength, and contributed to a divisive political climate that brought the country to the brink of civil war. In this episode, distinguished American historian Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri joins us to discuss her path-breaking research in early American political history and why we need to have a grasp of the past to defend the rights of those who may be vulnerable to disenfranchisement.

    • 42 min
    Episode 12: The Ballot Box: The Only Place Where Jeff Bezos and the Janitor of McDonalds Are Equal

    Episode 12: The Ballot Box: The Only Place Where Jeff Bezos and the Janitor of McDonalds Are Equal

    Although there have been many advancements since the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is much to be done to improve the status of women, including among other things: ending sex-based discrimination, improving maternal mortality rates for black women, ensuring equal pay for equal work, increasing protections for the LGBTQ+ community, and addressing challenges faced by veterans and those who live in poverty. In this episode of Democracy Matters, we play a recording of Constitution Day speaker Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, who discussed the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and answered questions from JMU students. Foy was the first public defender to ever serve in the Virginia General Assembly and now devotes her time as an attorney advocate representing abused and neglected children in court. Additionally, Delegate Foy was one of the first African-American women to graduate from Virginia Military Institute.

    • 33 min
    Episode 11: Women Breaking Barriers: A Timeline

    Episode 11: Women Breaking Barriers: A Timeline

    2019-2020 marks the 100th anniversary since the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution which articulated that, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The 19th amendment was the result of centuries of activism and contributions from many social movements to ensure through the highest law of the land a "right through which all other rights could be secured." But as suffragist leader Frances Harper observed in 1893, "I do not think the mere extension of the ballot a panacea for all the ills of our national life. What we need to-day is not simply more voters, but better voters." Kearstin Kimm, a senior Computer Science major at James Madison University, spent her summer as a Democracy Fellow at the James Madison Center for Civic Engagement researching the history of women's rights in what we now know as the United States and the 19th amendment. Using her knowledge and technical expertise, she created a comprehensive timeline beginning in 1619 up to present day. In this episode, Kearstin discusses the timeline, which includes entries related to progress and challenges to the status of women, with photos and links to primary source documents. Women Breaking Barriers: A Timeline

    • 27 min

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