One of the primary drivers of the Democracy Initiative is to provide a robust and multi-modal program of public engagement. This includes:
- practitioner engagement with UVA faculty and students to shape and inform research, solve problems, and propose next steps and solutions;
- collaboration with other institutions of higher education, including Virginia community colleges, to support curricular initiatives and related work;
- major conferences, colloquia, and speaker series, as well as new and traditional media—including podcasts, blogs, and video—to learn from, and connect and share with, a broad and diverse public; and
- deep engagement with policy makers and others in Washington, D.C.—as well as in states, cities, and towns, particularly our hometown, Charlottesville.
The Miller Center of Public Affairs hosted -- with the Democracy Initiative as a lead partner -- the first biennial summit on May 21-23, 2019. We convened political insiders, top scholars, the public, and students—our future leaders and influencers—for the Presidential Ideas Festival: Democracy in Dialogue. The three-day event in and around Charlottesville featured working sessions about specific aspects of democracy, the presidency, and global leadership.
In addition, the Equity Center is now a part of the Initiative. The Center will tangibly redress racial and socioeconomic inequality in university communities by advancing a transformative approach to the fundamental research mission, which will, in turn, reform institutional values, pedagogy, and operations.