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Transitioning from Obama to Trump: A guide

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At the latest installment of Northeastern’s educational series on civic sustainability, faculty provided critical insights into democratic institutions and the responsibilities of citizens as the Trump administration moves into the White House. The varying perspectives of the four panelists provided rich context for understanding how we got where we are and what might come next.

January 26, 2017 by Thea Singer 

“We find the fol­lowing head­lines in The New York Times: ‘World leaders face a new era in Wash­ington.’ ‘Slam­ming media, Trump advances two false­hoods.’ ‘Defiant yet jubi­lant voices flood U.S. cities as women rally for rights.’ ‘Racial progress is real. But so is racist progress.’

“So much to talk about.”

Thus began Uta Poiger, dean of the Col­lege of Social Sci­ences and Human­i­ties, in intro­ducing the inter­dis­ci­pli­nary panel dis­cus­sion “Tran­si­tions in the U.S. Democ­racy: The Pres­i­den­tial Inau­gu­ra­tion, Poli­cies, and Protests” on Tuesday evening in the Curry Stu­dent Center Ballroom.

The panel pro­vided crit­ical insights into demo­c­ratic insti­tu­tions and our respon­si­bil­i­ties as cit­i­zens in light of the tran­si­tion from the Obama to the Trump admin­is­tra­tion. The varying per­spec­tives of the four pan­elists pro­vided rich con­text for under­standing how we got where we are and what might come next. The panel com­prised Stephen Flynn, pro­fessor of polit­ical sci­ence; Margaret Burnham, pro­fessor of law; Carole Bell, assis­tant pro­fessor of com­mu­ni­ca­tion studies; and Jonathan Kaufman, pro­fessor of journalism.

Mod­er­ator Rebecca Riccio, director of the Social Impact Lab, high­lighted some of the themes the speakers would address: “the fragility of polit­ical insti­tu­tions, the changing media industry, the changing norms of civil dis­course, global power shifts, growing inequality.”

“I encourage you not to think of them as iso­lated phe­nomena but to try to visu­alize how they are related to each other,” she told the stu­dents, fac­ulty, and staff who packed the room. “Find the levers you can push to affect democracy.”

read more here.

// Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University //

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