Past Event

Awakening Our Democracy: What’s At Stake In These Polarized Times

February 15, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Pulitzer Hall, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027 Joseph D. Jamail Lecture Hall, 3rd Floor

The need for civic dialogue has never been greater. Our panel of experts, co-hosted by University Life and the Journalism School, will explore how the often binary conversations around current events inform our understanding of democracy, the elements that prevent us from coming together for civil discourse, and where we go from here.

This event is part of the Dialogue Across Difference Initiative (DxD), designed to foster a resilient and inclusive community of learners among students, faculty, and staff and to engage with diverse perspectives and navigate challenging conversations with a shared commitment to mutual understanding and respect.

Our panelists will examine the elements that prevent us from coming together for civil discourse and shared problem-solving, and explore where we go from here.

Moderated by: Maria Hinojosa, Pulitzer Prize-winning founder of Futuro Media


  • Courtney D. Cogburn, Associate Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work
  • Jelani Cobb, Dean and Henry R. Luce Professor of Journalism, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism
  • Jonathan Friedman, Director, Free Expression and Education Programs, PEN America
  • Mae Ngai, Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History, Columbia University
  • Bruce Usher, Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Business School

RSVP is strongly recommended. Dinner will be provided to registered guests. This event is first-come, first-served until capacity is reached. Bring your CUID to check in. The event will also be livestreamed on Youtube.

Learn about the Awakening Our Democracy series. 

Columbia University makes every effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend an event at Columbia University, please contact Disability Services ([email protected] or 212-854-2388) at least 10 days in advance of the event. Requests for CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) or sign language interpretation require two weeks' notice.

University Life reserves the right to capture and use images (including video, photo, audio) of student participants at this event in its current or future marketing materials. These materials include but are not limited to: social media, digital and/or print posters, email and web-based materials. By attending and participating in this event, you are consenting to having your image captured for these purposes. If you have concerns about your likeness being used, please reach out to [email protected] and we will accommodate your request.

Contact Information

Stephanie Busch