Public Seminar Series

Spring 2017 Seminar


Demonstraters marching with signsThis seminar series will explore the factors that lead to successful “people power” movements and citizen initiatives for social change.

What is "people power" and how can citizen activism advance positive social change on key civic issues?
On what issues historically has “people power” made a significant impact?
What are the lessons for contemporary civic activism today?

This series will draw directly on the perspectives of leading nonprofit and civil society activists through documentary films and formal presentations of successful "people power" initiatives for social change at the local, national, and global levels. The series will focus on the pioneers of key people power movements, the rise of people power movements in the Arab World and beyond, the women’s rights movement, the global environmental movement, and the role of citizen activism in advancing democracy and constructive social change in the United States and around the world.

VENUE & TIME: Beyond the Classroom Seminar Room, 1102 South Campus Commons, Building 1, Monday evenings from 7:00-9:00 pm, Spring Semester 2017.
INSTRUCTOR: Dr, James Riker, Director, Beyond the Classroom

Fall 2016 Public Seminar Series

UNIV 399C: Ensuring a World Fit for Children? Rethinking Our Civic Responsibilities
(1-3 Credits)

Colorful children's chairs on the sidewalkThis seminar series will explore the status of children (i.e., standards of living) and the key challenges (i.e., education, health, homelessness, poverty, war and conflict) they face around the world in the 21st Century. What prospects do children born today face and what is required to ensure a world fit for children? What is the civic responsibility of citizens, government and society to address these challenges and improve the opportunities for all children? How can the international community strengthen its commitment to children’s welfare, well-being, and life opportunities around the world? The seminar will highlight promising strategies for improving children’s well-being in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and the developing world. The seminar will draw directly on the perspectives of leading nonprofit and civil society leaders through formal presentations and documentary films to identify possible policies and practices that will ensure a world fit for children.

Instructor: Dr. Jim Riker
Time: Monday, 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: 1102 SCC Seminar Room, Building 1

UNIV 399V: Voting as If the "Real" Issues Matter: Spotlight on the 2016 Elections
(1-3 Credits)

Woamn and Child holding banner about voting As the 2016 Presidential and Congressional elections get underway, this series will explore the implications of key civic issues facing the United States at the national and global levels. What are the key challenges facing the nation and what are possible ideas for solving these policy issues? What do you need to know about key civic issues in order to be prepared for voting in the 2016 state and national presidential elections? What roles do the media play in influencing and informing us about key civic issues? What key civic issues need to be put back on the public agenda and solved in the future? The series will draw directly on the perspectives of documentary films and leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations on how citizens and political leaders can best address and to solve these pressing civic issues.

Instructor: Dr. Jim Riker
Time: Wednesday, 7:00-9:00 pm
Location: 1102 SCC Seminar Room, Building 1