Friday, September 25, 2020

Virtual UIS ECCE Speaker Series events underway

The University of Illinois Springfield’s virtual Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speaker Series Fall Semester 2020 events are now underway. All of the events are free and accessible to the public. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ECCE events are being pre-recorded and posted to the video on demand page

“Votes for Women” (currently posted) is a Constitution Day discussion focused on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Holly Kent, UIS associate professor of history, presents on the history of women’s suffrage. Following the presentation is a discussion featuring Deanie Brown, former UIS associate chancellor of access and equal opportunity; Kathryn Eisenhart, UIS associate professor emerita of legal studies; Tiffani Saunders, UIS sociology and anthropology lecturer; Areli Valeria, UIS graduate student in human development counseling; and Karen Whitney, UIS interim chancellor. 

“Reconsidering Reparations” (currently posted) explores why and how we should respond to justice-based demands for reparations that trace to a world historical context that involves centuries of colonialism, trans-Atlantic slave trading, and other practices that have led to devastating and structurally entrenched ongoing racial oppression. Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, assistant professor of philosophy at Georgetown University, leads the discussion. For Táíwò, the goal of reparations is self-determination for people now and in the future for reasons we find in the past. 

“Illinois Fair Tax Amendment” (recording available Sept. 28) explores Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to amend the Illinois State Constitution. Voters will decide whether to replace the current flat tax with a graduated state income tax. If the ballot measure passes, Illinois will join 32 other states with a graduated income tax, with different tax rates applied to different individuals. Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, will present his analysis of implications of the Fair Tax for income inequality, the Illinois economy, Illinois’ perilous fiscal condition and the future of state funding to higher education. 

“What I Learned Teaching in a Prison” (recording available Oct. 5) recounts UIS Assistant Professor of Political Science Magic Wade’s time teaching a college course to 15 incarcerated men at the Danville Correctional Center through the Education Justice Project. In this lecture, she reflects upon her experiences teaching in the prison, shares her thoughts on expanding educational opportunities to incarcerated individuals, and answers questions about prison-based higher education in the U.S. 

“Lincoln and the American Political Tradition” is title of the 2020 Mary & James Beaumont Endowed Lincoln Legacy Lecture Series, which will be lived streamed to the public on Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. (recording available on Oct. 19). Register for the live event at Diana Schaub, a political science professor at Loyola University Maryland and a visiting scholar in the Social, Cultural and Constitutional Studies Department at the American Enterprise Institute, will be joined by Lucas Morel, professor of politics at Washington and Lee University, to discuss how the principles espoused by Abraham Lincoln can help us deal with many questions raised during an election year. 

“Using Our Voices & Choices: How Growers and Eaters Can Work Together to Support Regenerative Farming in Illinois” (recording available Nov. 2) is a sustainability week event hosted by Liz Moran Stelk, executive director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA), who will discuss how the organization is seeking to create a more just and regenerative local food and farm system in Illinois and nationwide. She will explain how our current policies perpetuate an industrial agricultural system that is both ecologically and socially damaging and why it is imperative for us to move toward more regenerative and sustainable farming and eating practices. 

“Water Diplomacy in the Middle East” (recording available Nov. 16) covers Middle East water history and the innovations making new forms of water use and distribution possible. After appraising new projects on the horizon, Rachel Havrelock, founder and director of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Freshwater Lab and co-creator of the Freshwater Stories digital platform, will discuss their applicability or relevance to Illinois and North American waters. This event is co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Central Illinois. 

For more information, visit the ECCE Speaker Series website or contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217-206-6245 or

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