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Our Previous Events

Missed one of our events? Continue exploring by watching the replays of some of our live events.


March 14, 2022

Laurie O. Robinson, George Mason University “Policing in America and the Prospects for Meaningful Reform”

Is our policing system in crisis? What changes should be made to fulfill the Constitution’s promise of equal justice under law? In this lecture, Dr. Robinson, Professor Emerita at George Mason University and former co-chair of the White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing, addresses our nation’s ongoing debates over policing reform. 

March 7, 2022

Elizabeth Loftus, University of California, Irvine “The Fiction of Memory”

Nationally, roughly two-thirds of DNA-based exonerations of wrongfully convicted persons involve misidentification of perpetrators by eyewitnesses. In this lecture, Elizabeth Loftus, recently described by the New Yorker as "the most influential female psychologist of the twentieth century," discusses the state of knowledge regarding eyewitness misidentification and the implications for criminal justice policy and practices.

February 14, 2022

Leana Wen, "The Pandemic, Public Health and Public Policy"

Can democratic governments respond effectively to acute public health crises? What can we learn from our nation’s response to COVID-19 that will help us to prepare for future crises? In this lecture, Dr. Wen – an emergency physician, Rhodes Scholar, CNN analyst, former Baltimore, MD Health Commissioner, Council on Foreign Relations member, and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2019 – discusses our nation’s response to COVID-19 and the lessons that we may take from recent events about the proper role of government and the private sector in the promotion and protection of public health.

Purchase Wen's latest book

2021 Events

Fall 2021

October 26,2021

The Youth Vote and the U.S. Constitution - How the 26th Amendment was Enacted

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the 26th
Amendment, which lowered the voting age across the nation to 18. In this
talk, Jennifer Frost, author of “Let Us Vote!” (NYU Press, 2021) and associate professor of History at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, joins us to tell the story of how a broadly based coalition of activists and reform groups overcame the forces of inertia to expand the American electorate and change the face of American politics.

Jim Obergefell

September 14, 2021

2021 Lloyd and Mary O’Hara Lecture on Law and Politics
Courts, Law and the Right to Marriage Equality: The Story and Legacy of Obergefell v. Hodges

A self-described accidental activist, Jim Obergefell secured his place in American constitutional history when his fight for legal recognition of same-sex marriage culminated in the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015. In this lecture, Mr. Obergefell will discuss his journey from private citizen to civil rights activist. He will also discuss the legacy of the Obergefell decision for LGBTQ+ rights and the state of civil rights and liberties for marginalized groups and communities today.

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September 13, 2021

Are Women Full Citizens? What the Long History of #MeToo Reveals

Kimberly Hamlin is a professor of history and global and intercultural studies at Miami University.
Her most recent book, “Free Thinker: Sex, Surage, and the Extraordinary Life of Helen Hamilton Gardener” (W.W. Norton, 2020), explores the story of one of America’s most influential women’s rights activists and a key leader in the movement to enact the 19th Amendment. 

Spring 2021 Dialogues on Democracy Series

May 3, 2021

The Constitution and American Life

Judge McConnell, director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, is a former judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. One of the nation’s leading authorities on the U.S. Constitution, Judge McConnell clerked for Judge J. Skelly Wright at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. at the United States Supreme Court. His distinguished career has included service as an assistant general counsel at the Office of Management and Budget, an assistant to the Solicitor General in the Justice Department and as the William B. Graham Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. Judge McConnell holds a J.D. degree from the University of Chicago (where he served as editor of the University of Chicago Law Review).

April 19, 2021

How Thomas Edison Invented @POTUS

Dr. Spellman, Associate Professor of History at Miami University, is the author of Cornering the Market: Independent Grocers and Innovation in American Small Business, 1860-1940 (Oxford University Press, 2016). In this presentation, Dr. Spellman will explore the ways in which contemporary techniques of political campaigning in America reflect only the latest ways in which candidates and political parties adapt emerging communications technologies to reach voters and supporters. Dr. Spellman, the incoming chair of Miami's Department of Humanities and Creative Arts, holds a Ph.D. in history from Carnegie Mellon University.

April 5, 2021

The Civil War, Reconstruction and the Problem of Freedom

Dr. Eric Foner is one of America’s pre-eminent historians and public intellectuals. Author of over two dozen widely acclaimed books on American history – including the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010) and Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988), which won Bancroft and Parkman Prizes – Dr. Foner is a past president of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association and the Society of American Historians. He is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy and was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018. Dr. Foner holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where he studied under Professor Richard Hofstadter.

March 29, 2021

Should We Keep the Electoral College?

Mr. Jesse Wegman, author of Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College (St. Martin’s Press, 2020) sits on the editorial board of the New York Times, where he has written about the Supreme Court and legal affairs since 2013. Mr. Wegman has also worked as a reporter, editor and producer at various news organizations including National Public Radio, the New York Observer, Reuters, The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Mr. Wegman graduated from the New York University School of Law in 2005.

March 22, 2021

The Legacy of the Nineteenth Amendment

Presented by Paula Monopoli, author of Constitutional Orphan: Gender Equality and the Nineteenth Amendment (Oxford University Press, 2020). Professor Monopoli is the the Sol & Carlyn Hubert Professor of Law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, the Founding Director of the Carey School of Law’s Women, Leadership & Equality Program and a former (2017-2020) Visiting Leadership Scholar at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. Author of four books and over 30 scholarly articles, her most recent book, Constitutional Orphan: Gender Equality and the Nineteenth Amendment (2020) explores how the meanings ascribed to that Amendment over time have been shaped by a wide array of actors in American government and society. Professor Monopoli, who holds a BA degree from Yale University and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, is the recipient of the Baltimore Bar Foundation’s 2020 Fellows Award for her contributions to our understanding of the role of law in democratic society.

March 16, 2021

Why Civility is Necessary for American Democracy

Alexandra Hudson is a nationally recognized expert on civility, civil society, and American civic renewal. A contributor to The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, TIME Magazine, POLITICO Magazine, Newsweek, and other national and international outlets, Ms. Hudson previously served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Education in the Trump Administration and a consultant at the Liberty Fund. She is currently writing a book for St. Martin’s Press that explores the importance of civility in supporting and sustaining a free society. Ms. Hudson holds a BA in history from Trinity Western University and a Masters in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

March 8, 2021

Money, Power and Politics: Campaign Finance and American Democracy

Michael Toner, former Chair of the Federal Election Commission, Chief Counsel of the Republican National Committee, General Counsel of the 2000 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign and Counsel for the 1996 Dole-Kemp presidential campaign, is currently a partner at Wiley LLP in Washington, DC and chair of that firm’s Election Law and Government Ethics practice. An adjunct professor of law at the College of William & Mary, Mr. Toner also serves on the Board of Advisors of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. He holds a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia and an M.A. in political science from The Johns Hopkins University.

March 1, 2021

Populism and Anti-Populism in American Democracy

Dr. Frank, a nationally prominent political analyst and historian, is a former columnist for the Wall Street Journal and Harper’s and the author of numerous books on American politics including What’s the Matter With Kansas? (2004), The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (2008), Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016) and most recently, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism (2020). Dr. Frank holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.

February 22, 2021

The Laws Behind Jim Crow

Dr. Paschal explores the roots of the Jim Crow era in the American South and how early post-Civil War legal developments fostered the rise of a regime of legalized discrimination and oppression.

2020 Events

Fall 2020 Series

October 26, 2020

Panel discussion: "Pandemics in Historical Perspective"

In this public event, co-sponsored with the Michael J. Colligan History Project, Professor Matthew Smith (Miami University) moderated a discussion of the COVID-19 pandemic, its historical context and its implications for local communities. [Panelists: Dr. Jim Harris (Ohio State University), Dr. Susan Spellman (Miami University), Mr. Ian MacKenzie-Thurley (Fitton Center for Creative Arts), Mr. Joshua Smith (City Manager, Hamilton, Ohio), Ms. Kathy Creighton (Executive Director, Butler County Historical Society).].

October 19, 2020

Menard Family Center for Democracy Fall Lecture -- Brian Stelter, CNN Chief Media Correspondent

In this public event hosted by the Menard Family Center’s John Forren, Mr. Stelter delivered a lecture entitled “The Role of the Media in American Democracy” and answered questions from attending Miami students, faculty, staff and community members. Mr. Stelter also met in advance of his public lecture with a group of Miami student journalists.

October 14, 2020

Town Hall with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose

In this live session moderated and hosted by the Menard Family Center’s John Forren, Ohio's chief elections officials discussed the upcoming election and answered questions submitted by participating Miami students, faculty, staff and community members.

October 13, 2020

Meet the Candidates Night

This public forum featured live, one-on-one conversations with 10 candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Ohio General Assembly and various county-wide offices. Co-moderated by the Menard Family Center’s John Forren and co-sponsored with the Journal-News and the League of Women Voters of Oxford.

October 6, 2020

Candidate debate: Ohio House of Representatives, 53rd District

In this session, the major party candidates for election in 2020 to the Ohio House of Representatives from the 53rd District -- Ms. Michelle Novak (D) and Mr. Thomas Hall (R) -- faced off in a public debate co-moderated by the Menard Family Center’s John Forren. Co-sponsored by the Journal-News and the League of Women Voters of Oxford.

September 22, 2020

Candidate debate: Ohio Senate, 4th District

In this session, the three certified candidates for election to the Ohio Senate from the 4th District in 2020 faced off in a public debate co-moderated by the Menard Family Center’s John Forren. Co-sponsored by the Journal-News and the League of Women Voters of Oxford.

September 16, 2020

Moderated discussion:
"The Constitution Needs a Friend Like You"

As the University's main commemoration of Constitution and Citizenship Day, Professor Bruce Petrie led an interactive online discussion of the Constitution’s place in the public imagination and how popular conceptions of constitutional principles shape our political and civic practices.

Menard Family Center for Democracy

Oxford Campus
321 Harrison Hall
349 East High Street
Oxford, Ohio 45056