The Constitution: Why It Matters–a series of presentations and discussions

February 18, 2020

In partnership with the Princeton Public Library, Voices from the Prairie, and Midwest Partners Foundation, the Interactivity Foundation is supporting a series of free public presentations and discussions on the Constitution and Why It Matters. Each of the four events will be held at the Princeton Public Library in Princeton, Illinois and feature different speakers/topics or activities, followed by interactive small-group discussions.

  • Wednesday, February 19th at 6:30 pm. “What Were They Thinking,” presented by Amanda Cook Fesperman, professor Political Science and History at Illinois Valley Community College. The Constitution is often treated like a sacred document that should be literally interpreted and rarely amended. However, the Constitution emerged as a compromise among competing interests on a variety of issues that still resonate with us today:  Equal Representation in the Senate, the Electoral College, Term Limits, The Power of the President, The Times, Place and Manner Clause, and winner-take-all elections.
  • Wednesday, February 26th at 6:30 pm.  “The Founders Would Have Hated Our Bill of Rights” presented by Matt Schafer, Assistant General Counsel for Viacom CBS, New York. By tracing the development of the Bill of Rights from Founders to present day, find out why most never wanted one and those who did would have never agreed to the one we have.
  • Thursday, March 5th at 6:30 pm.  “What Does It Mean Today?” presented by Joseph Flynn, professor of Curriculum & Instruction at Northern Illinois University. We hear the phrases ” it’s in the Constitution,” and “we’re in a “Constitutional crisis” almost every day. Are we? Is it? Federal court decisions can impact everyone, as individuals or members of specific groups. What are the most significant decisions and what do they actually mean for each of us?
  • Thursday, March 12th at 6:30 pm.  “What Do You Know, and What Should We Do Know?” Test your own knowledge about the Constitution, the role of government, rights and responsibilities. Team up with fellow citizens for a “trivia” competition about the serious topics that citizens of our American democracy should know. Then discuss how our common knowledge and differing perspectives can shape the future.

This series is co-hosted by the Princeton Public Library and Voices from the Prairie with support from the Interactivity Foundation and Midwest Partners. Voices from the Prairie is a local grassroots citizens’ movement committed to promoting open, ethical, and fair governance and upholding the values of tolerance, fairness, and inclusion in American society and political life. Midwest Partners is a nonprofit foundation that tackles local issues and programs to improve the quality of life where we live and work and develops projects that can serve as models for other communities.

Interested in working with us to bring better discussions to your classroom, community or workplace?

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