Inauguration 2017 - A Platform for Civil Political Discourse

Inauguration 2017 - A Platform for Civil Political Discourse

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Christian Holm

One of the most turbulent and vicious campaign seasons came to an official end on January 20 as Donald J. Trump took the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States.


The Inauguration 2017 academic seminar provided a unique backdrop for more than 300 students attending the seminar seeking a meaningful way to engage in civil political discourse with thought leaders and students from across the country.


Following check in on January 8, student took part in 8 full days of seminar programming, leading up to Trump’s inauguration last Friday.


Dr. Julia Azari, associate professor at Marquette University, served as the seminars faculty leader. Azari guided the curriculum, framing the issues before each daily session.


Daily programming consisted of numerous panels and group activities aimed at broadening participants understanding of key issues surrounding Trump’s inauguration and it’s effect on Washington. Following the morning sessions, participants and faculty leaders put theory into practice, learning from experts at some of D.C.’s leading institutions.


Day one served as an intro to the seminar, leading into an election postmorterm conversation on day two with Ruy Teixiera from the Century Foundation and John Hudak, deputy director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings Institution.


Days three, four and five dug further into the issues that shaped the outcome of the election. Participants had conversations about race and social justice, U.S foreign policy and national security and a look at how the GOP plans to govern with a newly unified government.


Week two started with a day of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Students chose from several volunteer opportunities, incudung serving the homeless and working with enviornmental conservancies in D.C. TWC media intern Caroline Guy talks about participants experiences during the day of service here.


Participants spent two days in week two discussing the deferal budget and the issues that will come into play as President Trump faces the biggest fiscal crisis in American history, second only to the massive debt President Truman inherited folliwng the end of World War Two. The final day of programming featured a participatory budget exercise with the Concord Coalition - an organization focused on educating citizens on fiscal policy.


Notable panelists included:


Julie Winokur, Talking Eyes Media

Ruy Teixiera, The Century Foundation

John Hudak, Brookings Institution

Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University

Barbara Slavin, Atlantic Council

Lawrence Korb, Center for American Progress

Alexis Simindinger, Real Clear Politics

Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

Bob Deans, Natural Resources Defense Council

Meredith McGehee, Issue One

Maya MacGuineas, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget

Phil LaRue, Concord Coalition

Phil Smith, Concord Coalition


Site Visits included:


U.S Capitol

Holocaust Museum

Bus Tour of D.C.

Woodrow Wilson Foundation


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