Symposium to Address How and Why We Choose to Vote
Published
Nancy Thomas

This year's Visions & Ventures Symposium will begin with Nancy Thomas who will discuss what to say to students who don't want to vote because they are disillusioned with the election process.

Gilda Daniels

Gilda Daniels will share her research on how voter suppression hinders people of color from voting in the U.S.

Rachel Paine Caufield

Rachel Paine Caufield will discuss "How the Iowa Caucuses (and U.S. Elections) Can Embody American Values for the Next Generation."

Nancy Thomas
Gilda Daniels
Rachel Paine Caufield

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote and in anticipation of the upcoming election, Nebraska Wesleyan's annual Visions & Ventures Symposium will address, "Vote!: How and Why We Choose."

The symposium will be held on Wednesday, September 23 and will feature three keynote speakers who will address election imperatives, voter suppression and caucuses. Due to the pandemic, the NWU campus community will participate via Zoom. All lectures will also be streamed via Facebook Live on the Nebraska Wesleyan University Facebook page.

The schedule includes:

9 a.m. — Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education at Tufts University. Thomas will discuss what to say to students who don't want to vote, and will address what it means to educate for democracy. Thomas conducts research and provides assistance to colleges and universities to advance student political learning, discourse, equity and participation in democracy. Her work and scholarship center on higher education's democratic mission, college student political learning and engagement, free speech and academic freedom, and deliberative democracy on campuses and in communities. 

11 a.m. — Gilda Daniels, associate professor of law at the University of Baltimore and author of “Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in America.” She will share her research on how voter suppression hinders people of color from voting in the U.S. Daniels is a nationally-recognized voting rights and election law expert. She served under as Deputy Chief in the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting Section under the Clinton and Bush administrations. She has investigated, negotiated and litigated cases involving the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the National Voter Registration Act and other voting statutes. 

1 p.m. — Rachel Paine Caufield, professor of political science at Drake University and author of “The Iowa Caucus.” Her talk is titled, “How the Iowa Caucuses (and U.S. Elections) Can Embody American Values for the Next Generation.” Caufield — commonly known as "RPC" — is most excited by the ways that individual citizens get involved in and experience the political system. For the past four presidential campaign cycles, she has organized efforts to get students involved in the caucuses, and led the effort to host national presidential debates and forums with ABC, CBS, CNN and Fusion TV. In 2016, she published "The Iowa Caucus" with Arcadia Press.

Throughout the afternoon, students will participate in breakout sessions with local community partners to discuss local and state voting issues. The breakout sessions are only available to NWU faculty, staff and students.