Justice and Democracy Today

Justice, Democracy, and the 2020 Election

During the fall of 2020, this series hosted by the democracy program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation will tackle major developments around the election as they unfold, focusing on the democratic process itself, rather than the horse race, and featuring conversations with leading practitioners in the field.

Justice and Democracy During Pandemic 

Democracy and Justice During PandemicCOVID-19 has thrown into disarray an already tumultuous election cycle in the U.S., put a pause on mass protests around the world, and deepened preexisting inequities in society. All of this has changed the democracy and civic engagement landscape in previously unimaginable ways. The Democratic Governance Program at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center, led by Archon Fung, Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government, convened experts, practitioners and academics, for a discussion series during the summer of 2020 to explore the novel challenges that the pandemic poses for justice and democracy. Each event illuminated promising ideas and new work that not only meets the unique challenges posed by the pandemic but sets in place the foundations for deeper democracy and greater justice in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

All events are hosted virtually and recordings are availble for past events. 

Upcoming and Previous Recorded Events

2020 Nov 17

Voting in the Extraordinary 2020 Elections: What Worked for Voters, What Didn’t?

12:00pm to 1:15pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

While it is way too early for a ‘retrospective’ given just how extraordinary this year’s election has been, we do now know a lot about the voting processes up to and including Election Day. The 2020 elections were a dramatic interplay of major procedural changes brought about as a result of COVID-19, multiple attempts to limit and discourage voting and a strong pushback against them, and extraordinary efforts to mobilize citizens to vote.  The Ash Center is glad to bring four deeply immersed leaders in these areas to share what they saw and...

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2020 Nov 13

Reckoning with Election 2020: Race, Violence, & the Power of New Voters

3:00pm to 4:00pm

Location: 

Virtual Event (Registration Required)

Election 2020 proved to be historic in terms of the numbers of voters that were mobilized to the polls. The Election also made clear that there would be no nationwide repudiation of Trumpism. Join the Carr Center for Human Rights and the Ash Center for a conversation with leading scholars of racial politics about the election turnout, voter suppression, and what this means about the state of democracy today. This event is part of the Bending the Arc: A Talk Series with Dr. Megan Ming Francis

  • Dr. Christina M. Greer | ...
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2020 Oct 27

Will This Election Pick the Next President: Election Break Down and What to Do About It

1:00pm to 2:00pm

Location: 

Virtual event, registration required

The upcoming US election is unlike any in recent memory. Many are afraid that this most basic process of Americans voting to select their next President may break down. In this discussion, we’ll explore what election break down could look like: a President refusing to concede, a state legislature disregarding the popular vote, a tie breaker by a Supreme Court some view as illegitimate, Congress deciding the election according to “contingent election” provisions, or something else altogether? We’ll also explore how a wide range of democracy organizations and civic networks are...

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2020 Nov 19

Protecting and Deepening Our Democracy: What Should We Do Now?

5:30pm

Location: 

Virtual event, registration required

Join Archon Fung for an exploration of some possible futures of American democracy and what can be done to create a more equal and inclusive democracy. Fung is the Winthrop Laflin McCormack Professor of Citizenship and Self-Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance with a focus on public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs of the Ash Center for...

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2020 Oct 26

Queer the Vote: Mobilizing the LGBTQ Community Ahead of the 2020 Elections

12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

Virtual event, registration required

The LGBTQ community has made significant strides towards equality and progress in recent years, but has also faced renewed hostility and political setbacks. Across the country, practitioners and activists are working to mobilize a diverse coalition and encourage them to make their voices heard on Election Day. Join the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation as we discuss the priorities of LGBTQ voters and how they are being mobilized to get out and vote this November. Panelists include:

  • Chasten Buttigieg, Fall 2020 Fellow, Institute of...
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2020 Oct 13

Young Voters Could Decide the Election: Will They?

12:00pm to 1:00pm

Location: 

Virtual event, registration required

Every election cycle, we lament low young voter turnout rates. Yet, in the last few years, young people have been at the forefront of the movements for racial justice, climate justice, gun violence prevention, and policing issues. They have taken their advocacy to the streets and to elected officials. We saw an uptick in youth voter rates in 2018. Now, will this energy translate into an even larger upswell of young voters in November?

You’re invited to join the Ash Center and Institute of Politics in discussion with leading experts about the latest young voter polling data,...

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