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Columbia College Chicago
Fall 2012
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Fall 2012



October 22:
“Mayor Emanuel's First Year Report Card” 

November 5:
"After Citizens United: The Future of American Democracy”

December 3:
"Spirituality: Body and Consciousness"

 

October 22, 2012
6:00―7:30 p.m.
Millennium Park Room, Fifth Floor

“Mayor Emanuel's First Year Report Card”

When Rahm Emanuel became the new boss of Chicago in 2011, he inherited a city suffering from a recession, a budgetary mess leftover by his predecessor, an unsustainable, underfunded pension system, and a host of other problems that, left unaddressed, had the potential to place Chicago on a growing list of failed American cities.

Has the new mayor lived up to his promises to fix the city’s problems? In this panel discussion, three Chicago specialists weigh in on the accomplishments of Mayor Emanuel’s first year in office, and his future goals for the city. A historical perspective connecting the current mayor to the previous “mayor for life,” Richard M. Daley, will be followed by a discussion of Mayor Emanuel’s public policy and city planning goals for Chicago. Finally, the panelists will grade Mayor Emanuel’s decisions on Chicago Public Schools, the privatization of public property and services, and the highly controversial Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program.

Panelists:
Dominic Pacyga, PhD, is Professor of History in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. He has authored, or coauthored, five books concerning Chicago's history, including, Chicago: A Biography (University Of Chicago Press, 2009).

Larry Bennett, PhD is Professor of Political Science at DePaul University, where he studies neighborhoods, urban development policy, and city politics. His most recent book is The Third City: Chicago and American Urbanism (University Of Chicago Press, 2010).

Ben Joravsky is an award-winning journalist who covers Chicago politics and government for the Chicago Reader.



November 5, 2012
6:00―7:30 p.m.
Garland Room, First Floor


“After Citizens United: The Future of American Democracy”


Can we rely on politics to address pressing issues, like inequality and joblessness? How much influence can we, as citizens, exert through the political process? Do political and economic power go hand in hand? Because of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court in 2010 deeming political spending a form of protected speech, questions like these are more pressing than ever.

This diverse panel will discuss and evaluate the implications of the recent controversial ruling on campaign finance, and then explore ways we Americans can navigate the political process post-Citizens United

Panelists:
James Thindwa is a veteran of consumer, labor and political activism who began his organizing work in the 1970’s as a student leader in the anti-apartheid struggle. He is a former director of Chicago Jobs With Justice, and currently serves as Civic Engagement Coordinator for the American Federation of Teachers for the Great Lakes region. Thindwa serves on the boards of Illinois Labor History Society and CAN TV and In These Times magazine, where he is also a writer. On March 27, 2009, Thindwa's organizing work was featured on PBS’s Bill Moyers Journal.

Carson Griffis received his undergraduate degree in political science and history from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and graduated as valedictorian of the John Marshall Law School in 2011. He served on the editorial board of The John Marshall Law Review and published his student comment on Citizens United. He has also been published in the American Bar Association's publication, The Professional Lawyer. He currently works as an Assistant Appellate Defender with the Office of the State Appellate Defender in Chicago.

Rojhat B. Avsar, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. His primary research interests are rhetoric of public policies and history of economic thought.



December 3, 2012
6:00―7:30 p.m.
Millennium Park Room, Fifth Floor


"Spirituality: Body and Consciousness"

What is the role of celebrating the body as a vehicle for spiritual experience? And, drawing on what psychologist and philosopher William James called the “Vaster Consciousness of Reality,” what is the role of exploring consciousness in experiencing spirituality?

This panel will explore the connections between our corporeal and our spiritual selves, and in the process define how body and consciousness intertwine to process, react to, and create our realities.

Panelists::
Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, PhD, is the author of many books and articles on spirituality and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago. She is committed to the transformation of consciousness through working with imagery, the mythic imagination, and mysticism.

Louis Silverstein, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Humanities in the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago, is a transcendental philosopher and practitioner, an interdisciplinary and multi-consciousness educator, a social activist, and an author.

Paula Cofresi, LCSW, ACSW, is a psychotherapist, educator, and artist.