MICA and ACLU Host Symposium on Democracy in Trump’s America

The Maryland Institute College of Art and the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland commemorate Constitution Day, September 17, with a 2-day symposium exploring the emerging crisis in democratic institutions and government brought upon by the Trump administration.

“We are living in exceptional political times, where, many argue, the basic and central institutions of our democracy are threatened–by the president himself,” said Constitution Day organizer and MICA Humanistic Studies faculty member Firmin DeBrabander.

“How worrisome are Trump’s perceived attacks? What shall we make of them, and how shall we respond?” he continued. “Is this tyranny, and if so, how will democracy survive?”

Events take place on Tuesday, Sept. 19, and Friday, Sept. 22. All events are free and open to the public, and will take place in MICA’s Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Schedule of events

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7–9 p.m. “Is This What Democracy Looks Like?” Panel discussion with MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid, “revolutionary” artist Dread Scott and history professor Kenneth Ledford, Case Western University, moderated by WYPR Maryland Midday host Tom Hall.

Friday, Sept. 22:

  • 12:30 p.m. “Restoring Civic Culture” with Baltimore Youth Arts Founder Gianna Rodriguez and community arts activist and organizer Graham Coreil-Allen, moderated by Kalima Young.
  • 2:30 p.m. “Educating for a Democratic Society” with Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen, Liberty Elementary Principal Joseph Manko, M.A. in Teaching Director Adriane Pereira, and North Avenue Knowledge Exchange Program Coordinator Khadiha Adell, moderated by Marketplace Education Editor Amy Scott.
  • 5:00 p.m. Artist Mel Chin and Lester K. Spence, associate professor of political science and Africana studies at Johns Hopkins University, discuss the role of art in a democratic society and the role citizens play in defining democracy.

Established in 2005, Constitution Day continues the College’s tradition of leadership in raising and exploring important political issues. This year’s Constitution Day officially launches a new College-wide initiative MICA Making Democracy, which advances MICA’s core values in response to changes in the cultural and political landscape.