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National Agenda

2017 Theme Announced: As We Stand | Divided


​National Agenda 2017: "As We Stand | Divided"

UD's Center for Political Communication is hosting the seventh annual "National Agenda" Speaker Series beginning September 7, 2017. This year's theme is "As We Stand | Divided."

With nationally known speakers, we will explore the many divides that exist in the United States, including gender, class, race, income, geography, and more. The six events will feature speakers from many different backgrounds to address these important issues, and how we talk about them in today's political landscape.

National Agenda is made possible by generous support from the William P. Frank Foundation of Delaware,  the University of Delaware's Office of the Provost, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The program encourages students, staff, faculty, and community members to join the conversation. The Director of National Agenda is Dr. Lindsay Hoffman, who teaches Communication and Political Science and is the CPC’s Associate Director.

The full schedule will be announced soon. To view previous National Agenda presentations, please visit the University of Delaware National Agenda YouTube Channel. Each of the 2016 programs can be viewed below.

2016: NPR Journalists Domenico Montanaro and Sam Sanders

​Sam Sanders and Domenico Montanaro speak with Dr. Lindsay Hoffman on Sept. 7, 2016.

National Public Radio Journalists Domenico Montanaro (AS 01) and Sam Sanders opened the series on September 7, providing a journalistic perspective on the 2016 election.​ Montanaro is National Public Radio's lead editor for politics and digital audiences. Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. Sam Sanders is a reporter for NPR's Washington desk and also cohosts the NPR Politics podcast. See the entire conversation here and read the UDaily article here.

2016: Writer and Comedian Ashley Black

​Ashley Black speaks with Dr. Lindsay Hoffman on Sept. 21, 2016.

Comedienne and writer Ashley Black discussed humor, satire and politics with a UD audience on September 21. She said her life's work was to use comedy to promote empathy. Her talk included video clips from The Second City comedy club and episodes of Full Frontal, taking on issues from abortion legislation to the nationwide problem of rape kits languishing, untested, in police evidence rooms. Ashley Black is a writer on TBS's Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and a regular at The Second City in Hollywood. See the entire conversation here and read the UDaily article here.

2016: Author and Activist D. Watkins

​D. Watkins addresses the audience at the University of Delaware October 5, 2016.

Author, creative writing professor and activist D. Watkins discussed community activism, race and politics on October 5.  Watkins is the recent author of two books detailing life as an African-American man growing up in Baltimore. He is a columnist for Salon, a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. His book,The Beast Side, offers a critique about racial inequality in America. His most recent book, The Cook Up, is a "crack rock memoir" that offers a riveting look at the Baltimore drug trade featured in HBO's The Wire. See the entire conversation here. Read the UDaily article here and The Review article here.

2016: Delaware Debates 2016

Gubernatorial candidates John Carney (left) and Colin Bonini answer questions from the panel during the 2016 Delaware Debates.

Candidates in Delaware's congressional and gubernatorial races met at the University of Delaware’s Mitchell Hall on Wednesday evening, October 19, for Delaware Debates 2016, a joint initiative of UD’s Center for Political Communication and Delaware Public Media. The debates were held in Mitchell Hall on the University of Delaware's Newark campus. See the gubernatorial debate here and the congressional debate here. Read about it in UDaily's article.

2016: Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich

Former Governor of Maryland Bob Ehrlich visited UD on November 2, six days before Election Day. Ehrlich engaged the audience with thoughtful and at times spirited discussion on issues surrounding the 2016 election. The Honorable Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., is senior counsel in the Government Advocacy and Public Policy practice group at King & Spalding. He advises clients on a broad array of policy matters and their interactions with the federal government. Having served as Governor, U.S. Congressman, state legislator, and civil litigator, he counsels clients on an array of government matters, with particular expertise in health care, finance, and economic development. He recently released a book titled, Turning Point: Picking Up the Pieces after Eight Years of Failed Progressive Politics. See the entire conversation here and read UDaily's article.

2016: Election Aftermath Panel Discussion

​Clockwise from left: David Plouffe (via Skype), Jennifer Palmieri, Director Lindsay Hoffman, Kim Alfano, and Chris Russell

The Center for Political Communication hosted an election aftermath panel discussion on November 16, featuring nationally recognized campaign experts. See the entire conversation here and read the UDaily article here.

UD alumnus David Plouffe (AS 10) famously ran Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns. He is now senior vice president of policy and strategy at Uber.

Jennifer Palmieri was the communications director for Hillary for America. As communications director for the Obama Administration, she helped craft Obama’s political strategy after the 2014 midterm elections. This was the first appearance by a Clinton Campaign staffer after the November 8 Election.

Kim Alfano is president and CEO of Alfano Communications and a partner is Red America Blue America Research. She is one of the country’s leading Republican media strategists.

Chris Russell is an award-winning political strategist for Republican candidates on the local, county, state legislative and congressional level in New Jersey. He also assists corporate clients with public referendum campaigns, and he is an expert in direct mail campaigns.

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National Agenda
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