Democracy in Transition? Neighbor, Nation and the Politics of Now

WHAT: The Institute for Leadership and Service’s spring conference will focus on the topic “Democracy in Transition? Neighbor, Nation and the Politics of Now.”

Through a mix of keynote addresses, undergraduate research presentations and practitioner panels featuring several Valpo alumni, conference attendees will explore how United States democracy is changing and what the changes may mean for engagement with neighbor and nation.

Participants will reflect on several key questions — how do “we the people” express our opinions, advocate for our causes and engage with our elected representatives and fellow citizens effectively? What do we hold in common, and how can we build on that to connect across differences? What in our values brings us together, and what drives us further apart?

The conference is free and open to the public. Please register online at

Visit for more information about the day’s events.

WHO: John Inazu, author of “Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference” will present the keynote address. Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis, with a joint appointment in their law school and the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly and religion, as well as related issues of political and legal authority.

Daniel Lowery ’75, president of Calumet College of St. Joseph, will moderate the Bridge/Work Practitioner Panel, sharing his experience in civil discourse and facilitating conversation between panelists from across the political spectrum working in government, nonprofits, media and more.

WHEN: Saturday, April 22, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

WHERE: The Helge Center, adjacent to the Chapel of the Resurrection, Valparaiso University

CONTACT: Thais Carter at