Welcome to PublicSquare

Convening highly informative and interactive seminars led by distinguished commentators that explore innovative policy solutions to the critical issues of our time and inspire the next generation of civic leaders

Mission

Influential guest speakers including journalists, writers, researchers, scholars, and activists are invited to analyze key policy issues ranging from health care to immigration, climate change to economic inequality, and human rights to foreign affairs by focusing upon the historical context, social values, cultural frameworks, and political climate of which they are emblematic. Participants are drawn from a cross-section of elected representatives, community leaders, members of clergy, nonprofit activists, state/local government agency staff, plus faculty and students from institutions of higher education and high schools. After providing an assessment of current policies and future options, speakers lead the participants in a rigorous evaluation of which alternatives merit adoption and which strategies promise the greatest success. Neither partisan nor sectarian, PublicSquare promises to reinstate the kind of reasoned conversation about political affairs that has largely disappeared from American civic life and that it essential to the perpetuation of our democracy.

Upcoming Seminar

Recent Seminars

Clare Garvie – December 2019 Facial Recognition and Civil Liberties

Clare Garvie – December 2019 Facial Recognition and Civil Liberties

This seminar explores the unique risks face recognition poses to our constitutional rights and liberties, and the efforts underway in communities across the country to regulate or ban its use. It will outline the current state of the technology and likely future deployments in the United States and abroad in the absence of regulation, using the UK as a comparative case study.

Natalie Wexler – October 2019 Closing the Knowledge Gap

Natalie Wexler – October 2019 Closing the Knowledge Gap

This seminar examines a largely overlooked reason for our failure to narrow the substantial gap in test scores between students at the top and bottom of the socioeconomic spectrum—and to raise overall achievement—over the past 50 years. Policymakers and reformers have viewed the problem as one of skills; Cognitive science, however, indicates the problem is fundamentally a lack of academic knowledge and vocabulary. As some schools are now discovering, the solution is to immerse all students in a rich, content-focused curriculum, beginning in the early elementary grades.

Jeff Greenfield – April 2019 Big Money in Politics and the Election of 2020

Jeff Greenfield – April 2019 Big Money in Politics and the Election of 2020

More than four decades after a post-Watergate Congress tried to put serious limits on campaign spending, the flood of money into politics has become a tsunami. A series of Supreme Court decisions has eroded many if not most attempts to restrict campaign spending. The growth of PACs and Super PACS has brought funds into the process from an ever-wider range of sources, especially from people of great means. With the 2020 money race in full stride, is there any realistic chance that an effective law limiting campaign spending can get through the Congress, or withstand constitutional scrutiny?