Cal U Plans Constitution Day Events

Sep 02, 2020

The American Democracy Project plans events Sept. 17-18 on civic discourse and information literacy.


Encouraging civic discourse and information literacy will be the focus when Cal U observes Constitution Day with two virtual events Sept. 17-18.  

“Institutional Racism and its Consequences,” related to the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is the title of a Zoom webinar panel discussion at 11 a.m. Sept. 17. 

William Meloy and Loring Prest, faculty members in Cal U’s Manderino Library, will conduct an interactive session, “Fake News – Information Literacy and the First Amendment,” at 8 a.m. Sept. 18. 

Panelists on Sept. 17 include Dr. Azadeh Block (Health and Human Service Professions), Dr. Rubin Brock (Social Sciences), Dr. John Burnett (Human Resources/EEEO), Dr. Michael Hummel (Social Sciences), Jessica Spradley (Humanities), Dr. Codie Stone (Humanities), Dr. Michelle Torregano (Education), Sheleta Camarda-Webb (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), and Dr. Christopher Wydra (Social Sciences). 

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1868, granted citizenship to all persons born or naturalized in the United States —including former slaves — and guaranteed all citizens “equal protection of the laws.” 

Event coordinator Dr. Laura Tuennerman, the new director of the American Democracy Project at Cal U, praised ADP committee chairs Drs. Sheri Boyle, Justin Hackett and Emily Sweitzer for assembling the panel. 

“They have put together a diverse and gender-balanced panel with a wide variety of disciplines,” Tuennerman said. “I think we can have a robust discussion that’s even-handed that lets us talk about a lot of these issues.”

To join the presentation:

Meloy and Prest will share practical tips for detecting and avoiding so-called “fake news,” and discuss the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the freedom of speech, religion and the press. It also protects the right to peacefully protest and to petition the government.  

Meloy is Manderino Library’s research and electronic collections librarian, while Prest is the electronic resources librarian.  

The presentation will take place as part of Tuennerman’s U.S. History Since 1877 course. Others interested in tuning in should email for details. 

“One of the goals of the ADP is to help the students be more information-literate so they can learn how to fact-check, understand the many different resources out there, and make informed decisions on their own,” Tuennerman said. 

All ADP events this fall will be dedicated to the memory of Dr. Melanie Blumberg, longtime professor of political science and Cal U’s first ADP campus director, who passed away in June. 

“We will be mentioning Mel as much as we can, and no one could do all the work that she did,” Tuennerman said. “We are a Voter Friendly campus, and we’ve done well holding that distinction with active involvement, and we want to continue to do. 

“There’s a commitment to that and to Mel’s memory by a lot of people, and being a presidential election year, we want to do her proud.” 

This year’s Constitution Day program is co-sponsored by the American Democracy Project, the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs, the College of Education and Liberal Arts and the Louis L. Manderino Library.