Dickinson Hosts Conversation on Defending Democracy

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Our Fragile Republic – Sounding the Alarm in Defense of Democracy

Dickinson recently hosted a conversation on defending democracy with the nonpartisan, nonprofit civic action organization Keep Our Republic. The event, "Our Fragile Republic—Sounding the Alarm in Defense of Democracy," took place at noon on Monday, April 3, in the Stern Center Great Room. Speakers included former Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett, former U.S. House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, Pennsylvania legal expert Velma Redmond and Keep Our Republic Executive Director Ari Mittleman. Associate Professor of Political Science Sarah Niebler joined the group to discuss her research into election processes in Pennsylvania. President John E. Jones III '77, P'11, who is a former federal judge, served as moderator. The event was livestreamed.

“Keep Our Republic is about being proactive in our efforts to protect and strengthen our democracy,” said Jones. “That spirit of civic engagement is something we take very seriously at Dickinson, where a broad range of opportunities in and out of the classroom gives our students the resources to explore how they can make a difference in their communities in informed and thoughtful ways, and this is another opportunity for a fulfilling partnership.”

The event marked the launch of Keep Our Republic’s bipartisan Pennsylvania Advisory Council, which is chaired by Corbett. Founded in 2020, Keep Our Republic is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting a republic of laws and strengthening the checks and balances of our democratic electoral system. Keep Our Republic was active in Pennsylvania leading up to—and in the aftermath of—the 2020 election, educating Pennsylvania leaders, the media and the public of potential threats to the integrity of our elections. Keep Our Republic aims to identify and warn against significant and pervasive threats to democracy in the run-up to the 2024 election, including unsubstantiated challenges to election results, disputes over the certification of presidential electors and the rise of extremist, anti-democratic groups.

"The eyes of the nation will be on Pennsylvania once again in 2024,” Corbett said. “We may not agree on everything, but we all can do our part to lower the temperature and strengthen our democracy.”


Published March 30, 2023