12:00 PM - Community Scorecard Lunch

12:00 PM at the Pro Humanitate Institute, 2599 Reynolda Road

Kaylan Baxter, director of planning and assessment, and Sylvia Oberle, senior fellow, both of PHI, invite community and campus members to a discussion about the Community Scorecard. The Community Scorecard is a tool and ongoing process developed to address the need for regular evaluation of the “state of equity” in representation among university staff. It will be used by Wake Forest and the broader community to foster thoughtful dialogue and productive action to better align staff representation with community demographics.

1:00- 3:00 PM - Faculty Working Papers

1:00-1:45 PM at the Pro Humanitate Institute, 2599 Reynolda Road

Sports and Human Flourishing

Adam Kadlac, Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Philosophy will present recent research on the connection between sports and human flourishing. This research is supported by the Eudamonia Institute.

For the Common Good: Great Powers, Human Flourishing, and Global Community

Will Waldorf, will be discussing interventionism vs. restraint in foreign policy.

Opening Dinner and Moderated Conversation: Millennials, Leadership, and the Future of Liberal Arts Education*

*Dinner is Invitation only
Rogan Kersh
Professor of Politics and International Affairs
Wake Forest University

Thomas Cushman
Deffenbaugh de Hoyos Carlson Professor in the Social Sciences
Professor of Sociology
Wellesley College

Moderated by:
James Otteson
Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business and Ethics
Executive Director, Eudaimonia Institute
Wake Forest University

8:15 AM – Onsite registration begins Conference packet pick-up/ Coffee and light breakfast provided

8:45 AM - Welcome and Opening Comments

Welcome and National Relevance of The Rethinking Community Conference

John B. King Jr. (Via Video)
CEO of The Education Trust
Former U.S. Secretary of Education

Opening Remarks and Framing

Melissa Harris-Perry
Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in Politics and International Affairs
Faculty Director, Pro Humanitate Institute
Wake Forest University


9:00-10:30 - Opening Plenary: Community Is. Is Community?

When Provost Rogan Kersh sent out the call for Wake Forest University to Rethink Community we recognized this as both an affirmation, community is, and as a question, is community? The opening plenary panel convenes four distinct professionals with expertise in higher education, government, media, and organizing to address these themes.  These speakers will likely reveal surprising points of intersection and divergence as they address the conference’s  core framework: asserting the meaning of community as it operates in our lives and institutions while questioning the multiple frameworks for achieving, challenging and regulating ideas of community as these ideas compete with notions of individualism and liberty.

Donna Edwards
Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Former Congresswoman from Maryland
Wake Forest University

Jacob T. Levy
Tomlinson Professor of Political Theory
Professor of Political Science
McGill University

Dorian Warren
President of the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA)
Vice-President of the Center for Community Change (CCC) Fellow, Roosevelt Institute

Chris W. Surprenant
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of New Orleans

Michael Brendan Dougherty
Senior Writer
National Review


Melissa Harris-Perry
Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in Politics and International Affairs
Faculty Director, Pro Humanitate Institute

10:30-10:45    Break  

Session 1 : Safe Spaces and Free Speech

FARR 157

“Safe space” and “free speech” have  emerged as oppositional concepts in recent campus debates.  If a university establishes zones free from discriminatory or  “triggering” language or action, does this infringe on First Amendment rights of others in the community?  Is it possible to protect Free Speech and foster inclusive, diverse, ethical university environments? Can spaces be safe? Is speech truly free? These are some of the complicated questions our scholars will discuss.

Dr. Thomas Cushman
Deffenbaugh de Hoyos Carlson Professor in the Social Sciences
Professor of Sociology
Wellesley College

Dr. Christina Greer
Associate Professor of Political Science
Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus

Moderated by:

Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry
Faculty Director of the Pro Humanitate Institute

Session 2: End DACA and Defend DACA

FARR 247

Policymakers, elected officials, and activists from across multiple ideological and partisan perspectives have decried the Trump administration’s decision to terminate the program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).  But, DACA was always a stop-gap measure implemented by executive action when  attempts to craft comprehensive legislative action to address immigration failed. The debate tends to be presented as a simple across an impenetrable barrier. This conversation will explore how the complex interwoven issues of migration, national borders, law, economic need, globalization, family, human flourishing, and political strategy part of the story of Ending DACA and Defending DACA. 

Chris W. Surprenant
Associate Professor of Philosophy
University of New Orleans

Founder and Executive Director
United We Dream

Moderated by:

Dr. Dorian Warren
President of the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA)

Vice President of the Center for Community Change (CCC)


Session 3 : Free Press and Fake News

FARR 348

The history and present of the U.S. media are complicated. At their best the press have been independent, investigative, pluralistic, and empowering. In those moments the press have empowered American democracy and encouraged accountability within the Republic. At the same time, throughout its history, US media have bowed to fiscal interests, knowingly reported inaccuracies, and contributed to human suffering by pursuing their own interests rather than the common good. What shall we say of media? Celebrate media as free press or condemn them as fake news?

Michael Brendan Dougherty
Senior Writer
National Review

Julia Angwin
Journalist, ProPublica
Author of “Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance

Moderated by:

Dr. Sherri Williams
Writer, Reporter, and Media Researcher
Assistant Professor in Race, Media, and Communication
American University

Session 4 : Individual Fulfillment and Service to Others


Ask anyone associated with Wake Forest to tell you the university motto and they will immediately respond- Pro Humanitate- for humanity.  The mission statement of the Pro Humanitate Institute reflects one understanding of this motto by expressing its commitment to “foster transformative civic engagement, and address community-identified needs in order to build more meaningful lives and a more just world.” The Eudaimonia Institute embodies another by reminding us through its name that, as did Professor James Powell’s 2011 Founders Day Convocation speech, “human cultivation, human flourishing — that is our fundamental commitment.”

Dr. Anthony Parent
Professor of History Director, Masters of Liberal Arts Program
Wake Forest University

Former chairman and CEO, BB&T Corporation

Executive in Residence, Wake Forest School of Business
Wake Forest University

Moderated by:

Dr. James Otteson
Executive Director, Eudaimonia Institute

12:00-1:00 Lunch Boxed lunches available

1:00- 2:00 Keynote Speaker

The Responsibility of the University for Creating Community

Steven J. Diner
University Professor
Rutgers University-Newark

Colleen Flaherty
Faculty Corespondent
Inside Higher Ed

2:00 PM Book Signing

Join us in the Hall of Excellence for a Book Signing event featuring the following presenters from the Rethinking Community Conference:

Steven J. Diner
Universities and Their Cities: Urban Higher Education in America

Jacob T. Levy
Rationalism, Pluralism, and Freedom

Christina Greer
Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream

Anthony Parent
Foul Means: The Formation of a Slave Society in Virginia, 1660-1740

Melissa Harris-Perry
Sister Citizen: Shame Stereotypes and Black Women in America

Charlotte Lewellen-Williams
Passing the Torch Planning for the Next Generation of Leaders in Public Service

James Otteson
The End of Socialism

2:15- 3:30 Rethinking Community Student Hub

Join us in the Hall of Excellence in Farrell Hall as the student groups, organizations, and classes communicate their visions of community by responding declaring what Community Is or asking Is community?  Spend time with  academic posters, demonstrations, public art, music, and many other creative ways the students of Wake Forest are Rethinking Community.  Click here if you are a student at Wake Forest and would like to present as a part of the student hub.

The Student Hub will include representatives from: College Democrats, Turning Point USA, SOA Watch, Community Service and Engagement Theme House, College Republicans, NPHC, Spectrum, BRANCHES, and Young Democratic Socialists of America.

3:30-5:00 Closing Plenary

James Otteson
Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business and Ethics
Executive Director, Eudaimonia Institute
Wake Forest University

Sarah Brown 
Chronicle of Higher Education

In this closing plenary session James Ottenson engages with Sarah Brown of the Chronicle Higher Education  to offer a vision for American college education. Ottenson will then take questions and engage with Wake Forest University student leaders who have also offered their vision for community during the Rethinking Community Student Hub. This interactive plenary is an unique opportunity to witness two of America’s most  thoughtful academic minds as they engage directly with college students about the future of higher education.

5:00-7:00 PM Dinner Break

We invite you to enjoy a meal from our list of Rethinking Community Conference partner restaurants! These establishments have agreed to donate a portion of proceeds from all sales October 20-21 to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank to address hunger in our community.

Bib’s Downtown BBQ
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Dioli’s – Italian Market
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Mission Pizza
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Mozelle’s – Fresh Southern Bistro
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The Loop
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Village Tavern – Scratch Kitchen and Craft Bar
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La Tili Supermarket
View Menu

Brynn’s Frozen Yogurt Bar
View Menu


7:00 PM Sports and Community

Nobody in America thinks, talks, or writes about sports like Dave Zirin. Bill Moyers said he might be “the best sportswriters in America.” But as an outspoken a critic of all establishment, Dave is not with a major network or the four letter giant, ESPN.  Still, everyone in the business knows him, Colin Kaepernick retweets him regularly, and stunning array of current and retired athletes sit down to chat on his podcast, The Edge of Sports. On Friday evening Dave Zirin and Melissa Harris-Perry will sit down with a panel of athletes, sports writers, coaches, and legends to rethink the role of sports in community. How do sports contribute to our individual identities and sense of community? How do participation and protest  fit into the story of sport and community? What can we learn about who we are from how we play our games?

Melissa Harris-Perry
Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in Politics and International Affairs
Faculty Director, Pro Humanitate Institute
Wake Forest University

Dave Zirin
Political Sports Writer
The Nation

Mahmoud Abul-Rauf
Former NBA and Professional Basketball Player
Recipient of 1993 NBA Most Improved Player Award
Speaker and activist

John Carlos
USA Track and Field Hall of Fame
Bronze medalist at 1968 Olympic Games

Ibtihaj Muhammad
World Champion (Team, 2014), 4-time Senior World Medalist, 3-time USA National Champion
USA Fencing Team

Day Three picks up where we left off with the closing plenary on Day Two, rethinking the relationship of the university to the community and amplifying the knowledge the community can offer to the university. Day three also rethinks conference formats, participation, and accessibility through a combination of traditional plenaries, interactive data exploration, relationship building, and a community-driven idea exchange. We hope you will attend, engage, and register to have a role in the Communiversity.

8:30-9:00 Registration, coffee: Biotech Place Atrium

9:00 – 10: 30 Innovative Approaches to Community-
University Partnerships

What models exist for strategic university-initiated community partnerships? Invited panelists are leaders in Higher Education who are embarking on innovative partnerships with community that enrich the learning of students, the research and scholarship of faculty, and the capacity of community organizations and movements for change.

Dr. Joanne Banks
Bertha L. Shelton Endowed Professor for Research and Professor of Nursing
Winston Salem State University

Leslie Garvin
Executive Director, North Carolina Campus Compact

Dr. Charlotte Llewellen-Williams
Associate Professor Director, Center on Community Philanthropy
University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service

James Perry
Executive Director
Winston-Salem Urban League

10:30 – 11:30 Rethinking Knowledge Creation in the Campus-
Community Partnership

Campus-Community partnerships are often framed as uni-directional, where the students and faculty from the university are delivering knowledge or expertise for the benefit of community members, but we would like to rethink that. Invited panelists will discuss how they center community knowledge in their community engaged teaching, research, and scholarship.

Dr. Silvia Bettez
Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Graduate Program in Cultural Foundations
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Dr. Alan Brown
Assistant Professor of Education
Wake Forest University

Christina Soriano
Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Dance Program
Administrative Fellow in the Office of the Provost
Wake Forest University

Shanell Williams
Community Engagement Specialist, Preterm Birth Initiative
University of California

Dr. Michele Gillespie
Dean of the College
Presidential Endowed Chair of Southern History
Wake Forest University

11:30 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 1:30 Community Data Dive: Wake Downtown Atrium

Director of Planning and Assessment at PHI, Kaylan Baxter will lead participants in an interactive unpacking of community available data. What does it mean to us? What does it mean for us? How might a collective negotiation of data inform decision-making?

1:30-3:00 Winston-Salem Idea Exchange: Wake Downtown/Wake Forest Medical School

During the Idea Exchange, featured speakers from across our community will set out visions or offer critiques of Community through short presentations. We are still accepting proposals for the Idea Exchange through October 18th 2017. Proposals are invited from anyone, whether affiliated with a university or not. We will provide technology and public speaking support for those who request it. Please submit your proposal here.

Featured Speakers Include: Paula McCoy, Jerry Anderson, Karen D. Cuthrell, Demi McCoy, William H. Ray III, Faye Horwitt, Drs. Doretha Walker & Starlette Sinclair, Sylvia Oberle, Rebeccah Byer, Samantha Winship, Justin Cox, Eric Aft, Renai Wisley, and Monica Banks.

3:00 Closing Thoughts: Wake Downtown

James Otteson and Professor Melissa Harris-Perry will offer closing remarks on Communiversity.

3:30-6:00 Community Block Party: Bailey Park

Join us for a block party complete with music, food trucks, games and activities for the whole family. Participate in public art that responds to our theme by sharing your vision for community through sidewalk chalk. Engage with representatives from local nonprofits and community building projects.  If you would like to table on behalf of a nonprofit or community building project, register here.