In an election year like no other, the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) offered the Mercy community a chance to engage in public discourse about the 2020 U.S. election’s worldwide impact by hosting a virtual forum titled, “U.S. Election 2020: Highest Turnout Vs. Deepest Divide.”
The International Speakers Series event, held on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 via Zoom, was a collaboration between the CGE and the Guarini Institute for Public Affairs at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. Moderated by Eduardo Albrecht, associate professor and associate dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SSBS), and director of Mercy’s International Relations and Diplomacy Program, the town-hall style meeting afforded all participants equal time to share opinions and ideas from the floor.
The event kicked off with remarks from the featured presenter, Dr. Federigo Argentieri, director of the Guarini Institute, who laid a framework for discussion of the global implications of the recent U.S. election season. Argentieri is a renowned expert and scholar of contemporary politics and history, particularly in Europe.
More than 50 participants comprised the audience, which included students and faculty members from Mercy College, as well as from John Cabot University and other institutions around the country and the world. During the Q&A, Mercy students shone as they expressed a variety of views on the election and their ideas for making elections more democratic, illustrating one participant’s take on the election as “high cynicism with high engagement.”
Albrecht, who also serves on the Guarini Institute’s Advisory Board, remarked on the positive feedback he received. “Our students really stepped up to air their views,” he said. “That requires confidence in one’s grasp of the issues, as well as a commitment to contribute to a civil and bipartisan conversation that does not demoralize the other side but respects all points of view.”
Albrecht also praised the staff of the CGE for its foresight in developing opportunities for civil discourse with an international perspective. He especially thanked SSBS Dean Stuart Sidle, Associate Provost Dr. Saul Fisher and Dr. Michiko Kuroda, the CGE’s visiting fellow and senior lecturer in the International Relations and Diplomacy Program, for helping to assemble the event on short notice.
“The CGE prides itself on offering opportunities for fervent civic engagement and thought leadership on campus,” said Albrecht. “We are grateful to Mercy for supporting this event as a true forum in the ancient Roman sense of the word—a place where everyone’s point of view is heard, and no one is silenced.”
To view the full recording of CGE's “U.S. Election 2020: Highest Turnout Vs. Deepest Divide" event, along with the recordings of all CGE 2020 International Speaker Series events, please click here.