The New York Times is currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of its partnership with the American Democracy Project (ADP), an initiative focused on preparing college students to be informed, engaged citizens for democracy in America.
Clayton State University is also celebrating the American Democracy Project with its on-going series of New York Times Talks, and the upcoming Fourth Annual Civic Engagement Research Conference. Clayton State’s involvement with ADP is an effort that started in 2004, and was led by with Professor of History Dr. Gene Hatfield, the University’s first campus coordinator for ADP. In fact, Hatfield attended an ADP national conference to find out what the organization was about before Clayton State became actively involved.
Over the years, Clayton State has hosted numerous ADP programs, starting in November 2005 when the University hosted the ADP Southern Regional Conference, featuring Elizabeth Bumiller, White House correspondent for the New York Times, addressing a packed house as the keynote speaker.
Speaking to an audience that ranged from historians from throughout the Southeastern United States, to Clayton State administrators, faculty, staff and students, to local middle school students and their teachers, Bumiller focused her address on the subject of Democracy, which she noted was the main theme of the second George W. Bush Administration. Bumiller recalled Bush's key phrase from his second inaugural address, "our vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one," as being indicative of that administration's emphasis on spreading Democracy around the world.
Starting in 2007, Clayton State has partnered with the New York Times to provide the Times free to students at several locations across the campus. The New York Times provides these papers to Clayton State University at reduced rates and provides funding for free lunches at New York Times Talks and the Civic Engagement Research Conference.
Following Hatfield’s retirement in July 2008, Dr. Joseph Corrado, associate professor of Political Science, stepped in to become Clayton State’s second campus coordinator of the American Democracy Project. Among the recent ADP highlights at Clayton State have been an address by Anand Giridharadas, New York Times journalist and author of India Calling. Also, two of the earliest founders of the American Democracy Project reunited when Paul Loeb, author of “Soul of a Citizen” and “The Impossible May Take a Little While,” spoke at Clayton State and visited with Clayton State President Dr. Thomas J. Hynes.
Clayton State’s partnership with the New York Times continues this month with a New York Times Talk on E-verification and immigration, facilitated by Dr. Khedija Gadhoum, on Friday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m., in room UC267 of the James M. Baker University Center. This event is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending should email Corrado at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Feb. 22.
The Fourth Annual Civic Engagement Research Conference takes place on Friday, Mar. 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the National Archives at Atlanta. Corrado is currently accepting proposals for paper presentations on research related to civic engagement as well as presentations on civic engagement activities by Clayton State undergraduate and graduate students.
Through both the New York Times Talks and the Civic Engagement Conference, Clayton State will continue to celebrate the American Democracy Project, a multi-campus initiative spearheaded by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and the New York Times that seeks to create an intellectual and experiential understanding of civic engagement for undergraduates enrolled in member institutions. The goal is to create graduates that understand and are committed to engaging in meaningful actions as citizens in a democracy.