Lecture spotlight: Democracy and the Internet; Wilkinsburg mayor; ‘Crisis of Truth’

“Turning Tragedy into Progress”: An Evening with Evelyn Piazza and Rae Ann Gruver
8-10 p.m. Feb. 24, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum

Piazza and Gruver both lost their sons to hazing. This presentation will explain the dangers of hazing, how to identify it, and how to prevent it. All are welcome to attend this event. 


“Can Democracy Survive the Internet?” by David Hickton, founding director of the Pitt Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security, and former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Noon-1 p.m. Feb. 25, University Club, Ballroom B

The rise of the use of the Internet has co-occurred with the rise of populist movements and authoritarian leaders the world over (including in the United States). The fundamental question we face today is whether the Internet will unleash freedom or become a tool of oppression for despots. We must craft and implement policy responses before it is too late to make sure that democracy can survive the Internet. Part of the Dick Thornburgh Forum for Law and Public Policy’s Discussions on Governance Lecture Series. Co-sponsored by the University Honors College. Register here.


GSPIA’s Roscoe Robinson Memorial Lecture Series presents Marita Garrett, mayor of Wilkinsburg
Noon-1:30 p.m. Feb. 26, 3911 Posvar Hall

Garrett, the current mayor of Wilkinsburg, will speak about connecting and empowering residents to work together for neighborhood improvement with “Wilkinsburg Community Conversations,” her transition from Wilkinsburg Borough Council to mayor, her co-ownership of Admintrinic (a for-profit company that provides a wide range of outreach and engagement services to nonprofits and mid-level corporations), and her award-winning work as a civic and social entrepreneur. This lecture series honors GSPIA alumnae Roscoe Robinson Jr., who was the first African American to earm the rank of four-star general in the U.S. Army. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Dayna Jenkins by Feb. 24. 


“The Crisis of Truth” by Sophia Rosenfeld, professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania
12:30-2 p.m. Feb. 27, 4130 Posvar Hall

Pundits everywhere claim that, in the age of Trump and Brexit, political life no longer depends on any shared sense of truth. This talk will consider the validity of this claim, exploring the role of truth in democracies going back to the 18th century, but also the changed circumstances of the present in Europe and much of the world. Presented by the University Center on International Studies’ European Studies Center. Free lunch available to first 50 attendees.