"Making Democracy Work" Continues Fall Focus on American Democracy at Mount Holyoke College

For immediate release
October 5


Panel to Feature Mount Holyoke College Professor, Author of Diet for a Small Planet, and Senior Analyst with Public Campaign, Wednesday, October 18 at 7:30 PM

SOUTH HADLEY, Massachusetts--With the nation gearing up for the presidential debates, it's an appropriate time to debate and examine the health of our American democracy. The Weissman Center for Leadership at Mount Holyoke College has taken up this topic this fall with four events, which are free and open to the public. Titled American Democracy in Crisis? Money, Politics, & Civic Participation, the series continues with a second panel discussion "Making Democracy Work," Wednesday, October 18, at 7:30 PM in Gamble Auditorium at Mount Holyoke College.

Moderated by Preston Smith, associate professor of politics and chair of African American and African Studies at Mount Holyoke College, the panel discussion will feature, Douglas J. Amy, professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College; Frances Moore Lappé, cofounder of the Center for Living Democracy and visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Micah L. Sifry, senior analyst, Public Campaign. Panelists will discuss such issues as low voter turnout and address such topics as electoral system reform, third parties, and grassroots social change.

The panel, composed of nationally recognized practitioners and experts, includes:

  • Douglas J. Amy, associate professor of politics and one of the nation's foremost authorities on the electoral system of proportional representation. He is the author of "Real Choices, New Voices: The Case for Proportional Representation Elections in the United States;" his most recent book, "Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems," was published this month.
  • Frances Moore Lappé, cofounder, Center for Living Democracy and visiting lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is well known, for her groundbreaking work "Diet for a Small Planet". Author of fifteen books, Lappé has had articles in such publications as "The New York Times," "Tikkun," and "Harper's." Her most recent book focuses on the success stories and practical tools of citizen problem solving.
  • Micah L. Sifry, senior analyst with Public Campaign, a nonpartisan organization promoting comprehensive campaign finance reform, is writing a book on the prospects of America's leading third parties. This book will be published next year. A recent Individual Project Fellow of the Open Society Institute, he has contributed articles to many magazines, including "The American Prospect," "Tikkun," and "The Nation," where he was an editor for many years.

    The Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership was established in 1999 to prepare students to engage in the public arena as critical thinkers in all realms of public life, intellectual exchange, and artistic expression.

For more information, contact the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mount Holyoke College.