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Democracy Works: Looking Back To Move Forward

The Democracy Works team recording the season finale.
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 We end this season the way it began, with a roundtable discussion on the state of American democracy. In this episode, Democracy Works hosts Michael Berkman, Chris Beem and Candis Watts Smith reflect on the January 6 insurrection, the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's death, and the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre.

On the one hand, it's easy to be pessimistic about where things are as state legislatures continue to pass restrictive voting measures and Congress seems more polarized than ever. Yet, it's our duty as democrats to persevere despite these challenges and push the limits of our imagination about what democracy can and should be.

We've touched on both of those dynamics this season — from journalists David Daley and Chris Fitzsimon talking about state legislatures creating "democracy deserts" to Harvard professor Danielle Allen discussing how we can establish a new common purpose as Americans and Peter Pomerantsev on how to combat misinformation online. If you missed any of those episodes, check out the links below.

This is our last new episode with the entire team for the summer. Over the next few months, we'll be airing bonus episodes, rebroadcasts, and episodes from other podcasts we think you might enjoy.

Jenna Spinelle is the Communications Specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. She is responsible for shaping all of the institute's external communication, including website content, social media, multimedia, and media outreach.