Joe Goldman and Justin Hansford

What are the essential elements and critical influences that foster healthy democracy? Hear the president of the Democracy Fund and executive director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center lead this discussion at 8:15 a.m. Monday, November 18 at Deaconess Center for Child Well-Being, 1000 North Vandeventer Ave.

Joe Goldman of the Democracy Fund will speak on challenges to democratic institutions, an open impeachment inquiry and the convergence of a presidential election and a projected recession, then Justin Hansford of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center will respond with an analysis of the implications of the potential 2020 scenarios for justice and equity.

The morning will conclude with Deaconess announcing its 2020 Public Policy Campaign partner(s) who will pursue change through grassroots advocacy, civic engagement and community organizing, on a designated issue over the next twelve months.

“The October cover of the Chronicle of Philanthropy raised the question, ‘Can Philanthropy Save Democracy?’” said Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of Deaconess Foundation.

“I’m not sure it can. But, with the impact national elections and potential local governmental re-organization will have on children and families, social sector leaders in St. Louis need to have this conversation. I can’t think of two better leaders to spark our thinking than Joe and Justin.” 

Democracy Fund, based in Washington, D.C. was created by founder and former chairman of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, out of deep respect for the U.S. Constitution and our nation’s core democratic values. A bipartisan foundation, Democracy Fund envisions an American democracy that is healthy, resilient and diverse.

Also based in Washington, D.C. at Howard University School of Law, Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center launched in 2019 intent on expanding civil rights, human rights, freedom, and equal justice under the law for all historically oppressed people. Hansford is well known in St. Louis as a former activist associate professor of law at Saint Louis University School of Law.

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