The word “democracy” is one of the most recognized, venerated, and misunderstood terms in the English language. Its potential, however, has yet to be fully realized because it is routinely distorted, misjudged, and exploited. In order for American democracy to flourish and expand, its origins, evolution, and potency must be interpreted, discussed, and practiced by everyday people, scholars, and visionaries from various walks of life. The Delivering Democracy Lecture provides a platform for innovative, solution-oriented speakers to present their major intellectual and new idea-based statements on participatory democracy.
Award-winning actress and community activist Viola Davis will be the 2016 Delivering Democracy Distinguished Lecturer. Rising out of the "absolute epitome of poverty," Davis has conquered every medium from stage to television to film. She is one of the most respected individuals of our time - she is gutsy, principled, and flawless in her professionalism. Equally passionate is her dedication to ensure that women, especially those of color, are part of the narrative on all artistic platforms. Recently recognized for her humanitarian work with the "Hunger Is" campaign, Davis is a social justice advocate and philanthropist who has supported many causes including civil and human rights, women’s issues, refugees, rape and sexual abuse, and ending childhood hunger.