Indiana State University Newsroom

American Democracy Project to mark anniversary of Constitution

September 13, 2009

Indiana State University will observe this week's 222nd anniversary of the U.S. Constitution with several events, sponsored by the American Democracy Project, the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement and Cunningham Memorial Library. All events take place in the library's events area, unless otherwise noted

Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepherd will speak at 2 p.m. Tuesday on "The U.S. Constitution as a Great American Export."

At 1 p.m. Wednesday, "Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority," a film by Kimberlee Bassford. In 1965, Mink became the first woman of color in Congress. Seven years later, she ran for president and was the driving force behind passage of Title IX, the landmark legislation that transformed women's opportunities in education and athletics. A brownbag lunch offering preparatory conversation, moderated by Linda Maule, associate professor of political science and women's studies, is scheduled for 12 - 12:45 p.m.

At 9:20 a.m. Thursday, Constitution Day, a public reading of the preamble of the Constitution, followed by a public signing of copies of the document outside the library, will kick off a seminar series on "21st Century Relevance of an 18th Century Document." The theme for each seminar reflects the work of an Indiana State professor with a particular course:

· 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. - "Democracy and Concepts of Caring for People in Need," Rhonda Impink, associate professor of social work and women's studies

· 11 - 12 a.m. - "Mass media and the Supreme Court in the 21st Century," Robert Van Sickel, associate professor of political science.

· 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. - "Freedom of Speech in the 21st Century," Darlene Hantzis, professor of communication and women's studies.

· 2 - 3 p.m. - "A Civil Conversation," Maule and Darlene Hantzis will facilitate a conversation using the practice of deliberative democratic dialogue to provide an opportunity for participants to engage a complex issue relevant to the day.

A founding partner of the American Democracy Project, launched in 2003, Indiana State University is one of only 16 institutions in the country selected for the Civic Agency Initiative, a three-year effort to develop national models for preparing and motivating undergraduate students to be leaders in their communities.

While this week's events surrounding Constitution Day are aimed primarily at ISU students, all events are free and open to the public.

Contact: Darlene Hantzis, professor of communication and women's studies and campus coordinator, American Democracy Project, 812-237-3658 or

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or


Story Highlights

ISU will observe the 22nd anniversary of the U.S. Constitution this week with several events, beginning with a presentation at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Cunningham Memorial Library by Indiana Chief Justice Randall Shepherd and concluding with a seminar series on Thursday focusing on the relevancy of the 18th century document in the 21st century.

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