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Re-Imagining America After COVID: Summer Series at the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics

The Sine Institute of Policy & Politics launches a summer series Re-Imagining America After COVID.

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Government leaders, public-health experts and innovators from fields as diverse as public health, K-12 education, urban development, and sports will convene this summer at the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics at American University to envision a post-pandemic America and a re-imagined world. The bi-monthly virtual seminars will begin on Monday, June 7 and will showcase a broad range of topics from Transforming Our Cities to The Classroom of the Future, Sports and Entertainment in a Covid World to Our Health and The Global Perspective.

The Sine Institute summer series builds on the university’s new “Challenge Accepted campaign that highlights the passionate and engaged AU community and the meaningful change it creates in local, national, and global pursuits.

“The Sine Institute’s new summer series features a line-up of incredible changemakers, who will host conversations with our students, faculty, and staff to use some of the lessons learned from COVID-19 to imagine what our world can and should look like,” said President Sylvia M. Burwell. “With their unique qualifications, experiences, and viewpoints, these speakers will provide our community with the opportunity to enhance American University’s role in accepting the greatest challenges of our time.” 

Featured speakers will include:

  • Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (August 4)
  • Helen Clark, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Co-Chair of the World Health Organization’s Independent Panel for Pandemic (August 25)
  • Mayor of Miami and Sine Institute Distinguished Lecturer Francis X. Suarez (June 24)
  • Monica Dixon, CAO and President of External Affairs at Monumental Sports and Chair of Monumental Sports Foundation (July 27)
  • Wes Moore, Former CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation and 2021 Sine Institute Fellow (July 14)
  • Sonya Douglass Horsford, associate professor of education leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University (July 14)
  • Nicole Hawkins, Chief Communications Officer for the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League (July 27)
  • Former NFL lineman Derrick Dockery, Director of Government Affairs at TikTok, among others (July 27).

On June 7, during the first discussion in the series, panelists will discuss the systemic weaknesses in the U.S. food-supply chain that were exposed by the pandemic, and how the system can be re-engineered to withstand future shocks. The collapse of the restaurant industry tossed farmers and producers into turmoil, while increased demand at grocery stores created food shortages. Moderated by 2020 Sine Fellow Katherine Miller, Principal and Founder of Table 81 and the author of the forthcoming At the Table, a guide to food advocacy, the June 7th session will feature a panel discussion with Helena Bottemiller Evich, senior food and agriculture reporter at POLITICO, and Devita Davison, Executive Director of Detroit Food Lab.

“The world is changing rapidly,” said Amy Dacey, executive director of the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics. “Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses are coming onstream, while leaders around the globe contest their national and international distribution. Vaccination brings its own vexing challenges and the opportunity to re-examine and re-invent our communities, our schools, our businesses and enterprises, and our domestic lives. We hope this summer series will contribute to this important process of re-imagining our world post pandemic.” 

The summer series is a partnership between the Sine Institute and AU schools and institutes, and the AU Alumni Association. During the past academic year, the Sine Institute of Policy & Politics has convened more than 50 virtual discussions that focused on the role of business in a civil society, women’s empowerment, presidential elections, domestic and foreign policy, empowering truth in journalism and policy consensus on the world stage.

A university-wide initiative, the Sine Institute was made possible through a milestone gift of $10 million from AU alumnus, trustee, and entrepreneur Jeff Sine, SIS/BA ’76, and Samira Sine, an advocate for women and children and a seasoned journalist. The Sine Institute plays an essential role in the university’s commitment to raising the next generation of changemakers in a changing world.

The full schedule of the Sine Institute’s summer series can be found here.