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The Foley Institute Spring 2020

Previous events – Spring 2020

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Tuesday, April 7 | 11:00 AM | Foley Institute Youtube Channel

Not enough ventilators? The ethics of allocating health care in a pandemic


Tuesday, March 10 | 4:30 PM | CUB Jr Ballroom

Distinguished Lecture | Middle East meltdown: Causes and consequences


Tuesday, March 3 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series | The Supreme Court and DACA


Tuesday, February 28 | 12:00 PM | Olympia, Wa

Public Symposium | Elections and ballot security

On February 28, the Foley Institute held its annual symposium cosponsored with the Washington Secretary of State’s Office in Olympia, on Election and Ballot Security. The speakers included Reed College Professor Paul Gronke, Chief Information Security Officer Justin Burns, and King County Elections Director Julie Wise. The discussion focused on election security practices,resource utilization, and how to maximize the integrity of our elections.

Gronke discussed how to increase election security by utilizing data to provide real-time forensic monitoring and analysis of elections. He is currently testing election security in the Pacific Northwest. The goal of Gronke’s project is to ensure transparency and trustworthiness to uphold the integrity of the monitoring process.

Burns discussed how to maintain privacy and transparency while advancing technological security measures. He explained that multiple agencies, such as the Washington Air National Guard, provide equipment to detect anomalies within the election system. Burns also discussed a program to recruit technologically-inclined people to assist the protection and integrity of American elections.

Wise explained how her office works to ensure public trust. The steps taken to increase physical security include more than fifty security cameras and the use of biometric requirements for accessing files. Additionally, the physical setup of the election counting office allows for public observation, without interference, of ballot counting through Perspex walls


Tuesday, February 18 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series | Islamophobia & American Elections

On February 18 Lawrence Pintak spoke about the ways Islamophobic rhetoric has been used by politicians throughout American history in order gain support for their election campaigns.

Pintak explained how islamophobia has been utilized recently by politicians including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential election. However, Islamophobic sentiment can be traced further back in American history from individuals such as Francis Scott Key. Today, the media has helped fuel these sentiments by framing crimes committed by Muslims in an overly sensationalistic and negative way. Furthermore, right-wing social media influencers have contributed to this sensationalism by targeting representatives like Ilhan Omar and Rashida Talib with online attacks. Despite this ongoing politicization, the Pew Institute has found that most Muslims are proud to be American and identify with American values. Pintak concluded by suggesting that Americans should be wary of the use of Islamophobic rhetoric during the upcoming 2020 election period.

Lawrence Pintak is founding dean of the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication (2009-2016) at Washington State University.


Thursday, January 30 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Pizza & Politics Series |Moving to America: From Mexican to Mexican-American

On Thursday, January 30 the Foley Institute welcomed Carlos Gil, an emeritus professor at the University of Washington specializing in Latin American history, for the Institute’s Pizza and Politics Series. Gil, author of “We Became Mexican-American: How Our Immigrant Family Survived to Pursue the American Dream” discussed his family’s 100-year journey of immigrating to America and assimilating to its culture.

Throughout his lecture, Gil discussed three central ideas: the origins of his family’s immigration and how their story and many other’s began as result of American and Mexico’s close economic relationship, the struggles of assimilation and the conflicts of holding onto one’s culture but trying to fit into a different one, and finally how the cultural baggage of immigration varies significantly across generations. Gil explained that the challenges of assimilation and becoming American do not necessarily go away with time. He closed, by stating, “assimilation is a trans-generational process; it is complex, and it is personal.”


Thursday, January 23 | 12:00 PM | Foley Speakers Room

Comedy & Politics Series with Kamau Bell

On Thursday, January 23 the Foley Institute welcomed W. Kamau Bell, ambassador of justice for ACLU, stand-up comedian, and television host to talk about the role comedy plays in politics. Kamau talked of his experience, stating that he did not fit into political comedy shows as they tend to take a left or right-wing approach. This encouraged him to write his own show regarding sociopolitical issues such as race.

He believes that comedy brings people together on divisive issues and uses his platform to include talking points about inclusion, identity, and structural racism. Kamau says his role is to delve deeply into these issues and create comedic content that allows everyone to have a better understanding of each-other. Through comedy, Kamau says we are able to have smarter and better conversations.