University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

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Building a House United

A Local Conversation in the Land of Lincoln

Wednesday, February 15, 2023
7 to 8:30 p.m.
I Hotel and Conference Center | Heritage Hall
1900 S. 1st. Street, Champaign
Free Parking is Available | View Parking Map

Registration would be appreciated by February 8.
Portions of this event may be livestreamed and/or recorded for future broadcast.

Statue of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln Hall. Building a House United. A Local Conversation in the Land of Lincoln.

Concerned about divisive politics? Join us for a campus-community town hall with a panel of experts on political polarization to answer your questions. We will reflect on how we got here and what we can do to move forward. Doors open and refreshments will be available starting at 6:30 p.m.

When you register, you will have an opportunity to submit a question to be considered for the Q&A.

To request disability-related accommodations for this event, please email Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Featured Panelists

Headshot of Bill Dorherty

Bill Doherty

Co-founder of Braver Angels and Professor, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

About Bill Doherty

Bill Doherty is a co-founder of Braver Angels and the creator of the Braver Angels workshop approach. Bill is a Professor and Director of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota.  Bill combines a background in family therapy and community engagement. His areas of research include democratic community building with families, citizen health care, marriage, fatherhood, families dealing with chronic illness, and marriage and couples therapy.

Headshot of Scott Althaus

Scott Althaus

Director of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, Merriam Professor, Department of Political Science

About Scott Althaus

Scott Althaus is Merriam Professor of Political Science, Professor of Communication, and Director of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also has faculty appointments with the School of Information Sciences and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. His work with the Cline Center applies text analytics methods and Artificial Intelligence algorithms to extract insights from millions of news stories in ways that produce new forms of knowledge that advance societal well-being around the world. His own research interests explore the communication processes that support political accountability in democratic societies and that empower political discontent in non-democratic societies. His interests focus on four areas of inquiry: (1) how journalists construct news coverage about public affairs, (2) how leaders attempt to shape news coverage for political advantage, (3) how citizens use news coverage for making sense of public affairs, and (4) how the opinions of citizens are communicated back to leaders. He has particular interests in popular support for war, data science methods for extreme-scale analysis of news coverage, cross-national comparative research on political communication, the psychology of information processing, and communication concepts in democratic theory. His current projects include using data mining methods to help journalists cover terrorist attacks in responsible ways and a book manuscript to be published by Cambridge University Press about the dynamics of popular support for war in the United States.

Headshot of Avital Livny

Avital Livny

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science

About Avital Livny

Avital Livny is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University as well as an M.Phil. in Modern Middle Eastern from the University of Oxford. Prof. Livny’s research encompasses three main questions: How do religious and ethnic identities affect political and economic behavior? How do politics impact identity? And what do these processes imply for how we measure identity, across space and time? Her interest in these questions is deeply rooted in the Turkish case.  

Her first book, Trust and the Islamic Advantage: Religious-Based Movements in Turkey and the Muslim World, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2020 and was named a Best Book in Middle East and North Africa Politics by the American Political Science Association. Other work appears or is forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies, The Journal of Politics, and Public Opinion Quarterly. She is also the PI of a National Science Foundation project, “Improving and Integrating Global Diversity Estimates Using Transparent Methods.” At UIUC, Prof. Livny teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in comparative politics and research methods. She also runs an award-winning research internship program for undergraduates, in partnership with the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research.

Headshot of Colleen Murphy

Colleen Murphy

Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law

About Colleen Murphy

Colleen Murphy is the Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law, Professor of Philosophy and of Political Science, and Director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program in the Illinois Global Institute.  Her research for the past twenty years has focused on the ethical dimensions of pursuing political reconciliation and transitional justice in deeply divided political communities. She is the author of The Conceptual Foundations of Transitional Justice (Cambridge University Press, 2017), which received the North American Society for Social Philosophy Book Award; A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation (Cambridge University Press, 2010); and more than 70 journal articles and book chapters.  Prof Murphy has delivered more than 150 invited lectures on political reconciliation and transitional justice throughout the United States and in 12 additional countries worldwide, including before the Carlisle, PA Truth and Reconciliation Commission as it finalizes its recommendations and the Colombian Constitutional Court amidst the implementation of the Final Accord to end more than fifty years of armed conflict. In addition, she has written or recorded more than a dozen popular op-eds and podcasts about her research on political reconciliation and transitional justice for venues including the Boston Review, Chicago Tribune, The Conversation, and Ms. Magazine. Murphy holds a M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.


Matt Hausman

Braver Angels State Coordinator for Illinois (Red)

Chuck Stone

Braver Angels State Coordinator for Illinois (Blue)

Sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Humanities Research Institute, and the Women & Gender in Global Perspectives Program.

Logos of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Braver Angels, League of Women Voters of Champaign County, and The News Gazette

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, the Chancellor, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, or The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.