News & Ideas  -  Register Now: Democracy Is Not Partisan

Kettering Conversations

At a time when our democracy is widely regarded as under threat, Americans are also bitterly divided over what democracy means and how it can be strengthened. Worse, these disagreements have been weaponized to advance partisan aims, further undermining support for democracy. Is there space for pro-democracy constituencies within or across the major parties? How can we rebuild a shared conviction in support of democracy and a common understanding of what democracy means? What’s working, and what are the challenges?

In our Kettering Conversations on Democracy series, we explore ways to strengthen democracy, focus on positive narratives amid democratic crisis, and consider opportunities to build upon the strengths of our diverse communities and nation to make them more inclusive and equitable. Our May 9 conversation, “Democracy Is Not Partisan,” will bring together leaders with distinguished careers in public service, with different political views, to sit side-by-side to discuss their common concerns about democratic backsliding and to consider what might be done to reverse it.

The program will begin with a panel discussion on governing across partisan divides:
The United States saw these very tactics play out in 2023.  

  • Kathleen Sebelius, former governor of Kansas, former secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and Kettering’s David Mathews Democracy Fellow
  • Christine Todd Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and Kettering senior fellow
  • Moderated by Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and former anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour and Kettering’s Katherine W. Fanning Fellow in Journalism and Democracy

Following the panel discussion, Sarah Longwell, president and CEO of Longwell Partners and publisher of The Bulwark, will be in conversation with Brad Rourke, Kettering’s chief external affairs officer and director of DC operations, on maintaining democratic principles within a fracturing movement.

Lunch will be served during a keynote panel discussion on the importance of institutions:

  • Neal Katyal, former principal deputy solicitor general of the United States, professor of national security law at Georgetown University, and Kettering senior fellow
  • J. Michael Luttig, former judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Kettering senior fellow
  • Moderated by Melissa Murray, professor of law at New York University School of Law

The event will conclude with reflections from Kettering Foundation President and CEO Sharon L. Davies.

Please join us, via Zoom, on May 9 from 11 am to 2 pm EST. Register to watch this live event by May 1. Once you register, you will receive a Zoom link and calendar invite.

Questions? Reach out to Kate Schneider.

The program will be recorded and shared following the event.