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Belonging and Democracy

In this course, students will examine related theories, strategies, and tools which focus on building trust, creating a sense of belonging, and advancing community cohesion.

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Time & Location







About the Event


This is a 10-week virtual class using the Zoom platform.  

Tuesdays: September 13, 20, 27; October 4, 11, 18, 25; November 1, 8, 15

6:00 - 8:00pm CDT

Inclusive engagement of all people is essential to successful and sustainable democratic governance. Readings, materials, and activities will be drawn from academic resources and other curricula developed by the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. More specifically, the course will be designed into three sections: 1) Individualism: this section will create space to reflect on how individualism may be part of our own unconscious worldview and assumptions in ways that are at odds with our values for equity and justice. Participants will identify and create positive counter-narratives that move the conversation from individualism to linked fate, opportunity and fairness. 2) Bridging Differences and Building a Bigger “We”: this section will focus on the concepts of bridging and breaking, and develop an understanding and appreciation of shared fate and shared identities across differences. Participants will gain experience expressing identity that bridges differences and still speaks to personal sense of who each person is. 3) Belonging: this section will build understanding of the frameworks of othering and belonging and the circle of human concern, giving participants the opportunity to apply these concepts to their lived experience and organizing and advocacy strategies.

Sam Larson serves as an Assistant Professor of Public Administration at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She is also Deputy Director of the Whitburn Center for Governance and Policy Research. Sam’s research and teaching interests broadly focus on the relationship between public programs, policies can the advancement of social equity, resilience, democracy, and community healing. She received her Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Colorado Denver, M.S. in Sociology from North Dakota State University, and B.A. in Social Science from the University of North Dakota. Sam grew up on a farm and ranch in rural North Dakota and graduated from Carrington High School.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota.

However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally.

Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University.

To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

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