Facebook Pixel

Public Events

Subscribe to the Goldman School’s monthly e-digest, or send an email to lcerdaprice@berkeley.edu with your name and UC Berkeley alumni year if applicable, to receive news about upcoming events, programs, faculty, students, and alumni and/ or to receive the Class of ’68 Gathering information.

Why the Common Good Disappeared and How We Get It Back

Friday, October 12, 2018 • 1:00pm–2:00pm  •  Hertz Hall
The Class of '68 50th Reunion Lecture • HOMECOMING WEEKEND, OCTOBER 12-14, 2018

PROFESSOR ROBERT B. REICH ignites a discussion of the good we have had in common, what happened to it, and what we might do to restore it. His goal is not that we all agree on the common good. It is that we get into the habit of thinking and talking about it, listening to each other’s views and providing a means for people with opposing views to debate these questions civilly.

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor and Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, and is a Senior Fellow at both the Goldman School’s Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement and Berkeley’s Blum Center for Developing Economies.

For more information and to request disability-related accommodations, including sign-language interpreters, contact lcerdaprice@berkeley.edu.

Past Events

Taxes, Trade, Tariffs and Trump with Robert Reich and Stephen Moore—Point/Counterpoint

March 20, 2018 

In an effort to bridge political divides, the UC Berkeley Office of the Chancellor and the Goldman School of Public Policy's Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement hosted a spirited conversation on taxes, tariffs, trade and President Trump with two economists known for their opposing views: Goldman School of Public Policy Professor and former US Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich and Stephen Moore, a visiting fellow for the Project for Economic Growth at the Heritage Foundation.


Webcast also available on Youtube and UCTV

Class of '68 & Friends Quarterly Gatherings
Free Speech, Civility, and Democratic Engagement

Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 10am-1pm | Free Speech Movement Café

This was a unique venue for students and the Cal community to learn more about the Center’s programs and hear from Dean Henry E. Brady, Professor Dan Lindheim and Professor Larry Rosenthal. Speakers also included two students who receive fellowship support from the Center: Viviana Morales, a UC Berkeley undergraduate who participated in the UC in D.C. program in fall 2017, and Rawan Elhalaby, a GSPP student whose Advanced Policy Analysis Project focuses on homeless issues and housing services in Oakland. Attendees also had the opportunity to engage in small group discussions with members of the Class of ’68 about different political ideologies and the role of civility in democratic engagement.



The Sentence that Changed the World

Saturday, February 24, 2018 | 12pm-3:00pm | Orange Hill Restaurant, Orange, CA 

A discussion about the impact of climate change on the planet with Dr. Benjamin D. Santer (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) presented by the Orange County Cal Alumni Club and the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement.

Download the Flyer


Class of '68 & Friends Quarterly Gatherings
Journey to the 50th: Discussions on The Achievement Award Program (TAAP) and the State of Higher Education

Saturday, December 9 | 10am-1pm | GSPP, Room 105

The Cal Alumni Association spoke about The Achievement Award Program (TAAP), which has provided low-income students with both financial assistance and supportive programming since 1999. Tietta Mitchell, the current Cal '68 TAAP Scholar, also attended the event.

Our featured speaker was former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, who discussed the state of higher education. Known for his commitment to diversity and equity in the academic community, Chancellor Birgeneau is also an internationally distinguished physicist and the Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Professor of Physics, Materials Science and Engineering, and Public Policy, at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD in Physics from Yale University, and has worked at Oxford University, MIT, and University of Toronto.


The Great Debate


Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | 6:30 pm | Hearst Field Annex, Room 1

Cal Berkeley Democrats and the Berkeley Conservative Society debated their views on current political topics, ranging from foreign policy to healthcare. Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement Faculty Director, Dan Linheim’s introduction set the tone for the event as did the introductory remarks from the students representing the two student organizations. The students’ comments reflected their shared commitment to ongoing discourse on campus. Cal alums and current students in attendance said that they thought the event gave the campus community a greater understanding of the issues and perspectives of individuals across the spectrum.

Sponsored by the Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement and BridgeUSA.

Homecoming 2017
The 2016 Election: What Working Class Voters are Thinking

Saturday, October 21, 2017 | 10:30 am | 155 Dwinelle Hall, Berkeley, CA

A special Homecoming panel sponsored by the Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement and the Berkeley Forum. The 2016 election results were a shock to many blue state residents across the country. White working class voters voted in droves for Donald Trump, leaving many wondering how this happened and if this meant a new status quo. In this panel, speakers discuss working class voters, their mindsets, and how our country can bridge its gaping political divide. 


  • Arlie Hochschild, Professor Emerita, UC Berkeley, Department of Sociology. Professor Hochschild is the author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a finalist for the National Book Award. She conducted five years of intensive interviews with Tea Party enthusiasts in Louisiana, learning about what and how these voters see, think and feel.
  • Steven Hayward, FoxNews commentator, visiting scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies and Ronald Reagan Professor of Public Policy at Pepperdine University

View Video

Lecture and Forum with Mark Lilla, Professor of Humanities at Columbia University

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 4-5:30pm | Anna Head Alunmnae Hall

Mark Lilla’s new book, The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, has sparked a vigorous national conversation about how liberals need to articulate a new vision centered around ideas of common citizenship in order to counteract the destructive individualism of both right and left that are hollowing out our political life. Professor Emerita Arlie Hochschild will introduce Prof. Lilla, and co-moderate a discussion following Prof. Lilla’s lecture.





Cal Day 2017
California and the Climate Fight: The State's New Relationship with Washington and the World


With the US’s commitment to the Paris Agreement in question and the future of federal climate change policy unclear, what steps should California take to remain at the forefront of climate action policy? Join Professor Meredith Fowlie (Class of 1935 Endowed Chair in Energy Associate Professor), Professor Sol Hsiang (co-lead author of the American Climate Prospectus and one of Forbes’s 30 under 30) and Professor Carol Zabin (Research Director, Center for Labor Research and Education, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment) in a discussion moderated by Center for Environmental Public Policy Executive Director Ned Helme about California’s policy options given potential conflicts with the new US administration on issues of climate change and the environment. 

Sponsored by the Goldman School’s Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement and Center for Environmental Public Policy.


  • Meredith Fowlie, Associate Professor and Class of 1935 Distinguished Professor of Energy. 
  • Sol Hsiang, Chancellor’s Associate Professor of Public Policy 
  • Carol Zabin, IRLE Professor
  • Ned Helme (MPP ’77), Executive Director for the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley

View VideoEvent Flyer


Homecoming 2016
Politics Unusual: Will 2016's surging outsiders finally make america multipartisan?

The 2016 campaign has led to major stresses on the leadership and ideology of the two major political parties in the United States. The fundamental terms of engagement for candidates, voters, elected officials, party leaders, economic interests and social movements may be undergoing historical shifts. Panelists discussed what has changed, and what is unlikely to change, in future national elections, and whether potential fragmentation of American political life will lead to the rise of new parties.


  • Henry E. Brady, Dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy
  • Lisa García Bedolla, Chancellor's Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Travers Department of Political Science
  • Bill Whalen, Hoover Institute Research Fellow

Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs (‘68)

View Video | Event Flyer




Cal Day 2016
Political life @ berkeley: conversations across the divide

UC Berkeley is rightly known for its active political scene with its diverse and stimulating environment for students and the campus community. This multi-partisan discussion focused on issues such as student elections, student movements, the study of politics in the classroom, and the 2016 U.S. election season. Student speakers (representing ASUC student government, Berkeley College Republicans, and Cal Berkeley Democrats) explored ways Berkeley's culture of free expression and political debate finds a balance with the need for civility and constructive engagement.


  • TJ Grayson, Political Director of the Cal Berkeley Democrats​​
  • Kerida Moates, President of the Berkeley College Republicans
  • Marium Navid, External Affairs Vice President of the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC)

with Professor Alan Ross ('82), Business and Political Science
Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs (‘68), former ASUC President

Event Flyer

Homecoming 2015

Scientists agree that California’s droughts are cyclical and appear to be growing worse. While we have developed technologies to address our water challenges, water policy remains a hot-button issue in the Golden State, and not necessarily on traditional Republican-Democratic policy lines. Along with the need for major new infrastructure, deep conflicts divide agricultural and urban industries, Central Valley and coastal communities, environmentalists and fracking proponents, and others. Panelists discussed how we can build consensus and create bipartisan solutions to ensure a sustainable water future for our state.


  • Felicia MarcusState Water Resources Control Board (Board) Chair
  • Mel Levine (BA ’64), Counsel and retired Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP; former U.S. Representative, 27th Congressional District; Member, Goldman School Board of Advisors
  • David L. SedlakMalozemoff Professor in Mineral Engineering, Co-director of Berkeley Water Center, and Director of Institute for Environmental Science and Engineering (IESE)
  • Richard “Dick” H. Beahrs (BA ’68), Moderator

View Video | Marcus PowerPoint | Sedlak PowerPoint | Sedlak Water Crisis Talk TEDxMarin


Class of '68 Peninsula/South Bay Quarterly Gathering - for Cal Alumni & Friends

Bruce Cain held a discussion about his recent book, Democracy More or Less: America's Political Reform Quandary, that explores why American reform efforts so often fail to solve the problems they intend to fix. Now a UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus, he was the Heller Professor of Political Science where he taught from 1989-2012. While at Berkeley he also served as Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies and as Executive Director of the UC Washington Center, a program that serves students from all UC campuses. He was Co-Director of the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement, founded by the Class of ’68, from its inception until 2013 and now serves on the Advisory Board.

Event Flyer


Cal Day 2015

Big Money Politics after Citizens United: Keeping Voters Engaged in Democracy

Bipartisan campaign-finance reform was dealt a serious blow in 2010 with the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and subsequent decisions. Five years later, questions loom. Are all campaign contributions now protected “speech” under the Constitution? How can elections work best when “deep-pockets” secretly attempt to control the results and often drown out civil discussion? In this new environment, policymakers are exploring how to keep our democracy healthy and strong. It is important that we reengage voters who understandably have lost faith in our system. A groundbreaking civil rights leader, a nationally recognized constitutional law expert and political scientist, and a civic-engagement expert and politician engaged in a provocative panel discussion addressing these important questions.


View VideoEvent Poster | Speaker Bios


Cal Class of '68 Gathering 
Journalism for social change with GSPP Lecturer Daniel Heimpel

The Cal Class of '68 and friends gathered for brunch, an update on the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement from Program Director Larry Rosenthal, and a talk by Daniel Heimpel, founder and executive director of Fostering Media Connections.  Following the talk, hosts Steve and Judy Lipson gave a tour of their award-winning home.  

Event Program

Parents and Reunion Weekend at Homecoming 2014
Another Take on the FSM: Challenges to Free Speech in a Polarized Era

Fifty years after the Free Speech Movement, engagement in civic life can still involve challenging authority and current policy. But it is consensus through civil discourse - not just protest or partisan opposition for its own sake - which holds the greatest promise for inspiring public involvement and stimulating social progress.

Panelists Henry E. BradyRobin Lakoff and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. discussed civility and free speech in a polarized society - particularly as they play out in university settings - and addressed the ways public institutions can best foster thoughtful conversations, spirited debate, and constructive dissent. Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs (’68).

View VideoEvent Photos by James LeragerEvent Flyer

Robin Lakoff's “Civility and Its Discontents” Speech Handout


50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement

CCDE Board Member Bruce Roberts, Chancellor's Professor Robert Reich, GSPP Board member John Gage, and Chancellor Nicholas Dirks are interviewed in this NBC Bay Area documentary on the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. The date was Oct 1, 1964 when the FSM was born. This documentary takes you from the Civil Right movement to FSM and onto Ronald Reagan and Occupy. Diane Dwyer served as producer & host.

Bruce's work with the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement is mentioned in Part 3 of NBC Bay Area's series.

View Video


Cal Day 2014
Minimum Wage Policy in California and the US: An Emerging Consensus Across Party Lines?

Leading experts Saru Jayaraman, David Neumark and Ron Unz weighed in on the national conversation to raise the minimum wage, devoting special attention to the California political landscape and impacts on food-related industries.  Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs (BA '68).

Event Flyer & Details | View Video

Related News Articles: Saru Jayaraman, David Neumark, Ron Unz

Alumni and Family Weekend 2013
Climate Change, Politics and the Economy: Rhetoric v. Reality

Rapidly melting arctic ice, catastrophic hurricanes, devastating wildfires, and record-breaking drought—scientists agree that the climate is changing, that it’s human caused, and that it will undeniably be one of the most serious problems facing the world’s citizens for generations to come.  At the same time, they acknowledge that technologies to combat climate change do exist. How can we come together to address this challenge which has become a partisan political issue in the United States in a way it has not elsewhere in the world? UC Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, an internationally recognized energy policy expert, and Mr. Tom Steyer, business leader and investor, engaged in a lively and timely conversation to understand where we are now, the solutions at hand, the barriers we face, and what must happen to “overcome the partisan divide” to speed the transition to a sustainable planet.  Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs (’68).

Speaker Bios and More Information | View Video

UC in Washington DC Reception

The Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement and the Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service co-hosted a reception honoring recipients of their UC in Washington DC fellowships.  At the reception, UC in Washington alumni met with newly selected Fall 2013 Fellows.  From left to right: Chanel Adikuono (UCDC Alumna); Matsui Fellows Katherine Nguyen and Tara Yarlagadda; CCDE Fellows Michelle Nelson, Andrew Ayala and Michael Tarkington; and Elizabeth Marsolais (UCDC Alumna).

More Information

Cal Day 2013
Makers v. Takers: A Sensible Way to Debate the Role of Government?

Panelists Dean Henry E. Brady, Professor Hilary Hoynes and Professor Cybelle Fox discuss inequality in America in terms of the rhetoric of the last election cycle, its rationale, and resulting impacts on bi-partisanship, civility and public discussion.  Moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs (BA ’68), Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement Advisory Board.

Speaker Bios and More Information | View Video

Homecoming 2012
Solutions, Civility, and Consensus in Local Government

Many local issues have no obvious “left” or “right,” “red” or “blue” solution. The electorate holds elected and appointed local government officials accountable for finding tangible solutions to challenging problems. Success depends on working directly and effectively with their constituencies, who are also their neighbors and with whom they often have complex and deep ties. A stellar panel of UC Berkeley alumni - the Hon. Frank M. Jordan, Former Mayor, City & County of San Francisco; the Hon. Garrad Marsh, Mayor, City of Modesto; and the Hon. Jennifer West, Mayor, City of Emeryville- discussed how politicians handle problems at the local level and realistic opportunities for fostering civility and cross-party cooperation among voters and multiple constituencies. The panel was moderated by Dean Henry E. Brady, who also Co-Directors the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement.

Moderator: Henry E. Brady, Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy

Speaker Bios and More InformationView Video

Governing America in the Age of Political Polarization

Henry E. Brady, Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy discussed how American politics became so polarized, how the division affects governance and decision-making, and what might be done to break the gridlock in Washington and Sacramento.

Speaker Bio and More InformationView Video

October 1, 2012
Tweeting Your Way to the White House: Social Media and the 2012 Campaign

The Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement co-sponsored this exciting panel featuring distinguished experts in politics and social media. Panelists David All, Founder, David All Group, Daniel Kreiss, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina, and Theo Yedinsky, President of Social Stream and Vice President of Sales for North Social discussed how social media has changed the landscape of American politics, including how candidates use more sophisticated social media strategies and how voters are communicating more actively among themselves. The panel also examined whether the model of crowd-sourced political dialogue shapes campaign agendas and communication strategies, and whether these new technologies help us talk across party lines, or whether they contribute to more polarization.

Sponsors: CITRIS (Ctr for Info Technology Research in the Interest of Society), Robert T. Matsui Center for Politics and Public Service, Data and Democracy Initiative at CITRIS, Center for New Media , School of Information, Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement at the Goldman School of Public Policy

More Information | View Video

September 2012
The Participatory Budgeting Project

Dean Henry E. Brady and the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement hosted a presentation and discussion with Josh Lerner, PhD, Executive Director, and Pam Jennings, Project Coordinator of The Participatory Budgeting Project about participatory budgeting, in which residents directly decide how to spend taxpayer money. They also talked about how Goldman School students, faculty, and our colleagues across campus, can get involved in “PB Vallejo” — the first city-wide participatory budgeting process in the United States.

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a non-profit organization that helps communities decide how to spend public money. It works with governments and organizations to develop participatory budgeting processes, in which local people directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

More Information | Flyer to Share


Cal Day 2012
Political Civility Should Not Be an Oxymoron

Robert B. Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, and Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley, discusses the state of civility in politics today before a capacity crowd of more than 550 students, parents, alumni, and the general public at Cal Day, the University's Annual Open House. Professor Reich, who also holds the title of Senior Fellow for the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement, captivated the audience as evidenced by the lengthy and enthusiastic Q&A session that followed.

Speaker Bio | View Video

Homecoming 2011
Populism and the Tea Party in American Politics

Begun in 2009, the Tea Party movement is generally recognized as fiscally conservative, antigovernment, and a strict interpreter of the U.S. Constitution. The platform is resonating with many Americans. Hear a stellar lineup of panelists discuss how the Tea Party fits into the history of populist movements in American politics, how it may evolve and the long-term impact, and how we can promote civil discourse amid ideological differences. With Bill Whalen, Resident Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Lawrence Rosenthal, Executive Director, Center for the Comparative Study of Right-Wing Movements; Henry E. Brady, Dean, Goldman School of Public Policy and Christine Trost, Assistant Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.

Speaker Bios | View Video

Cal Day 2011
Can Americans Be Civil and Work Together to Solve Public Problems?

Dean Henry E. Brady, the Honorable Roger E. Dickinson, and Professor Paul Pierson, John Gross Professor of Political Science, Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science discuss polarization, civility, public participation and the opportunity for meaningful policy initiatives at the local, state, and federal level with Q&A moderated by Richard “Dick” Beahrs, Trustee, UC Berkeley Foundation and member Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement Advisory Board.  Sponsored by the Cal Class of 1968, Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement at the Goldman School of Public Policy, Charles & Louise Travers Dept. of Political Science.

Speaker Bios | View video

Homecoming 2010
“Big Ideas to Fix the Golden State”

Dean Henry E. Brady, Professor Bruce E. Cain and  Sunne Wright McPeak (MPH ’71), President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund, discussed realistic solutions for problems such as deficits, education, taxes, budgeting, and pensions to get the state back on track and to restore civility in politics at this panel lecture.  Moderated by Richard H. “Dick” Beahrs (BA ’68), Senior Advisor Revolution Foods Inc, and UC Berkeley Foundation Trustee, and co-sponsored by the Class of '68 and the Goldman School of Public Policy.

Speaker Bios | View video


Cal Day 2010
Health Care, Economic Policy, and Political Polarization in America

Dean Henry E. Brady, Senior Lecturer Susan Rasky of the Journalism School and Professor Richard Scheffler addressed Health Care, Economic Policy, and Political Polarization in America at this panel cosponsored by the Class of 68 and the Goldman School of Public Policy’s Center on Civility and Democratic Engagement.

Speaker Bios | View video

Homecoming 2009
The California Budget Crisis

Dean Henry E. Brady, Professor John Ellwood and Senator Carol J. Liu (’68) discuss what the California budget crisis mean for its public programs and politics.  Can Humpty Dumpty be put back together again, or is the Golden State broken beyond repair? Do we need a constitutional convention to change the way we do business?  Sponsored by the Class of 1968 and the Goldman School of Public Policy.

Speaker Bios | View video

Cal Day 2009
YouTube, Blogs, Texting, the Web: How Are New Media Changing Politics?

Professors Henry Brady (Goldman School), Bruce Cain (University of California, Washington Center) and Geoffrey Nunberg (School of Information) discussed how new media have influenced elections and political governance, and shaped the language of civic engagement.

Speaker Bios | View Video

Homecoming 2008
Civility in Politics?

Professors Henry Brady, Bruce Cain and Robert Reich drew an overflow (500+) crowd talking about “Political Rhetoric and Civility in the 2008 Presidential Election.” The Class of ’68 Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement event went from the substantive to the sublime when Profs. Brady and Reich reenacted a Bill O’Reilly and Barney Frank interview.

View Video




back to top