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2008.08.28 > For Immediate Release
contact: Wendy Townley - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: wtownley@unomaha.edu

CPACS Celebrates 35th Anniversary with Democracy Matters Forums

Omaha - A presentation by a presidential speechwriter and the screening of an exciting documentary on young voters are part of Democracy Matters, a new, monthly series of community forums, debates and guest lectures hosted by the College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS) at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

Democracy Matters: Building Social Capital Through Public Dialogue, in collaboration with the American Democracy Project as part of Constitution Week at UNO, will co-host a debate about guns on college campuses on Wednesday, Sept. 17. The 1 p.m. event will take place in the Milo Bail Student Center Ballroom on the UNO campus. The debate will feature Michael Guzman, head of a national organization lobbying to get concealed carry permits legalized on college campuses, and Arturo Romano, a national and internationally recognized peace worker. Additional event sponsors include UNO's Department of Political Science; UNO’s Office of Academic and Student Affairs; UNO’s Dual Enrollment Program; and the Association for the Study of Free Institutions.

A screening of “18 in ’08,” a documentary directed and produced by 19-year-old David D. Burstein of Weston, Conn., is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the Collaborating Commons, inside the new CPACS building.

“18 in ’08” shines the spotlight on Americans who will vote in their first presidential election this fall. The documentary, which also discusses voter apathy among young Americans, features interviews with political leaders such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Sen. Barbara Boxer of California; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; political consultant James Carville; Gen. Wes Clark; Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut; and ABC News political correspondent Sam Donaldson.

Burstein and his film crew are scheduled to attend the UNO screening, which will be followed by a group discussion. Visit www.18in08.com for more information about the film.

CPACS will welcome Ted Sorensen, one of President John F. Kennedy’s advisors and speechwriters, to launch the Peter J. Hoagland Integrity in Public Service Lecture Series. Sorensen will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 at the CPACS Collaborating Commons. Sorensen is a University of Nebraska graduate.

The series is in memory of Nebraska Congressman Peter J. Hoagland and will be shared with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“We are proud to engage the campus community and the Omaha metro area through the Democracy Matters series this year,” said Sara Woods, CPACS assistant dean. “With such a variety of events, we are certain that dialogue about a number of issues will take place.”

In response to demands that UNO be more responsive to the needs of its increasingly diverse and dynamic community, civic leaders created CPACS in 1973.

Today CPACS houses the School of Social Work; the School of Public Administration; the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice; the Department of Gerontology; and the Division of Continuing Studies. A number of programs are also part of CPACS, including: the Center for Public Affairs Research; the Center for Organizational Research and Evaluation; the Collaborating Center for Public Health and Community Service; the Program for Women and Successful Aging; the Goodrich Scholarship Program; the Aviation Institute; the Brennan Labor Institute; and the Omaha Hate Crimes Project.

Earlier this month CPACS faculty and staff moved into their new building, inside the renovated Engineering Building south of the Strauss Performing Arts Center. A dedication ceremony for the new building will be held Wednesday, Oct. 8, with an open house planned for Friday, Oct. 10 from 3 to 5 p.m.

* *

UNO will celebrate its 100th anniversary beginning October 8, 2008. This celebration will recognize the partnership among the City of Omaha, its citizens and UNO to build a vibrant and dynamic community. The centennial theme is “UNO: Central To Our City Since 1908.” This theme acknowledges the past contributions of UNO to the community and sets the stage for great things to come.

UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908. For Centennial information, go to http://www.unomaha.edu/100/.

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