Intern Philly kicked off the semester with the first of our Speakers Series events. For the first talk, Dr. Carol Schultz Vento, political scientist, attorney, professor of constitutional law, civil liberties, and social justice, contributor to BBC Stories, and bestselling author of The Hidden Legacy of World War II, spoke to our students and other members of the Arcadia community on the topic, "Two Americas: A Divided Nation."
Our conversation touched on some of the 'enduring debates' that continue to plague our country: race relations, the importance of inherent rights, 'implied' executive powers, freedom of speech vs. protection from harm, the survival of our environment, and what constitutes a 'person' in America.
One focus was on what is written in the Constitution and what laws are “assumed” brought clarity as to who within the government holds which powers, and how that can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the opinion of the citizen or the judge viewing and ruling on each case.
We discussed domestic affairs, matters of state, and policy answering more of the questions we all have about what is going on within the different branches of government at this tenuous and unclear moment in our country.
The talk and exchange of ideas tonight highlighted the need to re-institute civics lessons in our nation's classrooms, knowing and recognizing the rights afforded to all, and the responsibility of the government to its citizenry.