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E Pluribus Unum Complexities and Contradictions: The Mythical America

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E Pluribus Unum Complexities and Contradictions: The Mythical America

6:00 PM CST 7:00 PM CST

E Pluribus Unum, ‘From Many, One’ is the theological underpinning of the United States, but is there a Mythical America we have embraced because it anchors our view of the world? What are the conflicting myths and memories that led to Jan. 6, 2021? American Public Square at Jewell seeks to explore the founding contradictions of our country, imagined communities, and who we are versus how we actually show up in the world.


Bakari Sellers was born in 1984 and raised in Denmark, South Carolina. He graduated from the South Carolina public school system and earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College in 2005, where he served as student body president and his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 2008. Bakari made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent State Representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014 he was the Democratic Nominee for Lt. Governor in the state of South Carolina. Bakari has worked for United States Congressman James Clyburn and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. He served on President Barack Obama’s South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election and is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and a leading voice for his generation. He was named to TIME Magazine’s 40 Under 40 in 2010 as well as 2014 and 2015 “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans. Bakari has served as a featured speaker at events for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention, and the 2008 and 2016 Democratic National Convention. He is the author of New York Times Bestseller “My Vanishing Country” and a CNN political commentator.

Nancy Isenberg is best known for her 2016 New York Times bestseller WHITE TRASH, Nancy Isenberg is the T. Harry Williams Professor of History at Louisiana State University. She received her Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1990, studying with Gerda Lerner. Her first book, SEX AND CITIZENSHIP IN ANTEBELLUM AMERICA (University of North Carolina Press, 1998), examines the origins of the women’s rights movement. It was awarded the annual prize of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) in 1999.Professor Isenberg has been featured on C-SPAN2 “Book TV,” and on various NPR programs over the years. She and Andrew Burstein have been regular contributors to and continue to write history-accented pieces about modern political and cultural affairs for a variety of national news outlets.

David Brog is the executive director of the Maccabee Task Force, president of the Edmund Burke Foundation and chairman of the Emergency Committee for America. Before his current roles, Brog served as the executive director of Christians United for Israel from its founding in 2006 until 2015. Prior to CUFI, Brog worked in the United States Senate where he was chief of staff to Senator Arlen Specter and staff director of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Brog is the author of Reclaiming Israel’s History: Roots, Rights and the Struggle for Peace (2017), In Defense of Faith: the Judeo-Christian Idea and the Struggle for Humanity (2010) and Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support the Jewish State(2006).  He is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Bryan LeBeau holds a Ph.D. from New York University, has retired as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from the University of Saint Mary, and currently serves as an adjunct professor of history at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and Georgetown University. He has authored several books on various topics in American history, been a speaker on programs such as CSPAN-TV, and for seven years hosted a national public radio program called “Talking History.”


David Von Drehle, a columnist for The Washington Post, where he writes about national affairs and politics from a home base in the Midwest. He joined The Post in 2017 after a decade at Time magazine, where he wrote more than 60 cover stories as editor-at-large. During a previous stint at The Post, Von Drehle served as a writer and editor on the National staff, in Style, and at the Magazine. He is the author of a number of books, including the award-winning bestseller “Triangle: The Fire That Changed America.”

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