Everything you need to know about the Biennial

The 2021 UVA Democracy Biennial included three free webinar events.


More about the Biennial


Friday, September 24

silhouettes against stock exchange

3:00–4:30 PM

Roundtable: “Democracy and capitalism”

An interactive, dynamic discussion exploring themes such as inequality, mobility and opportunity, urban revitalization, the future of work, globalization, and American democracy.

  • Tom Baltimore, chairman and CEO, Park Hotels and Resorts
  • Gerald Chertavian, CEO, Year Up
  • Deborah Feinen, mayor, Champaign, Illinois
  • R. Edward Freeman, University Professor and Olsson Professor of Business Administration, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
  • Robert Hugin, former CEO and chairman, Celgene
  • Carolyn Miles, former president and CEO, Save the Children
  • Rami Nashashibi, executive director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network
  • Tom Perez, former secretary of labor (President Obama)
  • Denver Riggleman, former U.S. congressman (R-VA)
  • Rodney Slater, former secretary of transportation (President Clinton) 
  • Robert F. Bruner, faculty senior fellow, Miller Center; dean emeritus, Darden School of Business, University of Virginia (moderator)


Saturday, September 25

close up of feet walking

1:00–2:45 PM

Mobility, equity, and the pursuit of the American dream

How far have we come and how far do we have to go for everyone to have a real shot at the American dream? Join high-level speakers from different sectors and perspectives for a series of conversations around the problems of inequity.

  • Rashad Robinson, president, Color of Change
  • Karin Lips, founder and president, Network of Enlightened Women
  • Robert Doar, president and Morgridge scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • Ai-jen Poo, executive director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • David Rubenstein, cofounder and co-chairman, Carlyle Group
  • Margaret Spellings, president & CEO, Texas 2036; George W. Bush secretary of education
  • Melody Barnes, director, UVA's Karsh Institute of Democracy; co-director, UVA Democracy Initiative; J. Wilson Newman Professor of Governance, Miller Center (moderator)


voting line

3:15–4:30 PM

Reform? Reform! A town hall on the future of American democracy

A critical look at the American system of governance: Is the Electoral College democratic? Is the American presidency too powerful? How can we restore faith in American norms and institutions? 

  • Angela Glover Blackwell, founder in residence at PolicyLink
  • Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and Miller Center senior fellow
  • Julián Castro, former Obama secretary of housing and urban development 
  • Larry Diamond, Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University
  • John Dickerson, CBS News (moderator)