Self-government in the age of disunion

Shelley Capito and Tim Kaine side by side headshots

United States Senate

Democracy Dialogues

Self-government in the age of disunion

Shelley Moore Capito, Tim Kaine, Jim Ryan, Melody Barnes, Pilar Jimenez Larre Borges

Thursday, April 29, 2021
9:00AM - 10:00AM (EDT)
Event Details


U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Tim Kaine (D-VA), who have worked together to sponsor wide-ranging legislation, discuss the roles of citizens and elected officials at a time when Americans are so deeply mired in their differences. The senators will explore the prospects for moving forward with a focus on effective governance, problem solving, and unity. 

UVA’s Institute of Democracy hosts Democracy Dialogues with the goal of strengthening democracy through civil debate. We hope that this series will encourage the free sharing of beliefs and ideas, regardless of political leaning, and give our community members the opportunity to learn from one another and hear differing opinions. 

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the George and Judy Marcus Democracy Praxis Fund, Ingrid and David Hang, and UVA Rector James B. Murray Jr.

Thursday, April 29, 2021
9:00AM - 10:00AM (EDT)
Online webinar
Shelley Capito headshot

Shelley Moore Capito

Shelley Moore Capito was elected by the people of West Virginia to the United States Senate in 2014, and re-elected in 2020. She is the first female U.S. senator in West Virginia’s history and was elected with the largest margin of victory for a Republican in state history. Previously she served as West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, and as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates for four years. Capito believes that today's challenges demand bipartisan solutions and cooperation across the aisle to advance legislation that benefits West Virginia and the country as a whole. She serves on the Appropriations Committee; the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee; and the Rules and Administration Committee.

Tim Kaine headshot

Tim Kaine

Tim Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012 and serves on the Armed Services; Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees. He has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. As co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, Kaine focuses on expanding access to job-training programs, and he has also led successful efforts in the Senate to reduce unemployment for military families and veterans. As a senator from one of the states most closely connected to the military and the father of a Marine, Kaine is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. And he has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care. He was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city council member and then mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006.

Jim Ryan headshot

Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan serves as the ninth president of the University of Virginia. A respected and accomplished educator and legal scholar, Ryan earned his law degree from UVA and previously served on the School of Law faculty for 15 years. From 2013 to 2018, he acted as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education.

Melody Barnes headshot

Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes is co-director for policy and public affairs for the Democracy Initiative, an interdisciplinary teaching, research, and engagement effort led by the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia. She is also a professor of practice at the Miller Center and distinguished fellow at the UVA School of Law. During the administration of President Barack Obama, Barnes was assistant to the president and director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. She was also executive vice president for policy at the Center for American Progress and chief counsel to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Pilar Jimenez Larre Borges headshot

Pilar Jimenez Larre Borges

Pilar Jimenez is a fourth-year student from Alexandria, VA studying history and government in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is heavily involved with the Latinx community on Grounds, including being president of the Latinx Student Alliance during her third year and conducting research through the Reflections Oral History Project. Additionally, she is involved in the UVA Democracy Initiative, the University Guide Service, and the Meriweather Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership. 

Sponsored by

The George and Judy Marcus Democracy Praxis Fund

Ingrid and David Hang

UVA Rector James B. Murray Jr.