Why It Matters

Conversations on civic and electoral engagement.

Michigan Humanities will present a series of virtual state-wide conversations that will examine the electoral process by exploring Michigan’s urban rural divide and the influence of social media. These conversations will bring together humanities professionals and Michiganders and provide a place for open dialogue and learning.

This program is funded by a $1.96 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The grant supports a new national initiative, “Why It Matters: Civic and Electoral Participation,” which will explore civic participation as it relates to electoral engagement in a multivocal democracy. Programs will be conducted in 43 US states and territories throughout the course of the initiative.

Bringing together:
Diverse Voices
Critical Analysis
Thoughtful Dialogue

Upcoming Events:

December 3, 2020 7 p.m.
The Urban/Rural Divide in Michigan

Dr. Thomas Henthorn and Dr. Kevin G. Lorentz II
 Watch a recording of this event HERE

Panelists for discussions on the Urban/Rural divide in Michigan:

Dr. Thomas Henthorn
Dr. Thomas Henthorn is the Wyatt Endowed Professor of Public History at the the University of Michigan at Flint and his research explores the intersection between urban history and public history. Dr. Henthorn’s research challenges audiences and his students to think about the historical differences between city and countryside.

Dr. Kevin G. Lorentz II (Ph.D, Wayne State University)
Dr. Lorentz is a lecturer in political science at the University of Michigan at Flint. His research focuses broadly on American constitutional law, judicial politics, and civic education, with a specific focus on constitutional attitudes. Kevin’s other research focuses on judicial decision making and behavior, civic education and pedagogical practices, and collaborative work on local government institutional structures and behaviors. Beyond his academic work, Kevin has worked extensively in local government, serving as a member of the Bay County (Michigan) Board of Canvassers (auditing and certifying election results) and as a deputy county clerk. A native of northern Michigan, Kevin received his B.A. from Saginaw Valley State University (University Center, MI) and completed master’s coursework at Central Michigan University (Mt. Pleasant, MI).

Conversations coming soon in 2021

Impacts of social media on electoral engagement:

Dr. Jayson Dibble
Dr. Jayson L. Dibble, Ph.D., is currently an associate professor in the Department of Communication at Hope College, Holland, Michigan. He holds a doctorate in interpersonal communication from Michigan State University, and he researches and teaches on the topic of interpersonal communication to include communication through social media and the impact of social media on personal relationships. Dr. Dibble has published or co-published more than two dozen articles or book chapters, and his research and writing have been featured in various national outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, The Washington Post, Fox News, The Atlantic, and Psychology Today