Florida State University’s Power of WE, a landmark student-led initiative dedicated to empowering students to engage across differences, is launching its next chapter as the nation reckons with deepening polarization and new challenges to democracy.
The organization’s leadership will host the fifth installment of its signature Shared Spaces event series to mark the launch of Power of WE 2.0. The virtual event, “Social Media + Democracy: Are WE More Connected or Divided?”, will take place from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2. To register, visit Eventbrite.com.
Founded in 2016, Power of WE was the brainchild of former student Inam Sakinah. It was supported by FSU President John Thrasher, who made Power of WE the only student-run organization that reports directly to the Office of the President.
Thrasher has advised and guided the organization, along with providing resources to host campus-wide events.
“I’m pleased to see the Power of WE is bringing the university community together to engage people with different points of view in discussions and help break down polarization in our society,” Thrasher said. “These types of events are more important than ever at a time when there is so much division in our country.”
Thrasher is expected to deliver introductory remarks at the event. A panel discussion will feature Deana Rohlinger, professor in the College of Social Sciences & Public Policy; Chrysalis Wright, professor in the College of Sciences at UCF; Jamie Grant, State of Florida CIO; Inam Sakinah, founder of Power of WE; and Liz Joyner, founder of The Village Square. Mark Zeigler, teaching professor in the College of Communication & Information at FSU, will moderate the discussion.
Following the panel discussion, attendees will be invited to participate in breakout sessions.
“With Power of WE 2.0, we hope to approach our efforts in a way that directly connects the ideas of diversity and inclusion with preserving and furthering our democracy,” said Victoria Paul, the director of Power of WE.
Now a medical student at Harvard, Sakinah worked closely with the current Power of WE leadership to reimagine the initiative during a time of unprecedented challenges to political and civic life.
“At a time when our democracy is being tested, an organization like Power of WE is more critical than ever,” Sakinah said. “Our mission has always been to equip students with the mindset and skillset of collaborating across differences to confront the shared problems our society faces.”
For more information, visit powerofwe.fsu.edu.