6 USN Evening Classes everyone should take

This slate of USN Evening Classes offers a chance to expand our knowledge of what is required of us to be engaged citizens in 2021.
By Anna Cramer, USNA Co-President

Wednesday, January 20 as I sat watching the inaugural celebration, one scene captivated me in particular — former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton gathered together in a video to acknowledge, discuss, and celebrate the peaceful transfer of power. As a part of this most elite club, Obama turned to the camera to address President Joe Biden directly, “We will be available in any way that we can as citizens to help you guide our country forward.” While this trio has a foundation of knowledge as former presidents that is unique to their citizenship, I am a citizen just as they are, and I must confront what is required of me as a citizen to move our country forward.

The slate of USN Evening Classes just released offers an educational opportunity for me to learn and grow in my knowledge of citizenship. Join me — there’s a lot to learn from the astonishing star power of intellect of the parents and friends of USN who are volunteering their time to teach. And, all the funds raised go to the USN endowment for need-based financial aid, a worthwhile cause as the school educates those who will eventually take the reins of leadership as citizens of our country.  

101: Opioid Addiction and How to Make a Difference: A Frank Conversation with Megan Barry
Join Megan Barry, advocate and USN alumni parent, to discuss and explore how shame and guilt impact our ability to address the exploding addiction and opioid crisis. Substance abuse carries a stigma that can cripple a family's capacity to effectively address the issue. Megan will share her personal story and experience, but beyond that, will give participants specific actions they can take immediately to help combat the crisis including instructions on how to obtain and carry NARCAN.

102: David E. Lewis on Preparing for a Biden Presidency: The Transition and First 100 Days
This class will describe how the President is preparing to become chief executive during the period between Election Day and the Inauguration. What are the key tasks? What are the main pitfalls? How will he try and make his mark in the first 100 days?

103: So Now What? Racial Justice and Solidarity in a Time of Pandemic and Political Chaos With Tim Wise
Scholar, antiracism educator, and USN parent Tim Wise will help attendees explore how they as individuals, and we as a society, can move forward on an agenda of racial equity and justice in these dangerous and difficult times. Attendees will examine strategies for addressing systemic racism in their personal and professional lives, and within the institutions where they operate, as well as strategies for creating long-term coalitions for social change. 

104: COVID-19 and the Criminal Legal System With Lucian Dervan
COVID-19 has disrupted every facet of daily life, including our courts. As we grow into our new reality, we have opportunities to revise basic systems. Join USN parent, Belmont Law Professor, and Chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section Lucian Dervan for a thoughtful look at the pandemic’s effect on the criminal justice system. With his strong background in criminal law, Dervan will explore how COVID-19 has impacted the courts and how it could change criminal justice forever.

105: Greg Downs on Refighting the Civil War: The Battle over Monuments and Public Art of the Civil War and Emancipation
Since 2015, and especially since the murder of George Floyd, many statues have come down; others have been repurposed through public art; others remain at the center of public controversy and debate. Professor of History at UC Davis, author, and USN alumnus Gregory Downs '89 leads this class on some of the major fights over memorials to the Civil War, and through the enormous gap in memorials to emancipation and to Black participation in the war and the death of slavery.

107: Election 2020: What Just Happened and What Comes Next!? A View From the 2020 NBC News Decision Desk With Josh Clinton
Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science, Senior Election Analyst for NBC News, and USN parent Josh Clinton talks politics from a data-driven perspective — trends, polls, results, and more. After an overview of the 2020 election and polls, Josh will lead discussion about the elections’ impact on the next four years, and beyond.
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