Programming at the Jefferson Educational Society

The Jefferson Educational Society offers different programs during the Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall terms. Some of the past and current programs include the Global Summit, Metro 100, Brock Institute Lectures, Community Conversations, Jefferson Satellite programs, and other special programs.

Programming has been a cornerstone of the Jefferson Educational Society since its beginning. From the launch of the annual Global Summit, which itself grew from a two-and-half day series to one spread over six weeks, to the total of annual events to over 100, to the launch of the Satellite Programming initiative throughout Erie County, to the more than 200 digital programs livestreamed and broadcasted to the public during the pandemic and ongoing, JES programming continues to expand in an effort to make our events more accessible to the community in new ways.

2023 Spring Term Programs


Camille Busette 2021

"The Power of Policy Reform to Address Racial Justice in Erie", with Dr. Camille Busette 

Global Summit XIII, November 2021


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 Latest News in JES Programming


President's Day 2023

Posted on February 20th, 2023 at 12:46 PM

President's Day 2023


Book Notes: Reading in the Time of Coronavirus - Who Was George Washington?

By JES Scholar-in-Residence, Andrew Roth, Ph.D.

What could be controversial about George Washington? Well, you might be surprised. The recently issued 1776 Project Report [1] describes him as a peerless hero of American freedom while the San Francisco Board of Education just erased his name from school buildings because he was a slave owner and had, shall we say, a troubled relationship with native Americans...

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By JES Brock Institute Director, Rev. Charles Brock, M.Litt.

Drawing from his extensive research on U.S. presidents, Rev. Charles Brock focuses on President Abraham Lincoln's ability to unify Americans in a time of crisis and turmoil. Brock argues that we need another Lincoln today – badly. We need to reconcile our acute political differences. Noting that churches often cooperate now compared to when they certainly didn't before 1900, he asks if America could do the same in politics? For the future of the United States, he hopes we can.

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Jefferson Analysis: George W. Bush Remarks on 9/11 and 1/6 Enlighten the National Conversation

By JES Brock Institute Director, Rev. Charles Brock, M.Litt. 

Former President George W. Bush gave some major remarks on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Pennsylvania, where one of the attack planes was foiled by brave patriots and crashed to the ground rather than the intended U.S. Capitol building. Bush attempted to give comfort, but he also showed deep concern about how America has been breaking bad in the past few years.

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Michael L. Coulter, Ph.D. & Caleb Verbois, Ph.D.

February 2020

In the aftermath of the 2016 election Republicans controlled more federal and state office than at any point since the 1920s. Four years later, Trump was the first President since Herbert Hoover to lose the White House, the Senate, and the House in just one term. The party turned winning into losing in record time. The aftermath has left the Republicans with deep internal divisions and, combined with the fact that the Republicans have only one the presidential popular vote once in the last 38 years, substantial external challenges. How can the Republican Party keep and grow its coalition to potentially win back the White House in 2024? And how might these debates impact the party at the state and local level?

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Book Notes: Reading in the Time of Coronavirus - Trump Meets Beowulf 

By JES Scholar-in-Residence, Andrew Roth, Ph.D.

This is not a trick question: “What does Donald Trump share with Beowulf?” The answer is “more than you might think, but not enough,” none of which is particularly flattering to Der Trumpster.

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Lena Surzhko-Harned, Ph.D.

June 2021

In the last few years, the relationship between the US and Russia have hit the lowest point since the end of the Cold War. While other US presidents attempted to "reset" these relations or find ways to "get along with Russia," the Biden administration seeks to reach 'predictable strategic stability'. Did the Geneva Summit yield the desired results? What is the future of the Russia-US relations?

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JES Scholar-in-Residence, Andrew Roth, Ph.D. and JES Brock Institute Director, Rev. Charles Brock, M.Litt. 

January 2021

What roles do presidential inaugural addresses play in how we – as in, We, The People – see America and how we tell the story of America? What does it mean to have a shift in the narrator-in-chief? Join JES Scholar-in-Residence Dr. Andrew Roth and Charles Brock, Director of the Brock Institute, who have been researching and writing about the American Dream and American Story for years, as they unpack Biden's speech and its impact in conversation with JES Vice President Ben Speggen.

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Book Notes: Reading in the Time of Coronavirus - President Biden's Inaugural Address and What We Share

By JES Scholar-in-Residence, Andrew Roth, Ph.D. 

Well, how did Joe do? I call him “Joe” because President Biden seems to be a down-to-earth guy to the extent anyone with sufficient ego to seek the presidency of the United States can be “down-to-earth". Regardless, he seems to understand it’s not all about him. He seems to understand it’s about us.

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