Khizr Khan will speak at the Englert Theater as part of the Green Room series.
The topic of democracy has become more pronounced as the nature of the institution — at least in its American context — seems imperiled. Khizr Khan, born in Pakistan but resident in America since 1980, embodies much of what democracy in its best sense means.
He has an immigrant’s appreciation of the law and the virtues of American society that those born here sometimes forget. He speaks from a perspective that has remained a familiar part of American life: that of a grieving parent who lost a son in the service of his country. Finally, he speaks as someone aware of the importance of the necessity of criticism in a flourishing democratic society — as the world recognized, when he spoke against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, a topic that has continued to evolve to include the recent controversies over DACA and “the Dreamers.”
His talk, “Status of Our Democracy and Civil Liberties Today,” is sure to address our contemporary political climate through criticisms that reflect a patriotic passion for democracy. See Khan speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Englert, following a special performance by Iris DeMent.
The Green Room is an innovative educational experience that invites the community to sit in on a series of six speakers selected by Univ. of Iowa Professor Dave Gould for his honors students. Each night’s class features a local non-profit and a nationally renowned speaker, with time for conversation geared toward improving the Iowa City community as a whole. The series will be livestreamed by Little Village Mag on Facebook Aug. 28, Sept. 11, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.