On April 26, 2013, the Distinguished Panel of the Inclusive America Project met for the second time at the Aspen Institute’s headquarters in Washington, DC. During the morning session, IAP co-chairs David Gergen and Madeleine Albright led the panel in a plenary discussion about current areas of social tension around religion. Topics included the significant increases in religious and ethnic diversity projected by 2050, the historic highs in the number of religiously unaffiliated young adults reported by recent survey data, the link between political polarization and religious polarization, the potential for the internet to be used to spread positive messages or hate speech and extremist rhetoric, and the implications of the Boston Marathon bombing for IAP.
After lunch, Notre Dame professor David E. Campbell gave a presentation on his recent research on American religious minority groups. This was followed by a two-and-a-half hour working session during which the panelists split up into subcommittees to finalize their policy recommendations. IAP Co-Chairs Albright and Gergen closed the convening with a plenary discussion of these recommendations and future action steps for each of the five subcommittees.