A Celebration of Democracy & Civic Engagement – Aspen Ideas: Show Up Kicks Off Tonight with Media Partner NowThis

October 20, 2020

Schedule released for two-night online event beginning at 7pm ET on October 20; newly-announced participants include America Ferrera and YelloPain

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute

Aspen, CO & Washington, DC, October 20, 2020
Aspen Ideas: Show Up released the schedule for two nights of online programming to celebrate democracy and inspire people to engage in the democratic process. The participatory, nonpartisan event will be freely available to everyone, and takes place October 20-21 from 7:00pm-9:00pm ET with a combination of discussions, impactful storytelling and performances in the first hour, and interactive sessions in the second hour. NowThis, the #1 news brand on social media, is the media partner of Aspen Ideas: Show Up.

Participants can register for Aspen Ideas: Show Up at https://aspenideasshowup.splashthat.com/

The event will be co-hosted by Eric Liu, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s Citizenship and American Identity program and CEO of Citizen University, and Zinhle Essamuah, Host and Correspondent of KnowThis, a daily news show from NowThis. Speakers and participants include Chris Conley, Candace Parker, America Ferrera, Tina Tchen, Hope Solo,  Aalayah Eastmond, David Cole, YelloPain, Tania Israel, David Brooks, and Steven Olikara. Journalist moderators include NowThis’ Versha Sharma and HBO’s Jon Frankel.

Aspen Ideas Show Up will present a broad overview of the different ways to participate in a democracy, going beyond the current election cycle and the daily headlines to explore the many forms of civic engagement and the endless possibilities that open up when more people take part.

During the second hour, participants can sign up for interactive sessions consisting of workshops and seminars with pioneering activists and organizers. Topics include: advocacy lessons from the civil rights movement; how to have better arguments; coalition-building; organized youth activism; using relationships to create social change; tools of citizenship from the constitution; and a “flash seminar” on the concept of a more perfect union. The full schedule for the two nights is published below.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

  • Not Just Playing Around: Athletes Fight for Justice: NFL Jacksonville Jaguars player Chris Conley and WNBA LA Sparks player Candace Parker interviewed by HBO’s Jon Frankel.
  • Brothers Osbourne: Country Musicians Advocate for Sensible Gun Control
  • A Show Up tribute to John Lewis
  • A message from actress and activist America Ferrera.
  • Madonna Thunder Hawk: Warrior Woman, interviewed by filmmaker and historian Beth Castle.
  • The Bad Break-up Between Institutions and Young Americans: American Enterprise Institute analyst Yuval Levin and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
  • America’s Goalie Comes out of the Net for Pay Equity: US soccer star Hope Solo speaks with NowThis’ Versha Sharma.
  • Trail Breakers: Santa Barbara Psychology Professor Tania Israel on “Better Arguments”; ER Physician Alister Martin on voter empowerment in the waiting room; Parkland survivor Aallayah Eastmond on gun violence prevention; and Solidarity Strategies founder and president Chuck Rocha on engaging LatinX youth.
  • Performance by rap artist Akinyemi

Interactive Sessions

  • Advocacy Today: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement
  • Bridges That Last: Strategies for Rallying Bipartisan Coalitions
  • How to Have Better Arguments
  • Youth to Power: Your Voice and How to Use It

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

  • My Vote Don’t Count: A young rapper takes us back to school: rap artist YelloPain talks with NowThis Producer Luria Freeman.
  • Drag out the Vote: Sashay to Polls with a Pen and a Plan: with Drag Out the Vote leaders Brita Filter and Jackie Huba.
  • Guardians of Liberty: ACLU National Legal Director David Cole speaks with NowThis Senior Correspondent Versha Sharma.
  • A Show Up tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  • Catching Up with Time’s Up: Tina Tchen, CEO of Time’s Up, in conversation with NowThis’ Zinhle Essamuah
  • Showing Up for Public Service: Notes from the Field: City of San José Analyst Pablo Haake in conversation with Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield.
  • Performance by Infinity Song

Interactive Sessions

  • Flash Seminar: A More Perfect Union?
  • Social Change Moves at the Speed of Relationships
  • Tools of Citizenship from the Constitution

NowThis, the #1 news brand on social media, which reaches 70% of Americans in their 20s every month, is the media partner of Aspen Ideas: Show Up, marking their first official collaboration with the Aspen Institute. Journalists from the youth publisher will interview speakers, stream an  hour of content each evening on its wide-reaching social channels, and share highlights from the event on Twitter, Facebook, and on nowthisnews.com.

Aspen Ideas: Show Up comes from the team behind the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Aspen Institute’s signature summer event that usually takes place annually in Aspen, CO. While all physical events were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an online festival this summer captured the same spirit of curiosity and pursuit of bold, innovative, and provocative ideas. The team is also responsible for Aspen Ideas Now, an online platform created in response to COVID-19 that curates timely conversations from across Aspen Institute programming.

Editor’s Note: For permission to share content from Aspen Ideas: Show Up, please contact Jon Purves: Jon.Purves@aspeninstitute.org.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org

NowThis is the #1 mobile news brand in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, June 2020]. They have a singular mission: to make news engaging and relevant for young adults by humanizing our complicated world. By providing insightful context from a youth perspective, NowThis has revolutionized how news is consumed today. Launched in 2012, NowThis’ entertaining, inspiring and informative videos are created for a mobile generation and receive over 2.6 billion monthly views [platform analytics, June 2020]. In December 2016, NowThis joined forces with Thrillist, The Dodo and Seeker to form Group Nine Media — the #1 video publisher on mobile in the U.S. [Nielsen DCR, June 2020].

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