2018 Socrates Summer Seminar: Illegal Is Not a Noun

What is a Socrates Seminar Weekend?

Socrates Seminar Weekends bring over 100 emerging leaders together for roundtable discussion, networking, professional development, and excursions in Aspen, Colorado. The Socrates Program provides a non-partisan forum for emerging leaders from various professions to convene and explore contemporary issues through expert-moderated dialogue. Past moderators and speakers include Madeleine Albright, Barack Obama, John McCain, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Wolf Blitzer, and Nouriel Roubini. Recent seminar topics include big data, impact investing and social entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, American values, China-U.S. relations, the sharing economy, and many other headlining issues.

What will I do at a Socrates Seminar Weekend?

The weekend begins with an opening reception on Friday evening, and concludes Monday afternoon following the final seminar session. The weekend program consists of three four-hour seminar sessions with free time and activities each afternoon. You can view the Summer Seminars Weekend agenda here.

Where is it held?

The Socrates Summer Seminars are held at the Aspen Institute campus in Aspen, Colorado.

How much does it cost?

The seminar tuition is $2,000. Scholarships are available by application.

What is the seminar about?

Illegal Is Not a Noun
The term illegal, to refer to a human being, has become commonplace in the United States of America. Nobel Peace Prize winner and survivor of the holocaust Elie Wiesel famously said, “there is no such thing as an illegal human being.” Wiesel pointed out that the first thing the Nazis did was to declare Jews an illegal people. It was the first step in dehumanizing them and taking away their rights. If this term has become so commonplace in the United States, what are the actual impacts and consequences in our country? What is the treatment of so-called “illegal” people in our country today? Do they receive due process and equal treatment? While it may seem that this is a conversation only for those affected by immigration, in fact, this is a broader national conversation about who we are as a country and the labels we put on the people living among us.

Moderator: Maria Hinojosa, Host of National Public Radio’s Latino USA

If you have any questions, please contact Socrates Program Coordinator Katie Bauman at katie.bauman@aspeninstitute.org or 202-721-5589.