Social entrepreneur Wes Moore, left, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Ju...Social entrepreneur Wes Moore, left, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and Judge Douglas Ginsburg are three of 11 guests taking part in the 2020 COA Champlain Institute.

The 2020 Champlain Institute explores a range of perspectives on some of the most important topics of the election season, with speakers including “Call Me American” author Abdi Nor Iftin, Heritage Foundation president Kay James, New York Times food editor Sam Sifton, and Senior Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg

“We are at a truly historic moment in time, and the rapid pace at which events are unfolding can sometimes overwhelm our ability to gain sufficient perspective,” said Abdi Nor IftinAbdi Nor Iftin Credit: Michael LionstarCOA President Darron Collins ’92. “What excites me about each and every speaker this year is their expertise and their ability to step back, synthesize, and contextualize the important issues of our day to provide some of that broader perspective.”

In accordance with Governor Mills’ recent guidelines and the prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people for the summer months, College of the Atlantic will be offering all 11 thought-provoking sessions in a virtual environment. Participants will receive information on how to view the sessions when they register for the free series.

Institute topics through the week include immigration, addressing national threats and emergencies, how to unite the United States, extremism in the 21st century, structural racism, and constitutional rights such as freedom of speech, the Second Amendment, and civil rights — all of which could be at play during the upcoming elections.

Speakers include Judge Douglas Ginsburg who recently completed a three-part series on the Constitution for PBS; Jasmine El-Gamal, a non-resident senior fellow with the Middle East program at the Atlantic Council; returning speaker Ted Kay Coles JamesKay Coles JamesWidmer, author of “Lincoln on the Verge”; Nathaniel Fogg, former Deputy Chief Operating Officer at FEMA; author, radio journalist, refugee advocate, interpreter, and author Abdi Nor Iftin; Josh Silver, founder of the nonpartisan group RepresentUs: Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Frances FitzGerald, author of “The Evangelicals”; Roxana Robinson, author, activist and environmentalist; Kay C. James, founder of The Gloucester Institute and head of the Heritage Foundation; Wes Moore, CEO of the anti-poverty group Robin Hood and author of “The Other Wes Moore” and the new “Five Days”; and special guest U.S. Senator George Mitchell. View the full lineup of speakers and interlocutors!

“We look forward to bringing our intellectual community together in stimulating conversation, but safely for all — whether audience members are in Seal Harbor or Santa Fe,” said Champlain Institute organizer and COA Dean of Institutional Advancement Lynn Boulger.

The 2020 COA Champlain Institute opens with Clinton on Monday, July 27, at 5 p.m. and closes Friday, July 31. Learn more.