Institute for Advancing American Values

The Institute for Advancing American Values encourages conversation between multiple viewpoints to spur engagement, understanding, and human connection.

Through dialogue, research and education, the Institute for Advancing American Values inspires us to talk and listen to each other respectfully about the issues and values that have shaped America and Americans from all walks of life. Institute activities will include public events, research, and educational programming exploring how the values of freedom, opportunity, democracy, free expression and other values have shaped the triumphs and challenges of American life and history.

Operating as usual

02/23/2024

Meet Veronica Yellowhair, a Native American from the Dine' (Navajo) tribe, majoring in writing, rhetoric and technical communication at Boise State University.

Though her personal experience as a Women’s Fancy Shawl dancer, and her powwow research, Veronica is able to impart wisdom and leadership in her role as director of the Seven Arrows Powwow, a signature Boise State University event held on campus each spring.

🎧 LISTEN NOW 🎧 to the newest episode of Get a (Student) Life and save the date for the 31st Seven Arrows Powwow, set for March 30 and 31, 2024.

🎧 boi.st/BroncoPod
🪶

Photos from Boise State University's post 11/15/2023

Boise State Listens was a moving event. Thank you to the student speakers and the audience for being there.

Photos from Boise State University's post 11/13/2023

Coeur d'Alene was a beautiful setting for this beautiful experience. We extend gratitude to each courageous speaker and each intent audience member. Please join us at Boise State Listens on Nov. 14.

Photos from Boise State University's post 11/10/2023

Happy Veterans Day to our veterans. We owe you a debt of gratitude, but more than that, we owe you our freedom.

Photos from Albertsons Library's post 11/10/2023
Photos from Boise State University's post 10/24/2023

Thanks to our amazing guest speakers, Cornel West and Robert George, for this engaging discussion, and to such a wonderful audience. We appreciate your support.

10/04/2023

"Saying 'yes' to human rights is the best way to say 'no' to prejudice." - Bill Wassmuth

Isaac Castellano, a clinical associate professor in Boise State School of Public Service and associate director of the Institute for Advancing American Values, and Anthony Ellertson, clinical professor and founding director of the College Arts and Sciences’ Games, Interactive Media and Mobile technology program, in partnership with the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, secured a Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention grant from the Department of Homeland Security to create digital teaching tools for human rights education in Idaho classrooms.

Underserved rural communities, in particular, will greatly benefit from the project as the technology can be easily deployed at no cost to teachers or home-schooled students.

📰: https://boi.st/3ZscrrB

04/26/2023

This truly was an honor. Thank you, Governor Brad Little.

Governor Brad Little recently met with university representatives to declare April 20, 2023 Idaho Listens Day. His proclamation reads:

“Whereas, the exchange of different viewpoints is fundamental to public life and self-government; and

Whereas, universities have a responsibility to encourage the free exchange of ideas; and

Whereas, listening to our community builds an Idaho connection and understanding; and

Whereas, listening respects the right to free expression; and

Whereas, listening to our fellow Idahoans should be something we do each day; and

Whereas, creating opportunities for Idahoans from all over the state to articulate what they value and how we will drive our state forward,

now, therefore, I, Brad Little, Governor of the State of Idaho, do herby proclaim April 20, 2023, to be Idaho Listens Day in Idaho,

and I encourage Idaho citizens to recognize this special observance.”

The Institute for Advancing American Values project 'Idaho Listens,' which is sponsored by a generous donor and in partnership with Idaho Public Television, presents the opportunity for audiences to listen to speakers from a cross-section of backgrounds, occupations and experiences, who live different values and perspectives about the central issues of the state and current events.

03/28/2023

It is an honor to be welcomed into the ACTA - American Council of Trustees and Alumni Oases of Excellence network.

“Oases of Excellence are outstanding programs at colleges and universities that are dedicated to educating students for informed citizenship in a free society by maintaining the highest academic standards, introducing students to the best of the foundational arts and sciences, teaching American heritage and ensuring free inquiry into a range of intellectual viewpoints,” the council’s website said.

Institutions from Ohio, Oklahoma and Florida were also recognized and the network now includes over 80 programs nationally.

The Institute for Advancing American Values promotes open dialogue from multiple viewpoints about fundamental issues that have shaped America. The institute hosts Idaho Listens, a podcast for students and members of the public, as well as panel discussions and the Distinguished Lecture Series.

“The Institute for Advancing American Values is dedicated to a fundamental appreciation of people and their values to spur engagement, understanding and human connection even as we may disagree with each other,” said Director Andrew Finstuen. “This commitment energizes Boise State University as a place of open inquiry and critical thought, and it reflects ACTA’s pledge to ‘safeguard the free exchange of ideas’ on campuses across the country.”

Read more on the American Council of Trustees and Alumni website: https://www.goacta.org/2023/03/four-university-programs-newly-honored-as-oases-of-excellence-by-acta/

03/22/2023

Last fall, eleven ordinary Idahoans shared stories about their lives and values, and the audience had to agree to listen silently, without interruption, without questions, without cheers or jeers. IdahoPTV documented the Idaho Listens project, and what the Idaho “listeners” took away from the project.

The Idaho Listens documentary airs on Idaho Public Television Friday, March 24, at 8:30 PM. It will be available for streaming at video.idahoptv.org and through the PBS app.

03/19/2023

The Americans and the Holocaust exhibit launches this Wednesday with an opening reception on Monday, March 27, 5-7 p.m.

The public is encouraged to attend to gain a deeper understanding of Americans’ sentiments and actions during this period, to pay tribute to the victims and survivors, and to reflect on the importance of promoting tolerance, understanding, and respect for all people. The exhibit provides a valuable opportunity to learn from the past and work toward a better future.

Albertsons Library at Boise State University is among 50 public and academic libraries in the country that will host “Americans and the Holocaust.” The traveling exhibition from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association will be open to the public during regular operating hours from March 22 to April 26, 2023, on the first floor of the library.

The exhibition examines Americans’ responses to refugees, war and genocide in the 1930s and ’40s. It challenges common assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the N**i persecution and murder of Jews during the war. “Americans and the Holocaust” tells the stories of Americans who did take action — in some cases at great personal risk.

Albertsons Library will host an opening reception with special guests Dr. Marlene Tromp, president of Boise State, Tod Colgrove, dean of the library, and Rabbi Daniel Fink of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel (CABI), from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, March 27.

The reception and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

Learn more about the exhibition and plan your visit: boi.st/HolocaustExhibition.

03/16/2023

Join Idaho Public Television for a free early screening of their new documentary "Idaho Listens," at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 20 in the Lincoln Auditorium at the Idaho State Capitol, followed by a panel discussion moderated by former State Senator and U.S. Attorney Bart Davis.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged. Visit idahoptv.org/civics to learn more and reserve your spot today.

Idaho Listens will air at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, March 24 and can be streamed anytime on the free PBS app following the television broadcast.

Idaho Listens is a partnership between Boise State University, Institute for Advancing American Values and Idaho Public Television, with philanthropic support from Greg Carr.

03/01/2023

Boise State University has been chosen by Heterodox Academy (HxA) to be an inaugural member of their newly-founded HxA Campus Community Network.

HxA is the world’s largest nonpartisan nonprofit member organization committed to improving research and education by promoting the ideals of viewpoint diversity, open inquiry and constructive disagreement. The HxA membership is made up of more than 5,400 faculty, staff and students who come from a range of institutions – from large research universities to community colleges. They represent nearly every discipline and are distributed throughout 49 states and across the globe.

The HxA Campus Community Network aims to influence campus culture and institutional practices by activating and empowering members to promote HxA ideals. Boise State is one of 23 campuses chosen among the initial cohort. Other campuses include Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley.

All member institutions went through a selective process, including interviews with HxA leadership, before being chosen. According to HxA President John Tomasi, “Boise State University stood out to us as a great example of how interdisciplinary scholars with diverse viewpoints can come together to build something new. Boise State’s co-chairs show tremendous promise to build a thriving campus community, and have already demonstrated HxA’s values through their campus work. We can’t wait to see their contributions in this new capacity.”

The co-chairs of the HxA Campus Community at Boise State are Nafees Alam, assistant professor in the Boise State School of Social Work; Don Plumlee, associate professor of Boise State Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Department and associate dean of Boise State College of Engineering; and Matt Recla, associate director of University Foundations.

The Institute for Advancing American Values and Boise State’s HxA Campus Community invite university faculty to a welcome event on March 9 at the Alumni and Friends Center, where they will briefly share ongoing events and share plans for exciting endeavors involving the university and community. Hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments will be provided.

Read more at: https://www.boisestate.edu/news/2023/03/01/boise-state-selected-by-heterodox-academy-campus-community-network/

Photos from Albertsons Library's post 03/01/2023

Albertsons Library is recruiting volunteer docents for the upcoming Americans and the Holocaust exhibition.

02/28/2023

The spring 2023 Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Arthur C. Brooks is scheduled for Thursday, March 2, at 7 p.m. in The Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.

Boise State University faculty are asked to consider offering extra credit to students and/or encourage students to attend through announcements in class.

Arthur Brooks' talk will explore how people can more successfully bridge differences with those whom they disagree, and align with the goals and programming of the Institute for Advancing American Values. This year, The Institute is asking academic units to engage in a different way with the DLS by participating in a Day of Dialogue:

Albertsons Library
Thursday, March 2, 4 – 6 p.m.
Event Title: Escape Disinformation: An Interactive Investigation
Where: Boise Public Library, Main Branch 715 S Capitol Blvd, Marion Bingham Room

Boise State University Anthropology Department
Wednesday, March 1, 1:30 – 2:45 p.m.
Event Title: Addressing theoretical debates in research design in Anthropology
Where: Math Building Room 126

Boise State University College of Business & Economics, Department of Economics
Wednesday, March 1, 6 – 8 p.m.
Event Title: Zoning: how land-use regulation affects us (roundtable discussion)
Where: Farnsworth Room, Student Union

Boise State University History Department – Event 1
Wednesday, March 1, 12 – 1 p.m.
Event Title: Uncomfortable Histories
Where: Albertsons Library, History Department Conference Room 194

Department of History – Event 2
Thursday, March 2, 12 – 1 p.m.
Event Title: Beyond the Historian Stereotype
Where: Albertsons Library, History Department Conference Room 194

Boise State Sociology Department
Thursday, March 2, 3 p.m.
Event Title: Choosing love and happiness – structural questions
Where: ILC 404

Boise State Department of World Languages
Thursday, March 2, 5 – 6 p.m.
Event Title: Non-binary Pronouns in the Language Classroom: International Perspectives
Where: SUB, Boyington Room

Boise State School of Public and Population Health – Event 1
Tuesday, February 28, 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m. and
Thursday, March 2, 3:45 – 5 p.m.
Event Title: What Does Health Equity Mean to You?
Where: Bishop Barnwell Room

School of Public and Population Health – Event 2
Thursday, March 2, 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Event Title: Listening Across Our Differences: What does health equity mean to you?
Where: Health Science Riverside Building 211

Boise State School of Public Service
Thursday, March 2, 1:30 p.m.
Event Title: Civility in Public Service (panel discussion)
Where: SUB, Bishop Barnwell Room

Albertsons Library has kindly developed a Distinguished Lectures guide as an aide to the campus as we prepare for speakers who visit as a part of this series: https://guides.boisestate.edu/distinguished

02/09/2023

The Institute for Advancing American Values, in partnership with Boise State Honors College, sponsors and presents Boise State University's Distinguished Lecture Series. Twice a year, the series brings eminent speakers to Boise State from the realm of politics, academics and humanitarian activism to promote the discussion of important issues.

The next lecture will be at 7 p.m. on March 2, 2023 in the Morrison Center and features professor and author Arthur C. Brooks. The discussion is titled “Love Your Enemies.” This event is free and open to the public.

“America is afflicted with a 𝘤𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘵” Brooks said. As it is increasingly common for people to view those who disagree with them as worthless, instead of just misguided or incorrect, Brooks sees this as fomented by an “outrage industrial complex” in media and politics. Through ancient wisdom and cutting-edge behavioral science, Brooks provides a roadmap to the prosperity that comes when we choose to love one another – gaining strength from our differences.

Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School, where he teaches courses on leadership, happiness and social entrepreneurship. He is also a contributor to The Atlantic, where he writes the popular “How to Build a Life” column. He is the author of 12 books, including the 2022 #1 New York Times bestseller “From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life.” He speaks to audiences all around the world about human happiness, and works to raise well-being within private companies, universities, public agencies, and community organizations.

No tickets required to attend.

🔗 https://boi.st/DLSBrooks

01/26/2023

The Institute for Advancing American Values invites Boise State University faculty to submit research proposals, ranging from public-facing scholarship to peer-reviewed research, focused on the values of freedom, opportunity, democracy, free expression and/or other enduring political, economic and social values. The Institute encourages conversation between multiple viewpoints to spur engagement, understanding and human connection.

Successful proposed projects will investigate multiple viewpoints, provide original insight, advance new knowledge or angles of analysis and gather relevant data to answer a clear research question. Supporting these projects furthers Boise State’s mission as a growing research university, an endeavor dedicated to academic freedom, and study of different ideas in service of knowledge and critical thought.

The maximum award available is $4,000 ($5,000 if engaging an undergraduate student or graduate assistant) and submissions are due by March 10, 2023.

A multidisciplinary team will review all submissions on the basis of project clarity of research question, feasibility, impact, connection to the mission of the Institute, and potential for dissemination.

A full description of the grant is available on our website: https://www.boisestate.edu/americanvalues/faculty-research-opportunities/

Albertsons Library to host Americans and the Holocaust exhibit 11/09/2022

SAVE THE DATE for the Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition – touring 50 public and university libraries, including a monthlong stay at Albertsons Library on the Boise State campus, from March 22 through April 26, 2023.

The exhibit hopes to challenge people to not only ask “what would I have done?” but also, “what will I do?”

The Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition addresses important themes in American history, including Americans’ responses to refugees, war and genocide in the 1930s and ‘40s. This exhibition will challenge the commonly held assumptions that Americans knew little and did nothing about the N**i persecution and murder of Jews as the Holocaust unfolded.

This 1,100-square-foot traveling exhibition is based on the exhibition that opened in April 2018 at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Albertsons Library to host Americans and the Holocaust exhibit Albertsons Library was one of 50 U.S. libraries selected in 2019 to host Americans and...

Photos from Institute for Advancing American Values's post 09/26/2022

Thank you to our speakers of courage who shared their values from differing perspectives; thank you to our audience who listened with generosity. Special thanks to Greg Carr for sponsoring and inspiring the event.

https://www.boisestate.edu/americanvalues/idaho-listens/

Idaho Listens 2020 09/26/2022

Thank you to our speakers of courage who shared their values from differing perspectives; thank you to our audience who listened with generosity.

Special thanks to Greg Carr for sponsoring and inspiring the event. And thank you to Idaho Public Television, our Idaho Listens media partner.

Watch and share the recording from the event: https://youtu.be/_gTyePCfzds

boisestate.edu/americanvalues

Thank you to our speakers of courage who shared their values from differing perspectives; thank you to our audience who listened with generosity. Special thanks to Greg Carr for sponsoring and inspiring the event.

https://www.boisestate.edu/americanvalues/idaho-listens/

02/22/2022

Boise State President Dr. Marlene Tromp and Honors College Dean Dr. Andrew Finstuen discuss the Institute for Advancing American Values: a new project focusing on creating dialogues between people with opposing viewpoints on campus.

Institute for Advancing American Values 02/22/2022

Boise State University’s Institute for Advancing American Values encourages conversation between multiple viewpoints to spur engagement, understanding, and human connection.

The Institute invites Boise State faculty to submit research proposals – ranging from public-facing scholarship to peer-reviewed research – focused on the values of freedom, opportunity, democracy, free expression and/or other enduring political, economic, and social values. In the best tradition of faculty research, projects will investigate multiple viewpoints, provide original insight, advance new knowledge or angles of analysis, and gather relevant data to answer a clear research question. By supporting such projects, the Institute will add energy to Boise State’s mission as a growing research university, an endeavor dedicated to academic freedom, and study of different ideas in service of knowledge and critical thought.

The submission deadline is March 1, 2022. The maximum award is $4,000 ($5,000 if engaging an undergraduate or graduate assistant). Learn more at boisestate.edu/americanvalues.

Institute for Advancing American Values Through dialogue, research and education, the Institute inspires us to talk and listen to each other respectfully about the issues and values that have shaped America and Americans from all walks of life.

Boise State To Launch 'Institute For Advancing American Values' After Legislative Pushback 02/21/2022

“We invite people to learn and grow. We are going to model a healthy dialogue on our campus between all those voices for the benefit of our state.” – Marlene Tromp, President of Boise State University

Via Boise State Public Radio

Boise State To Launch 'Institute For Advancing American Values' After Legislative Pushback This year, Boise State University faced calls from Idaho lawmakers to cut millions of dollars of state funding over allegations it indoctrinates students with leftist values.The school is responding by establishing the Institute for Advancing American Values.

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