INconversation with James and Deborah Fallows: Muncie

Join Indiana Humanities and New America Indianapolis for an INconversation with James and Deborah Fallows on March 18 at the Ball State University Alumni Center in Muncie. The Fallowses will share stories of community revitalization as part of the Our Towns: Indiana Toursupported by Ruoff Home Mortgage.

The Fallowses, authors of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America, will join Ball State University President Geoffrey S. Mearns for a conversation about what thriving towns and cities have in common, who’s trying new ideas that work and how Hoosiers are working through differences to solve local problems.

The challenges of our cities and small towns are big—and often similar: What does the future of work look like? How can we keep talented young people from moving away? What new businesses will liven that empty block? How do we make our community welcoming to newcomers? Are our public schools good enough? How do we ensure our differences don’t keep us from tackling shared obstacles? In addition to Muncie, we’re taking the conversation to three other stops along the I-69 corridor—Angola, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis—where committed, creative and practical-minded people are finding surprising solutions to these and other tough questions.

The Our Towns: Indiana Tour is the kickoff event for Indiana Humanities’ new thematic initiative, INseparable, which invites Hoosiers to explore how we relate to each other across boundaries, real or imagined, and consider what it will take to indeed be inseparable, in all the ways that matter. Like New America Indianapolis, Indiana Humanities believes that greater connectivity will improve our neighborhoods, communities and state.

Where: Ball State University Alumni Center

When: 6:30-8 p.m. | Doors open at 6 p.m. A book-signing reception, including book sales, will follow the event.

RSVP: Registration is encouraged but not required. Seating is first come, first served.

About James and Deborah Fallows

James Fallows has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic for more than 35 years. He is the author of 12 books and is the recipient of a National Book Award, a National Magazine Award and a documentary Emmy. He studied American history and literature at Harvard, studied economics at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and worked for two years in the White House as President Jimmy Carter's chief speechwriter.

Deborah Fallows is a linguist and a writer who holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics. She is the author of two previous books and has written for many publications, including The Atlantic, National Geographic, Slate, The New York Times and Washington Monthly. Most recently, she was a senior research fellow at the Pew Research Center.

About Geoffrey Mearns

Geoffrey S. Mearns became the 17th president of Ball State University in May 2017. Under President Mearns’ leadership, the University has developed a new strategic plan. Destination 2040: Our Flight Path was approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2018. The plan provides a strategic framework for the University, with five long-term goals and a set of imperatives to be executed by 2024.

President Mearns is committed to advancing the University’s relationship with the community. At his installation in September 2017, he launched the “Better Together” initiative. A highlight of this enhanced support for Muncie is the University’s partnership with Muncie Community Schools.

This event is free and open to the public, though advance registration is requested. Doors open 30 minutes prior to start time, and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

About INseparable

We’re all in this together. Whether due to real or perceived differences, Americans see each other differently depending on whether they live in rural, suburban or urban communities. The conclusion drawn from the near-constant polling, media commentary and academic analysis of the past two years is that America is a nation culturally divided by geography. In 2019 and 2020, Indiana Humanities invites Hoosiers to dig into these divides, exploring how Hoosiers relate to each other across boundaries and considering what it will take to indeed be inseparable, in all the ways that matter.

About Indiana Humanities

Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage Hoosiers to think, read and talk. www.IndianaHumanities.org

About New America Indianapolis

New America Indianapolis introduces local innovators to New America's community and connects locally-generated and our work as a research institute, technology lab, solutions network, media hub, and public forum. This year, New America celebrates 20 years of creating and incubating the next big ideas that address some of the nation's and the world’s toughest problems. We are thinkers, researchers, problem-solvers, and storytellers, united by our goal to hold our nation to its highest ideals while confronting the challenges and seizing the opportunities created by rapid technological and social change. https://www.newamerica.org/indianapolis/

About Ball State University

Founded in 1918 and located in Muncie, Ball State is one of Indiana’s signature universities and an economic driver for the state. Ball State’s nearly 22,000 students come from all over Indiana, the nation, and the world, and its 780-acre campus is large enough to accommodate premier facilities and 19 NCAA Division I sports but small enough to ensure the friendliness, personal attention, and access that are the hallmarks of the University. www.bsu.edu

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