ProCon.org Events



Thursday Oct. 19, 2017 10:00am-12:00pm
Credo Annual Offsite Meeting
Cambridge Innovation Center (Cambridge, MA)

ProCon.org CEO Kamy Akhavan serves on a panel discussion about the importance of nonpartisan reference materials in libraries and the challenge of curation. Panel organized by content partner Credo Reference, a reference website that advances information literacy.




Monday Oct. 23, 2017 10:45am-12:00pm
Organizing and Curation Face-to-Face
California State University Channel Islands (Oxnard, CA)

ProCon.org CEO Kamy Akhavan speaks to Professor Catharine Reznicek’s students taking "COMP 110 – Computer Literacy for Educators" at Cal State Channel Islands about critical thinking, civic engagement, and ProCon.org in the context of library curation.




Saturday Oct. 28, 2017 11:30am-12:10pm
Bridge the Divide Converge Conference
Marlborough School (Los Angeles, CA)

ProCon.org Researcher Natalie Leppard will speak to members of the nonpartisan political high school and college student organization, Bridge the Divide, on how to use ProCon.org to accomplish one of the organization’s stated goals: "to use the power of discussion and the spirit of political entrepreneurship to celebrate political diversity and stamp out intolerance."




Monday Nov. 27, 2017 9:30am-11:30am
Career Trajectories
DaVinci High School (Hawthorne, CA)

ProCon.org CEO Kamy Akhavan and ProCon.org Director Development Jeanne Ringe speak to high school students in Rob Allen’s "College and Career Readiness" class about job options and career paths.








Prior Events


Tuesday Oct. 3, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at USC: Discussing the Issues
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
Housing in LA: Densification, Gentrification, and Why the Rent Is Too Damn High (Week 4 of 4)
USC Ground Zero Coffeeshop

This nonpartisan debate series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Richard Close – attorney at Gilchrist & Rutter; President of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association; Commissioner of the Local Agency Formation Commissions for "Yes on S - End Development Control"
  • Christine Rangel – Director of Government Affairs for Los Angeles/Ventura Chapter of the Building Industry Association of Southern California
  • Sudha Reddy – Managing Principal, Haven Realty Capital, LLC
  • John P. Wilson – USC Professor of Sociology and Spatial Sciences; Director of USC Spatial Sciences Institute and Geographic Information Science & Technology Graduate Programs
  • Bob Shrum – presidential campaign manager for John Kerry (2004) and Al Gore (2000); Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC; columnist for The Week, Slate, and many other publications





Monday Oct. 2, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at The Pier: The Return of Civil Discourse
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
Housing in LA: Densification, Gentrification, and Why the Rent Is Too Damn High (Week 4 of 4)
West end of the Santa Monica Pier

This nonpartisan debate series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Jill Stewart – former Managing Editor of LA Weekly; campaign manager for "Yes on S" 2016 ballot measure
  • Gary Toebben – President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Dana Cuff – Director of cityLAB-UCLA; Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA





Tuesday Sep. 26, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at USC: Discussing the Issues
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
Public Education: Is It Broken? If So, How Can We Fix It? (Week 3 of 4)
USC Ground Zero Coffeeshop

This nonpartisan discussion series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Nick Melvoin – Member-Elect of LAUSD Board of Education; attorney, former seventh and eighth grades English teacher; director of Camp Harmony
  • Micah Ali – President of Compton Unified School District; former President of the Los Angeles Schools Trustees Association; former Compton Personnel Commissioner
  • Jason Spencer – Principal Advisor to the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Howard Blume – Education reporter for the Los Angeles Times; co-host of Deadline: LA on KPFK





Monday Sep. 25, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at The Pier: The Return of Civil Discourse
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
Public Education: Is It Broken? If So, How Can We Fix It? (Week 3 of 4)
West end of the Santa Monica Pier

This nonpartisan debate series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Nick Melvoin – Member-Elect of LAUSD Board of Education; attorney, former seventh and eighth grades English teacher; director of Camp Harmony
  • Jason Spencer – Principal Advisor to the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Maureen Langan – former PBS and Bloomberg TV journalist; Host of a weekly radio show for ABC; Comic





Tuesday Sep. 19, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at USC: Discussing the Issues
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
America’s Shrinking Middle Class: How to Bring It Back? (Week 2 of 4)
USC Ground Zero Coffee Shop

This nonpartisan discussion series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight’s feature includes:

  • Brian Calle – Vice President of Opinion for the Southern California News Group; English Instructor at Chapman University; Editor-in-Chief of CalWatchdog.com; published in Forbes, Bloomberg News, Fox News, and many other media outlets
  • Mike Gatto – former 4-time California Assemblyman; candidate for California State Treasurer; former lawyer with O'Melveny & Meyers and Mayer Brown LLP; founding partner of Actium LLP law firm
  • Silvia Barcellos – Economist at the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California; former Professor of Economics at RAND corporation
  • David Hadley – former California Assemblyman; former Los Angeles Republican party chairman; founder of Hadley Partners Inc
  • Alex Cohen - KPCC host of NPR's Morning Edition former producer and director for NPR's Weekly Edition and All Things Considered; former afternoon host and reporter for Pasadena's KPCC "All Things Considered"





Monday Sep. 18, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at The Pier: The Return of Civil Discourse
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
America's Shrinking Middle Class: How to Bring It Back? (Week 2 of 4)
West end of the Santa Monica Pier

This nonpartisan debate series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Brian Calle – Vice President of Opinion for the Southern California News Group; English Instructor at Chapman University; Editor-in-Chief of CalWatchdog.com; published in Forbes, Bloomberg News, Fox News, and many other media outlets
  • Joseph Sanberg – Co-founder and Chair of Aspiration.com; Founder of CalEITC4Me; founding investor in Blue Apron and board member for companies such as Bright Funds and IVY.com
  • Alex Cohen– KPCC host of NPR's Morning Edition former producer and director for NPR's Weekly Edition and All Things Considered; former afternoon host and reporter for Pasadena's KPCC "All Things Considered"





Tuesday Sep. 12, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at USC: Discussing the Issues
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
Electoral Reform: Does Your Vote Really Matter? (Week 1 of 4)
USC Ground Zero Coffee Shop

This nonpartisan debate series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes:

  • Ralph Neas - former CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; former CEO of People For the American Way; and Senate Republican legislative director who left the Republican Party in 1996
  • Pete Peterson - Dean of Pepperdine University's School of Public policy; 2014 Republican nominee for California Secretary of State; former Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership
  • Trevor Potter - former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission; former general counsel to Senator John McCain's Presidential campaigns and President George H.W. Bush 1988 campaign, and lawyer for late night host Stephen Colbert and his Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow Super PAC, and currently President of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington DC nonprofit working to protect and improve our democracy
  • Leslee Sherrill - former Vice President at ABC News, former publicist for Diane Sawyer; former White House staffer
  • Bob Shrum - presidential campaign manager for John Kerry (2004) and Al Gore (2000); Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC; columnist for The Week, Slate, and many other publications





Monday Sep. 11, 2017 6:00pm-7:15pm
PRO/CON at The Pier: The Return of Civil Discourse
Arthur N. Rupe Debate Series in LA
Electoral Reform: Does Your Vote Really Matter? (Week 1 of 4)
West end of the Santa Monica Pier

This nonpartisan debate series is designed to stimulate critical thinking and civil discussion on current issues. ProCon.org and USC supply prominent experts from both sides of the issue and a neutral moderator to facilitate the conversation. Watch VIPs from politics, academia, and the celebrity world prove that people can disagree without being disagreeable. Tonight's feature includes (in alphabetical order):

  • Ralph Neas - former CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; former CEO of People For the American Way; and Senate Republican legislative director who left the Republican Party in 1996
  • Pete Peterson - Dean of Pepperdine University's School of Public policy; 2014 Republican nominee for California Secretary of State; former Executive Director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership
  • Trevor Potter - former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission; former general counsel to Senator John McCain's Presidential campaigns and President George H.W. Bush 1988 campaign, and lawyer for late night host Stephen Colbert and his Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow Super PAC, and currently President of the Campaign Legal Center, a Washington DC nonprofit working to protect and improve our democracy





Saturday Sep. 9, 2017 8:00am-3:00pm
13th Annual Constitution Day Conference
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

ProCon.org CEO Kamy Akhavan will speak on "How Political Opinions Are Formed, Changed, and Empowered: Saving Democracy through Critical Thinking" from 1:30pm to 2:20pm in the Discovery Center Classroom. Focusing on grades 7-12, Kamy will explore strategies for understanding political opinions, overcoming confirmation bias, having respectful debates, and using critical thinking to stoke civic engagement and save our democracy. ProCon.org exists to counter trends in confirmation bias and its contribution to increasing partisanship, echo chambers, filter bubbles, legislative gridlock, the lack of civil discourse in public spaces, and even the anxiety associated with Thanksgiving conversations.






Sunday July 30, 2017 4:00pm-5:00pm
ProCon.org Presents: Building Beliefs - How We Form Our Political Views
Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center


ProCon.org CEO, Kamy Akhavan, will be moderating a panel discussion with (in alphabetical order):

  • Amie Parnes - Senior White House Correspondent for The Hill; author of New York Times #1 bestseller Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign
  • John Phillips - CNN political commentator; host of The Drive Home on LA’s KABC 790; Columnist for Orange County Register
  • Shermichael Singleton - CNN commentator; Republican political consultant; fired as Deputy Chief of Staff at Dept. of Housing and Urban Development for criticizing President Trump
  • Lesley Stahl - veteran 60 Minutes correspondent; one of America’s most honored and experienced broadcast journalists; former moderator of Face the Nation
  • and maybe some surprise guests.
  • For tickets please visit https://politicon.com





Tuesday July 25, 2017 2:00pm-4:00pm
Critical Thinking Seminar on Social Media at UCLA with Junior State of America
UCLA, De Neve Plaza, Room B

ProCon.org presents its 9th annual critical thinking seminar to high school students attending the Junior State of America's "2017 Gene Burd Institute on L.A. Media and Politics" at UCLA. The seminar will focus on the pros and cons of social media.