Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion, Washington University in St. Louis
John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches criminal law, law and religion, and various First Amendment seminars. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related questions of legal and political theory. He is the author of Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly (Yale University Press, 2012) and Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Inazu has written broadly for mainstream audiences in publications including USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post.
Inazu holds a B.S.E. and J.D. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He clerked for Judge Roger L. Wollman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and served for four years as an associate general counsel with the Department of the Air Force at the Pentagon.
Political polarization and division seems to be deepening in the United States. While America has always valued pluralism, American society continues to face structural challenges in dealing with deeply different viewpoints, values, and perspectives among its citizens. This plenary will explore the roots of — and solutions to — deep division, the implications for philanthropy, and examples in which funders have worked across differences in pursuit of shared goals. Questions to be explored include: What is the role of philanthropy in bridging divides? How does political division impede the pursuit of philanthropic goals? What is to be done?