Event Descriptions

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Illinois AuthorsIllinois Authors

This program provides an important venue for book events and author discussions focusing on Illinois history, politics, economics, sports, and culture. It is partially funded thanks to a grant from Ameren Illinois.

Illinois Authors builds on our initiative Illinois 101, in which more than 20 prominent Illinoisans recommended histories, biographies, novels, or essays to provide a more nuanced understanding of our state. The recommendations were published as our Illinois 101 booklet.

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Meet the MayorMeet the Mayor

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute in August 2020 launched a series of virtual conversations called “Meet the Mayor.”

In this series, Institute Director John Shaw hosts discussions with mayors from different Illinois communities. They talk about the mayors' careers and the challenges and opportunities civic leaders and their constituents are facing.

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Rising Stars in Illinois PoliticsRising Stars in Illinois Politics

This series focuses on the new generation of leaders in Illinois who are already shaping the Prairie State and are poised to become increasingly influential. The Institute will host, both virtually and in person, young leaders from the Illinois General Assembly, mayors, and members of city councils, county commissions, and school boards. We will learn what kind of future they envision for Illinois—and how we can all work together to ensure “Better Politics, Smarter Government,” in Illinois.

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Understanding Our New WorldUnderstanding Our New World

These hour-long conversations with leaders in government, diplomacy, academia, philanthropy, and the military are respectful, probing, and civil — the kind of discussions that Paul Simon relished.

View the latest UONW Brochure.

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Pizza & PoliticsPizza & Politics

The place for politics on the SIU campus.

These events are open opportunities, primarily for students, to engage in a free-flowing discussion led by an expert, professor, or political/media figure. Topics range and are focused on policy issues, careers in politics, public service, or advocacy.

Pizza is provided and the events are informal. We ask attendees to register in advance.

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Past Events & Guest Speakers

The institute has been on the SIU campus since 1997. With our rich history, we have held many events and guest speakers.

Our events focus on encouraging ethical conduct in governement, opportunity and fair treatement for people in the United States and across the world, and promoting responsible citizenship for all Americans.

See past events and speakers.