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Beyond Left & Right: Democracy in the 21st Century

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WATCH RECORDING: 37th Annual Frank Church Conference AM Session including Nina Jankowicz

WATCH RECORDING: 37th Annual Frank Church Conference Afternoon Keynote


Thank you to all who participated in this event!


The Frank Church Conference is an annual fall event hosted by the Frank Church Institute, its Board of Directors, and the School of Public Service at Boise State University. The 2022 conference, “Beyond Left and Right: Democracy in the 21st Century,” marks the 37th iteration of this event, which began in 1983. Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, the 2020 and 2021 conferences were canceled.

As a U.S. Senator from Idaho from 1957 — 1981, Frank Church made a mark passing legislation and developing bipartisan relationships to foster responsible American foreign policy; protect national wilderness; and defend individual citizens from encroaching state surveillance due to growing domestic agencies including the CIA. It is in this spirit that the Frank Church conference has continued. Each year, conference organizers invite the public to gather for a day to discuss vexing problems facing the American public sphere, and to encounter new ideas from policy experts, academics, and individuals who work in government at both the state and national level. A major objective is to build relationships among people who think in diverse ways about public life, and to encourage new forms of democratic engagement at the local, state, and national levels.

The conference takes place in the Student Union Building on the Boise State campus. In the past, it has convened high school, college, and graduate students; activists and practitioners in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors; scholars and educators; businesspeople; and more. The agenda usually includes a keynote address, several panel discussions, and breakout activities for the large group.

The conference is free to attend, with an optional lunch for $50.


Beyond Left and Right Conference Schedule

Thursday October 6, 2022
8:30amLand AcknowledgementJessica James, M.A, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, Tribal Youth Education Program Manager
8:35 -
8:45 am
Frank Church Conference IntroductionDr. Angie Bos, Dean of the School of Public Service
8:45 - 9:00 amOpening RemarksDr. Sam Martin, Frank and Bethine Church Endowed Chair of Public Affairs
9:00 - 9:45 amPanel One: Grassroots Engagement: Taking Action at Every Level Moderator: Dr. Stephanie Witt
Panelists: Former Idaho Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Idaho Representative Chris Mathias, Co-founder of Reclaim Idaho Dr. Luke Mayville, President, League of Women Voters of Idaho, Betsy McBride, Youth Activist and Boise Schools Trustee Shiva Rajbhandari
9:55 - 10:55 amKeynote Speaker: How to (Really) Lose the Information War: Perspectives from at Home and AbroadNina Jankowicz - Vice President, Center for Information Resilience; Author and Researcher
11:10 - 11:55 amPanel Two: A Wider Perspective: Global Conversations and Free MediaModerator: Dr. Angie Bos
Panelists: Idaho State University Associate Professor Dr. Zac Gershberg, Deputy National Outreach Director of United States Global Leadership Coalition Luke Wenz, Boise State University Associate Professor Dr. Nisha Bellinger
12:00 - 1:15 pmLuncheon: Why We Should Start Talking About Religion and PoliticsDr. Sam Martin - Frank and Bethine Church Endowed Chair of Public Affairs
1:15pm - 1:20pmReturn to Simplot Ballroom
Address by ASBSU and Release to Breakouts
ASBSU President Adam Jones
1:20 - 2:30 pm Small Group Breakouts
1 - How to start and maintain grassroots activism.
2 - Working within the system - government jobs and you.
3 - How to use free media for positive change.
Learn from the Experts
1. Dr. Luke Mayville, Shiva Rajbhandari, Betsy McBride

2. Sec. Ben Ysursa, Rep. Chris Mathias, Luke Wenz (USGLC)

3. Nina Jankowicz and Dr. Zac Gershberg

If you have questions or are interested in sponsoring this year’s conference, please email