Examining American Democracy Through the Lens of Place
The United States is experiencing a time of division—urban vs. rural, state vs. local, and red vs. blue. Many of these fissures are most acute within the Ten Across region, a region which features the three largest states, immense population growth, and rapidly changing demographics.
Listen in as Ten Across Executive Director, Wellington “Duke” Reiter moderates a lively discussion with esteemed observers of American democracy, James Fallows and George Sánchez, each bringing their unique observations on our current circumstance and how small towns and local communities can shine a light on a new way forward for our democracy.
Our Towns hosts panel at Rural Women Everywhere Summit
Our Towns’ Ben Speggen joined Deb Fallows to moderate a conversation, “Three Rural Women Who Inspire and Drive Rural Resilience,” with three extraordinary female leaders — Judge Joanna Tabit, Lora Whelan, and Tracy Taft — who are redefining “rural” in their communities. You can listen to their conversation here.
September 23, 2021
‘Renewal’ at All Levels — The Personal to the Global. An Urgent Conversation with Two Leaders of the Movement
The Our Towns Civic Foundation and Jefferson Educational Society present a discussion featuring two people who have thought and done most to address the emergencies of this moment.
Anne-Marie Slaughter — best-selling author, former Princeton dean and State Department senior official, CEO of New America — has written a candid and riveting brand-new book. It is called “Renewal,” and it explores the personal, institutional, political, and ethical challenges of facing failures, and opportunities.
Josh Fryday — Navy veteran, lawyer, former mayor, and now first-ever California cabinet member as the state’s Chief Service Officer. For Climate Week, he has an ambitious state model of citizen action, to scale to the national level.
Leading them in conversation is James Fallows, co-author of “Our Towns,” co-founder of Our Towns Civic Foundation, and author of “Breaking the News” on Substack.
May 03, 2021
Writers discuss state of the US in documentary ‘Our Towns’
James and Deborah Fallows join Hoda and Jenna to talk about their documentary of the month “Our Towns,” which looks at the resilience of communities across America.
March 31, 2021
‘Our Towns’ HBO Documentary Recommended by LifeSavvy
LifeSavvy’s Shea Simmons recommends Our Towns in her March 31, 2021 column. She concludes, “If you live in or come from a small town, or just enjoy documentaries on American life, you should definitely add Our Towns to your watch list.
July 10, 2020
Featured on Original Thinkers
Original Thinkers featured James and Deborah Fallows on their June 29, 2020 episode of “Original Thinkers Presents,” a series of conversations between Original Thinkers’s David Holbrook and past and future guests about what they want to see happen globally post-pandemic.
CBS This Morning featured James Fallows in a June 29, 2020 program segment reporting on the effects of the pandemic on small communities. Fallows, while acknowledging smaller towns may have a longer road to recovery, concluded on a positive note. Small towns, he reminded viewers, have been through troubling times before.
James and Deborah Fallows will be featured in the Chautauqua Institution’s June 3, 2020 ‘Watch Party’ at 10:45am EST. Originally presented at Chautauqua on July 4, 2018 as a part of the ‘American Identity’ theme, the lecture features their Our Towns travels and subsequent writing of the book.
Find the Facebook video link for the presentation here.
April 25, 2020
James & Deborah Fallows Interviewed by Jefferson Educational Society
James Fallows moderated a discussion at the CityLab DC summit on global cities on October 28, 2019. The discussion, with Sidewalk Labs’ Head of Urban Systems, Rohit Aggarwala, General Manager of LADOT, Seleta Reynolds, and the City of Amsterdam’s Lead Public Tech, Aik van Eemeren, focused on the kinds of practical, financial, and ethical issues that arise in the smart city process and what tools leaders have available to make smart decisions. The 7th annual two-day conference in Washington, D.C. is organized by The Aspen Institute,The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies and brings together city leaders from around the world, along with renowned experts, to explore the challenges facing global urban centers through a diverse series of panel discussions, keynotes, workshops, and field trips.
Watch the video here, the Our Towns segment begins at minute 8:00.
February 24, 2019
Featured on C-SPAN at National Governors Association Conference
James and Deborah Fallows were featured panelists at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting on Feb. 23, joining former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzger and Richard Haas, former State Dept. Policy Director and President of the Council on Foreign Relations. The Fallowses’ examples of innovation across America on jobs, education, and training provided specific success stories for the session, focused on NGA Chair and Governor of Montana Steve Bullock’s initiative “Good Jobs for All Americans.”
C-SPAN carried the discussion live, watch the recording here.
February 01, 2019
Announced as Inaugural Guests on PBS’ ‘Innovating the Future’
Arizona PBS announced James and Deborah Fallows as the inaugural guests on the new program ‘Innovating the Future.’ Hosted by New America CEO Ann-Marie Slaughter on Friday evenings at 7:30pm starting February 8, the show will delve into ways education, sports, innovations, and open dialogue can be used to shape a better community, country, and world. The Fallowses’ Our Towns book serves as, “an inspiration for the show, shining a light on the Americans working to rebuild their communities.”
Other guests for the 19-episode season include New York Times columnist David Brooks, retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, among others.
November 08, 2018
Video from National Conference on Citizenship
On October 17 and 18, more than 300 people attended the 2018 National Conference on Citizenship in Washington, D.C. James and Deborah Fallows gave the keynote address of the gathering described as, “an amazing two days that saw passionate conversations, enriching speakers, and excitement booming from attendees.”
Watch videos that capture the best moments of the conference, including the Fallowses’, here.
September 26, 2018
Highlights from Orton Foundation Webinar
Five years ago, James and Deborah Fallows, writers for The Atlantic magazine began travelling to small cities and towns across the country. The Fallows captured lessons from their travels in a recent book, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America. They joined Orton Family Foundation for a webinar on August 30th to discuss the common themes they discovered in towns that are revitalizing.