Conversations for the Common Good

Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania presents “Conversations for the Common Good,” taking place on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in Carver Hall, Kenneth S. Gross Auditorium. “Conversations” is a civil discourse, civic engagement, and interdisciplinary event to promote dialogue that unites and bridges political and social divides featuring keynote speakers Lata Nott, Dave Janoski, Kara Schultz, and Joar Dahn. Event co-sponsor, WVIA-TV, will record the event for broadcast at a later date.

Focusing on the First Amendment

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. It prohibits any laws that establish a national religion, impede the free exercise of religion, abridge the freedom of speech, infringe upon the freedom of the press, interfere with the right to peaceably assemble, or prohibit citizens from petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted into the Bill of Rights in 1791.

The Supreme Court interprets the extent of the protection afforded to these rights. The First Amendment has been interpreted by the Court as applying to the entire federal government even though it is only expressly applicable to Congress. Furthermore, the Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment as protecting the rights in the First Amendment from interference by state governments.

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Featured Speakers

Johr Dahn

Johr Dahn is president of the Community Government Association at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He is a senior political science major. Mr. Dahn was elected CGA president in April 2017 and serves as the organization’s chief executive officer. He is responsible for supervising the CGA-owned University store, Honeysuckle Student Apartments and the organization’s employees and professional staff. A Board of Governors Scholar, he also serves as the president of the Class of 2019 and the African Student Association at Bloomsburg. As CGA president, Dahn developed the initiative, “Beyond the Fountain,” a day of dialogue in February, 2018 among residents of Bloomsburg and students about the issue of racism in the community.

He also is a member of the Bloomsburg University Foundation, where he was involved in organizing and recruiting donors for the “It’s Personal” campaign, which raised more than $61 million to support the university. He has received numerous awards and honors while a student at Bloomsburg, including the Bloomsburg University Legacy of Leadership award and the International Student Association Award of Excellence. Mr. Dahn is from Darby, Pennsylvania

David A. Janoski

Dave Janoski is managing editor of The Citizens’ Voice and oversees the newspaper’s reporters, photographers and editors. He is a Penn State graduate, with a BA in journalism.

He has been an editor and reporter in the Wilkes-Barre market since 1984, beginning at the Times Leader. He joined the Voice in 2007 as projects editor and led the paper’s coverage of the kids-for-cash scandal. He has been a court reporter, city desk editor, and editorial page editor. Since 2013, he has been the managing editor at The Citizens’ Voice. Mr. Janoski has won numerous statewide journalism awards for investigative reporting and editorial writing. Among these was a national Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial writing in 2009.

He was the Voice’s lead reporter on the Luzerne County kids-for-cash investigation, which sent to judges to federal prison for taking kickbacks in connection with juvenile detention placements. He was an editor in the Knight-Ridder Washington Bureau when that chain owned the Times Leader, during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and Hurrican Katrina in 2005.

A native of Luzerne, he resides in Dallas Township.

Contact:, 570-821-2178

Lata Nott

Lata Nott is executive director of the Freedom Forum Institute’s First Amendment Center, which has offices at the Newseum, in Washington, D.C.; and at the John Seigenthaler Center, on the Vanderbilt University campus, in Nashville, Tenn.

Nott formerly was the assistant director of admissions at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she implemented strategies to increase diversity, promote the scholarship program for high-need students, and integrate technology into the Law Center’s recruitment efforts.

Prior to that, she was a litigator in New York City at the law firms of Proskauer Rose and Chadbourne & Parke. In addition to her commercial litigation practice, she maintained an active pro-bono practice focused on asylum cases, and developed a proficiency in legal issues surrounding the Internet, data privacy, and cybersecurity, frequently contributing to Chadbourne & Parke’s technology law blog. She graduated from the University of California, Davis, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a Bachelor of Arts in international relations. She earned her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 2010. At Columbia, she was a staff editor on the Human Rights Law Review and chair of the South Asian Law Students Association. She remains an active member of the New York Bar and the American Bar Association.


Kara Shultz

Kara Shultz (Ph.D. University of Denver, 1991) is a faculty member and chairperson of Communication Studies at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She is committed to encouraging civic engagement in community life and regularly teaches courses in the Leadership and Public Advocacy Area such as Communication and Civic Life and Community Leadership. Dr. Shultz and her colleague were recently selected to participate in the Kettering Institute Exchange program and are currently working to build a Center for Public Deliberation at Bloomsburg University. Dr. Shultz serves as the Student Success Campus Coordinator training faculty advisors on EAB Campus Software as part of a university retention initiative. Dr. Shultz has published essays on the rhetoric of persons with disabilities appearing in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, The Howard Journal of Communications and in the edited volumes Conflict and Diversity and Handbook of Communication and People with Disabilities. She has co-edited an undergraduate textbook on Introduction to Communication: Translating Scholarship into Meaningful Practice (2012). Dr. Shultz also studies environmental and food rhetoric. She has published an essay in The Rhetoric of Food, taught a seminar on Communication and Food, and each spring her Event Planning class organizes the campus-wide Bloomsburg University Earth Day celebration.