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Social Capital Summit

United States Capitol

Event Details

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Dirksen Senate Office Building
50 Constitution Avenue Northeast
Washington, DC 20002

For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu, or call 310.506.7490 

Join the School of Public Policy in Washington, DC, as the American Project hosts "The Social Capital Summit" in the United States Capitol.

An afternoon of panels and speakers will outline both the challenges and opportunities for applying what we've called a "conservatism of connection" to specific policy prescriptions.

Americans agree that our democracy is threatened by a profound polarization in our politics. They do not agree on what we can do to solve this at a systemic level. Three years ago, a group of center-right activists, thought leaders and academics began gathering to better diagnose the problem and offer solutions. Dubbed the "American Project," this unique academic/activist initiative is based at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy.

Though coming from a variety of backgrounds, the central argument of the "Project" is that a robust communitarian conservatism is essential to responding to this era known for its "loneliness" and alienation. But what does this historical/philosophical discussion mean for actual policymakers?

Join leading thinkers in American life offer concrete solutions to build back trust in America. Discover what conservative policies can best solve this crisis.


12:00 PM - CHECK-IN

12:15 PM - WELCOME & INTRODUCTION: What is the American Project?




  • Mike Lee, United States Senator, Utah

1:00 PM - PANEL: America's "Loneliness" Problem and the Challenge to Social Capital


  • Timothy P.  Carney, Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Warren Farrell, Author, The Boy Crisis
  • Laura A. Maristany, Associate Director, Governance Program, Democracy Fund
  • Joshua Mitchell, Professor of Political Theory, Georgetown University


  • Pete Peterson, Dean, Pepperdine School of Public Policy

2:15 PM - PANEL: Can Government Build Back Social Capital?


  • Vanessa Brown Calder, Senior Policy Advisor, United States Congress Joint Economic Committee
  • Lanhee J. Chen, David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow, Hoover Institution 
  • Ryan Streeter, Director of Domestic Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
  • Scott Winship, Executive Director, Social Capital Project, United States Congress Joint Economic Committee


  • Cherie Harder, President, The Trinity Forum 

3:30 PM - PANEL: Today's Social Capital Builders and Their Policy Needs


  • Daniel Garza, President, The LIBRE Initiative
  • Anne Snyder, Editor-in-Chief, Comment Magazine
  • John Wood Jr.,  Director of Media Development, Better Angels
  • Robert L. Woodson, Founder and President, Woodson Center


  • Richard Tafel, Co-Founder, The American Project 

4:40 PM- CLOSING: Next Steps for a "Conservatism of Connection"


  • Pete Peterson, Dean, Pepperdine School of Public Policy 
  • Richard Tafel, Co-Founder, The American Project

5:00 PM - RECEPTION: The Alibi

237 2nd St NW Washington, DC 20001
Appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages provided. Cash bar available.