Let’s Talk Purple | Nov 6 @ 2:30pm


Bob Garfield, media critic and veteran journalist

Location: School of Communication and Media (SCM) Presentation Hall, Montclair State University

Meet (and interrogate!) broadcast legend Bob Garfield, whose Purple Project for Democracy will be all around us in for the entire month of November.  Purple—which Bob has spearheaded to crown his 40-year journalistic career in print, TV, magazines, books and especially radio—is a campaign and a movement to reintroduce Americans to the processes, institutions and values of our Democracy. Why him? Why now? Be a part of this critical conversation. MSU students can earn colloquium credit for attending this event

During the month of November 2019, the C+MRC will participate in the awareness campaign for the Purple Project for Democracy, a non-partisan coalition, campaign and movement to rediscover and recommit to democratic values and institutions in American society.  The Purple Project is compelled, in part, by the following data points:

  • According to the 2010-14 World Values Survey, 23 percent of Americans age 29 and younger say democracy is a “fairly bad” or “very bad” way to run the country.
  • The 2018 Democracy Project survey asked 1,400 adults about the importance of democracy to American society. Only 39 percent of respondents age 29 and younger said it was “absolutely important.”
  • According to a 2017 Democracy Fund survey of 5,000 voters, 24 percent of the public said rule by “a strong leader who does not have to bother with Congress and elections” is a “very good” or “fairly good” way to run a country; 18 percent said the same about “army rule.”

Purple Project co-founder Bob Garfield (a veteran journalist, media critic and co-host of On the Media) explained in the July 2019 issue of Columbia Journalism Review:

At its heart, Purple is a branding campaign, creating a banner under which every slice of society—including 100-some nonprofits who have attacked the same problem for decades—can join arms in shared purpose. . . . democracy is drowning right in front of us. Are we to stand by and merely observe? No. Grab a life preserver. Now. And swim.

The aim of the Purple Project is to immerse Americans of every age and stripe in content that educates, illuminates, dramatizes, demythologizes, and promotes the core values and institutions of democracy. Civic engagement can occur in a myriad of ways—”from canvassing for political candidates, to testifying at the school board, to volunteering at the library, to serving on a jury, to running for Congress, to just plain voting.”

Today, friends no longer let friends drive drunk. In a Purple society, friends won’t let friends opt out.

To find out more about Purple and its coalition of participants, go to and follow on social media: @JoinWeThePurple 

Professor and C+MRC Director Dr. Vanessa E. Greenwood serves as an education advisor to the Purple Project for Democracy.  More details about C+MRC participation in the Purple Project will be forthcoming.