Does America Need a Tahrir Square?

by Gregory Rodriguez

Maidan Square in Kiev. Taksim Square in Istanbul. Tahrir Square in Cairo. Recent democratic movements around the globe have risen, or crashed and burned, on the hard pavement of vast urban public squares. The media largely has focused on the role of social media technology in these movements. But too few observers have considered the significance of the empty public spaces themselves.»


  • April 30, 2014, 7:00pm

    Will Obamacare Fail Fresno?


    In Fresno County, approximately 200,000 people did not have health insurance before Obamacare. But the county is struggling to enroll people in the new exchanges. Why has Fresno been so challenging for Obamacare, and what can communities and local governments do to make it easier for people to receive these new benefits? Will newly insured people who have never had health insurance be able to get the care they need? Fresno County department of social services deputy director Deborah Martinez, Centro La Familia executive director Margarita Rocha, and Clinica Sierra Vista deputy chief of programs Kevin Hamilton visit Zócalo to discuss whether Fresno will be able to complete this transition to Obamacare, or whether the region could be left behind by this historic change in healthcare.

  • May 7, 2014, 7:30pm

    What Does Southern California Need From the 710 Freeway?


    The 710 is one of the most important freeways in Southern California. It’s also shorter than originally planned: For nearly 50 years, legal and environmental challenges have stalled the freeway in Alhambra, 4.5 miles short of its intended destination, Pasadena. Over the decades, discussions about extending the freeway have cast its future as a local issue. But the 710 causes traffic, produces pollution, and affects commerce across Los Angeles and even beyond. UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies director Brian Taylor, Clean Tech Advocates senior advisor and former California Environment Secretary Linda S. Adams, L.A. Chamber of Commerce president Gary Toebben, and Southern California Association of Governments executive director Hasan Ikhrata visit Zócalo to discuss what the 710 means for all of us.



The Center for Social Cohesion, a project of Arizona State University in partnership with the New America Foundation, is dedicated to studying the forces that shape our sense of social unity.

Wholly non-partisan, pluralistic and multidisciplinary in outlook, the Center for Social Cohesion seeks to promote understanding of how diverse societies cohere. Globalization, immigration and the fragmentation of media have increased the urgency of questions surrounding national identity, citizenship, political discourse and the fraying social contract. It’s time to devise new strategies and public policies to foster healthy civic engagement locally, encourage robust integration nationally and explore the meaning of citizenship and community globally.

To that end, the Center for Social Cohesion fosters discourse and supports research on the ever-shifting balance between the pluribus and the unum in American society.