Award-winning author and columnist Ellis Cose will speak about current threats to our democracy and the role members of the campus community can play in combating disinformation, ignorance and assaults on voting rights when he brings his Renewing American Democracy “talk back” tour to UCLA on Feb. 28.

Students, faculty and staff will also have the opportunity to engage with Cose on some the country’s most pressing issues during the event, which runs from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Moore Hall 100 and is free and open to the public.

The presentation is co-sponsored by the UCLA Academic Advancement Program, in collaboration with UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Initiative to Study Hate and Luskin Center for History and Policy.

“We welcomed the opportunity to bring Ellis Cose to UCLA because we share his belief in the power of knowledge and historical facts to equip individuals — especially young people — to reinvigorate democracy,” said Charles Alexander, director of the Academic Advancement Program and vice provost for student diversity.

As part of his campus visit, Cose will meet with a smaller group of UCLA students March 1 to discuss where they think America is headed and what role they see for themselves in the future of American democracy. The author will incorporate student voices from this national listening tour into essays focusing on dialogue with young people.

“We are in a once-in-a-generation moment, and we will either embrace our fate as a multicultural, multiracial nation, whose strength lies in our ability to change, or we will give in to nostalgia for a past that never was,” Cose said. “Many of our leaders push back against acceptance of reality. They believe we can recreate an idealized past through sheer political will. If they succeed, democracy fails — at least for this coming generation. The stakes could not be higher.”

Following the Feb. 28 talk, Cose, who has written more than a dozen books, will sign copies of his latest work, “Race and Reckoning: From Founding Fathers to Today’s Disruptors.”