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Journey Towards Democracy: Involving Students in the Political Process A Webcast presented by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (www.aacu.org)

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Presentation on theme: "Journey Towards Democracy: Involving Students in the Political Process A Webcast presented by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (www.aacu.org)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Journey Towards Democracy: Involving Students in the Political Process A Webcast presented by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (www.aacu.org) Sept. 29, 2004

2 Association of American Colleges and Universities AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Since its founding in 1915, AAC&Us membership has grown to more than 975 accredited public and private colleges and universities of every type and size. The Center for Liberal Education and Civic Engagement seeks to deepen understandings of the relation of liberal education to service and civic responsibilities. Founded in 2003, the Center is the result of a partnership between AAC&U and Campus Compact, the nationally known organization promoting service learning.

3 Speakers and Topics Scott Keeter, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press emerging political engagement patterns among students Jennifer Bonardi, Democracy Matters student-driven political organizing as a means to practice democracy and effect change Ben Brandzel, MoveOn Student Action the use of new technologies to engage students in political issues and encourage participation in electoral processes Linda Williams,University of Maryland Panel Moderator

4 Linda Williams, Associate Professor of Government and Politics, University of Maryland Linda Williams' research interests include race, class, gender, and politics. She is one of the founding principals of The Democracy Collaborative, an international consortium founded on the premise that while democracy as theory has triumphed over its adversaries, democracy as practice faces daunting challenges. Williams is the former Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Education at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and is the recipient of the Michael Harrington Best Book Award for The Constraint of Race: Legacies of White Skin Privilege in America.

5 Scott Keeter, Associate Director, Pew Research Center for the People and the Press Dr. Scott Keeter plays a leading role in setting the overall direction for the center and guiding its research, including projects such as "The Civic and Political Health of the Nation: A Generational Portrait." He has also held numerous academic posts and has served as a political commentator and election analyst for several news organizations, including NBC News. Dr. Keeter is co-author of three books: The Diminishing Divide: Religion's Changing Role in American Politics What Americans Know about Politics and Why It Matters Uninformed Choice: The Failure of the New Presidential Nominating System

6 Jennifer Bonardi, Associate Director, Democracy Matters Jennifer Bonardi has educates and motivates youth on the topic of money in politics. Democracy Matters was founded by NBA player Adonal Foyle to give college students a voice in the pro-democracy movement and an active role in the national dialogue on campaign finance reform. Bonardi's involvement in social justice groups began as an undergraduate leader at Tufts University where she served as both the co-president of Violence Against Children Awareness and co-president of the Tufts Transgender, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Collective.

7 Ben Brandzel, Founder and Project Director, MoveOn Student Action As Founder and Project Director for MoveOn Student Action, Ben Brandzel is working with young people to make their voices heard. MoveOn Student Action is using technology to engage "ordinary citizens" (especially college students and other young people) in the political process through campaigns and petitions for progressive causes. MoveOn Student Actions builds on the work that Brandzel and Ari Rabin-Havt began with an initiative to organize students to promote micro- finance in the developing world.

8 Whats Next? Take Action. Continue the Discussion on Your Campus Use discussion questions to further explore webcast topics. Host a Debate Watch Event Join members of your community to watch the presidential debates. Participate in Organizations Dedicated to Civic Engagement AAC&U Campus Compact Project Pericles American Democracy Project

9 Whats Next? Review Online Resources. AAC&Us Resources On College Student Voting Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP) Collegevote.org

10 Whats Next? Continue the Discussion. Are political groups targeting students and younger voters this election year? How? Is this different from years past? How can changes within your institution affect the national and global political climate? In the past, student activism has played a role in eliminating campus gear manufactured in sweat shops and dismantling apartheid. What are the political issues of today and what are campus groups doing to effect change? How can web technology affect this year's election? How do specific technologies target specific populations? What are the ramifications of this kind of marketing? Does the U.S. provide fair and equal voting rights to all citizens? Do you think these groups deserve voting rights: immigrants who work and pay taxes; year olds; reformed felons? Why or why not?


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