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Two Hendrix students to attend national conference for advocates

Posted: February 25, 2013 - 5:34pm

Hendrix freshmen Sean Alexander and Robert Taylor are among the 60 student leaders and activists who will participate in the Debating for Democracy National Conference March 21 and 22 at Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City, according to a news release.

The two-day conference features panels and workshops with leading experts on topics including building advocacy campaigns, civic engagement, social entrepreneurship and public policy. The conference is designed to give students tools they need to be advocates.

The conference is sponsored by Project Pericles, a consortium of 29 colleges and universities committed to including social responsibility and participatory citizenship as essential elements of their educational programs. The event is supported by the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.

All participating students wrote and sent letters to their elected officials on topics including the Assault Weapons Ban, Environmental Issues, Immigration Reform and the Violence Against Women Act. Students use lessons from the conference to further their advocacy work.

Rajeev Goyal, author of “The Springs of Namje: A Ten-Year Journey from the Villages of Nepal to the Halls of Congress” and director of “Push for Peace Corps,” will deliver the keynote address.

The conference features a legislative hearing in which teams of students compete for $5,000 in prize money to develop advocacy and educational campaigns. Teams will present their ideas for addressing some of the most important public policy issues facing the U.S. to a panel of former government officials: U.S. Rep. Thomas Downey; U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Berry Newman; Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke; and U.S. Sen. Harris L. Wofford.

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