Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Blog

By Johara Hall

2012 Summer Intern

Over 1,200 young people from across the country gathered at the Marriott Wardman Park in Woodley Park to attend the 8th annual Campus Progress National Conference. The event was organized by Campus Progress, a national organization that through youth programs in activism and journalism works to promote progressive change to key political and social concerns. In a two-day conference, a diverse group of participants were trained on how to make their voices heard and push for progressive policy outcomes. The first day consisted of multiple training sessions while the second  day began with a morning plenary in which Chief of Staff to President Obama, Jack Lew, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and others including spoken word artist Kelly Zen-Tie Tsai delivered speeches on the importance of youth political activism. 

The large group then broke off to sets of morning panels that included key topics of interest such as the environment, higher education, economy, national security, and women’s rights. The national security panel entitled “Global Security in a Progressive Age” discussed change occurring all around the world, and particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. They addressed questions such as, “What exactly does this change mean for democracy in the future?” and “How will this affect economic development and human prosperity?” Participants were given the opportunity to provide comments and ask questions.

The afternoon program consisted of issue discussions, an award plenary, and tabling. Various organizations such as Students for Liberty, the Guttmacher Institute, J Street, and the Arab American Institute set up tables and shared information with participants on how to get involved in different causes and promote progressive change. The Arab American Institute provided its visitors with fact sheets, congressional scorecards, demographic information on Arab Americans, and of course, information on our Yalla Vote initiative.

Tabling was followed by an afternoon session of breakout panels in which issues of immigration, the LGBTQ community, voter suppression, labor, and citizen journalism were all discussed. The eventful day culminated with an afternoon plenary in which Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), U.S. Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, and actress Robin Wright provided the group of young progressives with words of encouragement and support.

For more information on Campus Progress, click here.

To participate in a Campus Progress training session, click here

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