Donna Brazile Speaks to California University of Pennsylvania Students about Civic Responsibility
By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project
“Just left Cal U in Pennsylvania. Lots of good discussion on the news of the day, public service and the need for more civility in politics,” tweeted Donna Brazile after a visit to ADP chapter California University of Pennsylvania in mid-April. Brazile, an author, syndicated columnist and TV political commentator, headlined a Cal U conference focused on environmental responsibility and civic engagement.
A veteran Democratic political strategist and a native of New Orleans, Brazile is passionate about two issues: encouraging young people to participate in the political process and promoting the economic and environmental recovery of her storm-ravaged hometown. She effectively conveyed this passion to the faculty members and students who heard her speak.
Her keynote address at the conference, Civic Responsibility: People, Policy and Politics, took place on April 12th.
Collins lecture was titled “Green Chemistry: On the Responsibility of Chemists to Advance Science with Human Health and the Environment Clearly in Mind.”
Rounding out the conference were the following panel discussions:
- A panel of Cal U professors addressing “Civic Responsibility: Where Is the Leadership?”
- A panel led by David Marks, energy consultant to Allegheny County Council, examining “Environmental Challenges: Louisiana and Pennsylvania.”
The conference was organized by Cal U’s chapter of the American Democracy Project, a multi-campus initiative focused on higher education’s role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens. Sponsors for the panel discussions included the Linda and Harry Serene Leadership Institute and the Leadership Studies program at Cal U.
I am pleased to see Cal U take a day to focus on the environment. Many young people cite the environment as a key area of political concern. Hosting an event like this conference is an excellent way to activate student passion and turn this passion into action that builds civic skills.