Two Allegheny College Students Attend Debating for Democracy Conference

March 21, 2013 — Two Allegheny College students, Lee Scandinaro and Megan Bart, are among more than 60 student leaders and activists participating in the Debating for Democracy (D4D) National Conference in New York City.

The two-day conference on March 21-22 features panels and workshops with leading experts on topics including building advocacy campaigns, civic engagement, social entrepreneurship and public policy, all designed to give students the tools they need to effectively advocate for causes they are passionate about.

The D4D National 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.

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 also features a legislative hearing in which teams of students from different Periclean colleges and universities compete for $5,000 in prize money that they can use to develop advocacy and educational campaigns around their issues. Teams will present their ideas for addressing some of the most important public policy issues facing the United States to a panel of former government officials: U.S. Representative Thomas Downey, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Constance Berry Newman, Baltimore mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and U.S. Senator Harris L. Wofford.

All of the participating students wrote and sent letters to their elected officials on topics including an assault weapons ban, environmental issues, immigration reform and the Violence Against Women Act. Students use lessons from the conference to further their advocacy work.

The conference is being held at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts and is made possible through the support of the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.