July 6, 2008

John Edwards to address 1000 young people at 2008 Campus Progress Conference

For Immediate Release
July 1, 2008

John Neurohr, 202.481.8182

Washington, D.C. – Former Senator John Edwards, Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling, U.S. Representatives Linda Sànchez and Keith Ellison, and civil rights leader Julian Bond are among the speakers who will address the fourth annual Campus Progress National Conference on Tuesday, July 8, 2008, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The annual Campus Progress conference has become a central hub for organizing by young progressives. With record youth turnout in the 2008 primaries, and with young people strongly oriented toward progressive views on the issues, this year’s conference will address the goal of transforming youth voting into sustained youth power and positive change. “Young people have been taken for granted by the political system for too long,” said Annika Carlson, 23, the conference coordinator for Campus Progress. “We are voting and organizing, and now we need to take the next steps to hold our leaders accountable and press for change on all the key issues, from the economy to civil rights, global warming to the war in Iraq.”

Edwards’ keynote address will discuss the challenge of reducing poverty, while Gosling and activist John Prendergast will participate in a panel on mass atrocities in Africa. A conference plenary panel, “What’s Next? Transforming youth voting into youth power,” will include Robert “Biko” Baker of the League of Young Voters, Maria Terésa Petersen of Voto Latino, and conservative commentator Amanda Carpenter. The 2008 conference also will include performances by musician Ted Leo, rapper M1, and spoken word poet Paul Flores; and panels addressing environmental organizing, global human rights, U.S. civil rights, LGBT issues, hip hop and politics, and reproductive justice.

Past keynote speakers at the Campus Progress conference were Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi.

The Campus Progress National Conference is flanked by other events. On July 7, Campus Progress teams with the United States Students Association and Student PIRGs for a Grassroots Training Day. On the evening of July 7, Campus Progress and HBO present an advance screening of the new HBO Iraq war series “Generation Kill,” from David Simon and Ed Burns, the team behind “The Wire.” On July 9, Campus Progress and The Nation magazine hold their annual Youth Journalism Conference, with speakers including Seymour Hersh, Katrina vanden Heuvel, and Asra Nomani. Also on July 9, Campus Progress Action, the partner advocacy organization of Campus Progress, teams with PIRGs and the Energy Action Coalition for Capitol Hill lobbying on economic issues and on climate change.

If interested in covering the conference, please contact John Neurohr at jneurohr@americanprogress.org.

Campus Progress, part of the Center for American Progress, works to help young people — advocates, activists, journalists, artists — make their voices heard on issues that matter. Through an online magazine and student publications, public events, multimedia projects, and grassroots issue campaigns, Campus Progress acts to empower new progressive leaders nationwide as they develop fresh ideas, communicate in new ways, push policy outcomes in a progressive direction, and build a strong progressive movement.

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