Periclean Student Delegates Inspire at the 2019 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ National Conference
Read the full Spring 2019 Newsletter.
Over the course of three days in March, 57 student leaders and activists from 24 Periclean campuses gathered in New York City for the D4D National Conference, hosted by Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School in the Theresa Lang Community and Student Center. Students engaged in deep and meaningful dialogue among themselves and with panelists, as they expressed their concerns, hopes, and plans for the future.
See the links for the conference agenda, biographies, and Letters to an Elected Official Program.
D4D Letters to an Elected Official Competition and Legislative Hearing
The D4D Legislative Hearing is a highlight of the conference. We were thrilled to receive so many high-quality letters as part of the D4D Letters to an Elected Official Competition. Prior to the conference, a panel of judges selected the top five letters submitted by student teams from Periclean campuses. Written to the students' elected officials, the letters proposed innovative solutions to issues including education access, the environment, immigration, mass incarceration, and universal health care.
The finalist teams, Macalester College, Pitzer College, Swarthmore College, Ursinus College, and Whitman College, presented at the Legislative Hearing discussing their policy proposals with a panel of former government officials: Constance Berry Newman, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Martha Kanter, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education; and Ruth Messinger, former Manhattan Borough President.
It was such a privilege to join you once again for the D4D legislative hearing. I was amazed at the quality of the written materials and oral arguments from such young undergraduates.... It was evident how valuable the experience was for the students and their families, as well as the reviewers, board members, and philanthropists in the audience. ˗ Martha Kanter
The teams did an exceptional job defending their positions and, for the first time, we had a tie. The judges awarded the top prize to both Pitzer College and Whitman College.
The three finalist teams and their letters are:
Macalester College ,"A Letter Proposing Alternate Accountability Measures for Elder Care Abuse in the Older and Vulnerable Adults Rights and Protection Act of 2018 (S.F. 3088), which would Reward Assisted Living Facilities for Taking Proactive Steps to Prevent Elder Abuse"
To Minnesota State Senator Karin Housley (R)
By Fiona Adams ('20) and Kai Akimoto ('22)
Swarthmore College , "A Letter in Support of Driving 100% of Public School Funding through Governor Tom Wolf's Fair Funding Formula (H.B. 1552)"
To Pennsylvania State Representative Leanne Krueger Braneky (D)
By Zoe Jannuzi ('22) and Gabriella Vetter ('22)
Ursinus College , "A Letter in Support of the HER Act (H.R.671) to Address the Impact of the Global Gag Rule on the Delivery of International Health Care"
To Representative Anthony Brown (D-MD)
By Sophie Auerbach ('21), Samantha Hayslett ('19), and Abigail Peabody ('22) (Presented by Sophie Auerbach and Abigail Peabody)
Whitman College is our newest Periclean and this is the first time that they participated in the D4D National Conference. This was also the first time that Pitzer and Ursinus were in the finals. In addition, six of the presenters were first year students - another record.
The winning teams will each receive $2,000 to move their issue forward and the three finalist teams each will receive $500. We are looking forward to working with all of the teams as they develop campaigns on their issues over the coming year.
To learn more about the D4D teams, read the full Spring 2019 Newsletter.