September 10, 2009

National Conference on Citizenship: 09/09/09

For those of you who are superstitious, I hope that yesterday brought you good luck! I was fortunate enough to attend the National Conference on Citizenship yesterday. It warmed my heart to see so much social media being utilized. People blogged during the conference and tweeted at #NCoC. Sadly, I am behind the times with my phone, so I was unable to participate in the Twitter-fest.

Just a few observations about the day:
Former Senator Harris Wofford gave a tribute to the late Senator Edward Kennedy. Even though I really wanted to see Chris Matthews speak, former Senator Wofford did an admirable job - given the fact that he had very little notice.

In the Social Innovation in Civic Life panel, it was good to see the inclusion of fellow millennials like Barbara Bush and Justin Rockefeller, but I want to know if it is more difficult for those who do not have the same upbringing and connections to pursue their dreams and goals in civic life. As a side note, just a quick shout out to panelist Sonal Shah (the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council's Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation) - a fellow University of Chicago grad, who is doing great things in the Civic Engagement field!

Civic Health in Hard Times panel highlighted the Civic Health Index, which was much bleaker than the Volunteering in America report. More on this later. The highlight was former Senator Bob Graham explaining a great project. As I sat there, I realized that he was describing (good) service-learning without naming it! Yes!!

Conversation with Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was extremely interesting, not just because of his association with the University of Chicago (professor)! He said that all citizens should read the following the Constituation, the Federalist Papers, and de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. I will be posting parts of the conversation on our YouTube channel.

Naturalization Ceremony was incredibly moving, partially due to the fact that I was unable to attend my father's naturalization ceremony last summer. More pictures will be posted on the Partnership's facebook page.

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