January 11, 2017 - National Campaign at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics To Address How Students Can Reconnect America

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2017
 
Media Contact: Mary Cappabianca
Institute of Politics, (617) 384-5923

 National Campaign at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics

To Address How Students Can Reconnect America

Cambridge, MA – The Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics’ (IOP) 2017 National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement will meet February 3-5, 2017 to focus on identifying the root causes of national divisiveness following the 2016 presidential election and work to formulate strategies to bridge gaps between all Americans. Student ambassadors and staff members from 28 colleges and universities across the country will convene on the Harvard campus with the mission to create a nationally coordinated program to Reconnect America.

Since 2003, the 28 college and university alliance has held annual conferences to identify collaborative projects, foster engagement in electoral politics, assist students in pursuing careers in public service, and provide a foundation in civic education. Led by a team of Harvard undergraduate students, the collegiate ambassadors to the National Campaign work together to achieve concrete goals, such as working with local election offices to improve the voting experience for their campus communities.

“We believe the National Campaign is a unique medium for a diverse group of students who represent the many different facets of the Millennial generation to come together to gain valuable perspective and formulate actionable plans to reconnect a divided America,“ said 2017 National Campaign conference director Joe Goodwin.  

Congressman Bill Delahunt, 2017 National Campaign Conference chairman, underscored the IOP’s commitment to supporting multifaceted programs that bring voices together to find common purpose. “Now, more than ever, we think programs like this, which allow students to openly discuss areas of political and social disagreement, will enable those of differing viewpoints to understand one another, thus restoring a measure of civility to the contentious discourse that often characterizes politics today.”

The participating colleges and universities include Allegheny College, Arizona State University, Elon University, Franklin & Marshall College, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Louisiana State University, The Ohio State University, Rutgers University, Saint Anselm College, Simpson College, Tennessee State University, University of Florida, University of Louisville, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, University of Utah, University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University.

In recent weeks, the IOP has hosted the Campaign Decision Makers Conference, which brought together the key managers of the presidential primary and general election campaigns to engage in rare, informative discussions of their views, strategies and tactics.

The IOP’s biennial Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected members of Congress, held in early December, provided an environment where the participating members of the 115th Congress Freshman Class engaged in a discussion on “how they will work across party lines.” Out of that discussion came a joint statement vowing to “work together when we can and where we can for the American People.”

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Our mission at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (IOP) is to create the future of politics and public service every day, inspiring undergraduates to lead lives of purpose by committing themselves to the practice of politics and governing, and to public service and the countless opportunities to serve at home and around the world.  The IOP was established in 1966 as a memorial to President John F. Kennedy. More information is available online at http://www.iop.harvard.edu.