National Campaign 2017

Reconnecting America

College students from 28 schools across the country will convene at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics’ (IOP) National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement Conference from February 3-5, 2017. The campus representatives will identify what young Americans see as the root causes of national divisiveness and create community-based action plans to Reconnect America.

At the conference, IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe will conduct a town hall with students to identify the most significant issues they hope to address through local initiatives.

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 collaborate to achieve concrete goals, such as working with local election offices to improve the voting experience for their campus communities.

The discussion with the two millennial congress members was very helpful to hear from insiders who understand us and offer an inside perspective on creating change in politics.
— Clara Griff and Maggie Beck, University of Virginia

“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 National Campaign conference director Joe Kearns Goodwin. 

Goodwin, a veteran of duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and recipient of the Bronze Star, is a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Law School.  He also serves as the executive director of National Service Now, a non-profit committed to encouraging and expanding national public service opportunities.

National Campaign conference participating academic institutions include Vanderbilt, The Ohio State University, Franklin & Marshall College, Tennessee State University, University of Southern California, University of Utah, Saint Anselm College, Georgetown University, Simpson College, Allegheny College, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Rutgers University, Elon University, University of Louisville, Rochester University, Arizona State University, University of Florida, Louisiana State University, University of Virginia, Tufts University, University of Texas, University of Chicago, University of Kansas, and Colby College, University of Oklahoma, Howard University and the United States Military Academy.

We loved the Focus Group session with just the students. It was very beneficial to be in such a free and respectful space to share ideas and to hear differing opinions and to learn from each other.
— Katie Jowers and Gerrit Seymour, University of Utah