Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Taking the Progressive Debate to Campus

I was privileged today to be a panelist for the Center For American Progress's first annual Campus Progress national student conference. Everyone there, over 500 students, was really jazzed that there finally seems to be a response to the need for grassroots progressive (the new word for "liberal") leadership development, in thinktanks and on campuses, to counter the incredibly successful effort on the right that has been kicking our ass for 30+ years.

It was a great experience personally seeing President Clinton and Thomas Frank speak. It was great to meet my fellow panelists, Benoit Denizet-Lewis of the New York Times Magazine and Sarah Wildman of The American Prospect and many other publications, who are showing that you can make a living writing about gay rights, Muslim-Jewish relations and other important stuff. But most of all it was great talking to the students. A guy came up to me from the University of Kentucky and said he's been reading my series and he wants to use higher education financing as a progressive wedge issue on his conservative campus, to motivate students. I think that's some awesome thinking.

PS. Shout out to my New Journal alumni (the best literary nonfiction magazine about Yale and New Haven, bar none)!

1 comment:

blithering moron said...

Did you get to speak to Clinton?