The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter
An educated citizenry is the essential instrument for promoting
responsible social action and community well-being. - Eugene M. Lang
National Office News
Periclean Student Delegates Inspire at the 2019 Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ National Conference
[What an] extraordinary and meaningful gathering of this next generation of change makers.... Witnessing the depth and breadth of conversations lets me know that if we could turn the world over to these committed, wise people now, the world would indeed be a better place. ˗ Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Center for The Living City and Panelist at the D4D National Conference.
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. They discussed their ideas and efforts on a wide range of public policy issues including climate change, education access, food deserts, gun violence and public health research, homelessness, international health care, k-12 education and student mentoring, prison reform, single-payer/universal health care, and voter engagement and registration for high school students.
The conference agenda, biographies, and Letters to an Elected Official Program are available on the Project Pericles website.
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.
,"A Letter in Support of the Healthy California Act (S.B. 562) that would Establish a State Based Universal Health Care System"
To California State Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D)
By Christian Cabuñag ('20) and Ray Hill-Cristol ('21)
In their letter, Cabuñag and Hill-Cristol asked Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez to support S.B. 562, the Healthy California Act, which would expand healthcare to all Californians, including undocumented community members. "We used the narratives of two undocumented Californians, Mark and Ella, to illustrate the complex needs for mental and physical healthcare for undocumented individuals," the pair wrote. "We urged our representative to support this legislation to take a stance against current federal policy and rhetoric, and to demonstrate value for our community members on the basis of their humanity."
The Winning Pitzer College Team of
Ray Hill-Cristol ('21) and Christian Cabuñag ('20)
Commenting on the D4D National Conference and the Legislative Hearing,
Christian Cabuñag wrote us to say,
I just wanted to express how grateful and amazed I am for having such a wonderful and important opportunity to participate in Debating for Democracy. It was such an empowering and educational experience, and Ray and I are inspired to put our best efforts into pushing forward the Healthy California Act.
Reflecting on their experience Ray Hill-Cristol noted,
Something that might not have been evident in our presentation was how much Christian and I learned from each other and about ourselves in preparation for the legislative hearing, and how this experience has helped give me ideas about the work I might want to do after graduation.
The Winning Whitman College Team with Constance Berry Newman,
Mayrangela Cervantes ('20), Lizbeth Llanes-Macias ('21) Ruth Messinger,
Ameliz Price-Dominguez ('22) and Salma Anguiano ('22), Jan Liss, Martha Kanter, and
Noah Levitt, Project Pericles Program Director from Whitman College
, "A Letter to Introduce New Legislation to Prohibit Insurance Companies and Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Who Seek Compensation after an Injury, Based on Immigration Status"
To Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
By Salma Anguiano ('22) and Ameliz Price-Dominguez ('22)
In their letter, Anguiano and Price-Dominguez urged Senator Ron Wyden to introduce new legislation that prohibits employers and insurance companies from denying workers compensation based on citizenship status.
Commenting on what motivated her to tackle insurance discrimination, Salma Anguiano said,
"We must stop the exploitation of workers, and ensure that these larger companies are held accountable. It is essential to pass new legislation in order to protect all workers.
I saw first-hand the discrimination toward my father because he was undocumented and learned that the system was truly flawed. The system currently set in place is not equitable, and I decided I wanted to do something that affected my community. As a first-generation student, I think it's very important to take the opportunities given to me, such as receiving an education, and use it to initiate change," [excerpt from "Whitman First-Years Compete in Debating for Democracy: Hope to Lobby Bill" by
Rylee Neville, The Whitman Wire].
three finalist teams and their letters are:
,"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)
, "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)
, "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),
(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.
D4D National Conference Panels
The conference featured two interactive workshops for students, four panels, and visits to New York City based nonprofits. The panels were packed with dynamic speakers and students enjoyed extended question and answer time. During the "Protecting the Health of Our Democracy" panel discussion, attendees heard from Ramon Contreras, a young activist and Founder of Youth Over Guns, who discussed the toll that gun violence had taken on his friends and neighborhood in New York City and how the Parkland shooting inspired him to take action. Students also heard an eloquent defense of Free Speech from Nadine Strossen, author of HATE: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship and Former President of the ACLU.
The opening "Social Action" panel was moderated by Jan R. Liss, Executive Director of Project Pericles. DeNora Getachew from Generation Citizen wowed students with her energy and insights during the panel and the workshops that followed.
from Consumer Reports drew on several decades of experience to highlight the important role consumer advocacy can play in the legislative process and in protecting the general public. Jason Mangone, Co-author of Leaders: Myth and Reality by General Stanley McChrystal, Jeff Eggers, and Jason Mangone, discussed his years of public service to inspire attendees.
Chuck Bell and DeNora Getachew Discussing Their Advocacy Work at
The D4D National Conference
Student delegates also enjoyed hearing from one of their own, Christina Thomas, member of the winning D4D team from the 2017 Legislative Hearing, Pace University ('19). Thomas and partner, Rowan Lanning ('18), wrote a letter opposing the Coast Guard's plan to allow oil tankers to anchor along the Hudson River. Lanning and Thomas with other Pace faculty and students successful blocked the Coast Guard's plans. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just signed legislation that, according to the New York Times, "gives the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the power to prevent the siting of anchorages in the Hudson River."
Jessica Feoli ('21), Widener University, Asks Panelists a Question.
During the "Media, Political Engagement, and Reporting in an Age of Partisanship" panel moderated by
Stephanie P. Browner
Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School
, students and audience members heard a lively discussion from prominent reporters and non-profit media activists:
, National Political Correspondent,
, Senior Editor,
, Co-founder and Executive Director,
(Learning About Multimedia Project); and
, Assistant Editorial Features Editor,
The Wall Street Journal
. The group discussed objectivity in reporting, the role of the media in our democracy, and the potential influence of money on a range of media.
opened Friday with a tremendously engaging workshop, "You Have a Voice. It's Time to Hear It.
Hook, Line, & Sinker: The Three Parts of a Successful Legislative Meeting Preparing for the Opposition." Christopher and Kevin ran students through the key components of a successful meeting with an elected official. Students came away with a much better sense of how to approach officials, and with the knowledge that as constituents they deserve to be heard.
Alexander Ferrer ('20) from Chatham University wrote to us after the conference to let us know that he had already put his newfound skills to work while in Harrisburg, PA representing The Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Pennsylvania and Chatham University. He wrote,
The first thing that came to mind when going to meet with these legislators [State Senator Jay Costa (D) and State Representative Dan Frankel (D)] was the workshop on the "Hook, Line, and Sinker." I entered these meetings with confidence and was able to gain the support of the staff. My successful trip in Harrisburg is a direct product of the Project Pericles D4D National Conference. The many skills that I learned along with the many personal relationships that I made with panelists, NGO directors, and peers made for an eye-opening experience. I cannot thank Project Pericles enough!
On Friday, students engaged in a panel discussion featuring leaders from local nonprofits: The Center for The Living City, College and Community Fellowship, Friends of the High Line, Harlem Grown, and The "I Have a Dream" Foundation. The conference concluded with site visits to the organizations. Students had the opportunity to visit two of Harlem Grown's local farms and learn about how they use the farm experience to inspire youth, stroll the High Line and learn about their community engagement efforts, walk through Greenwich Village and discuss gentrification with The Center for the Living City staff, learn about how "I Have a Dream" works with underserved students in the public school system, or how College and Community Fellowship works with formerly incarcerated women to provide educational services and employment opportunities.
Students visit Harlem Grown with Founder Tony Hillery.
The Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ National Conference was dedicated to Eugene M. Lang (1919-2017), Project Pericles Founder and Chair Emeritus in honor of his 100th birthday. His vision, leadership, passion, and support have enabled Project Pericles from its inception to grow and thrive.
The Legislative Hearing was dedicated to Senator Harris L. Wofford (1926-2019). He was a founding Board Member of Project Pericles and served as a member of the first five Legislative Judging Committees at the D4D National Conference. Throughout his life he was a leader in higher education, civil rights, and a major force in America's national and community service movements.
We miss both Gene and Harris.
Project Pericles appreciates the generous support of The Eugene M. Lang Foundation for the D4D National Conference.
We are currently planning for our July 22-25 convening for Creating Curricular Coherence Through Inquiry-Based Curricula and Thematic Pathways. Andrew Delbanco, President of The Teagle Foundation,
will attend portions of the convening and give remarks on the first afternoon. We are also fortunate to have Barbara Holland, an internationally recognized expert in institutional change, join us. Holland worked with us on the Creating Cohesive Paths to Civic Engagement initiative in 2013-2014.
We have a range of delegates attending from Associate Provosts to Project Pericles Program Directors
. We are particularly excited about the many new people who will be attending and becoming involved with Project Pericles.
The dual focus of the convening will be on curricular coherence and educating for democracy
as higher education institutions face the challenge of creating efficient and cohesive educational experiences for students that integrate academic learning, civic engagement, and preparation for life after college.
Our planning committee has designed this convening so that representatives from each campus will discuss ways in which we, individually
, and as a consortium, can advance an agenda focused on civic engagement and educating for democracy; network with like-minded colleagues on a host of important topics on our campuses; and share best practices and lessons learned from our Creating Curricular Coherence Through Inquiry-Based Curricula and Thematic Pathways initiative. Our work is part of The Teagle Foundation's larger Faculty Planning and Curricular Coherence initiative.
Thank you to The Teagle Foundation for supporting this convening.
2019-2020 Periclean Faculty Leaders
We are looking forward to working with the latest group of Periclean Faculty Leaders, who will teach their courses this fall. We have a diverse
group of professors from recent Ph.D.s to full professors and department chairs in a wide range of disciplines including American Studies, Anthropology, Cinema and Media Studies, Economics, Education,
Native American Studies and Environmental Justice, Religion, Sociology, Theatre Arts
, and Visual Arts
Praise for the Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL) Program™:
Assistant Professor of Dance Victoria Fortuna (PFL 2017-2018) offers a description of the innovative courses the PFL Program encourages. She commented,
The PFL Program offered a framework for restructuring
[my "Community Dance and Collective Creation"] class around targeted residencies with Portland-based community groups dedicated to the intersection of artistic practice and social change. Creating the piece offered a dynamic forum for students and Portland community members to discuss and debate critical issues, including the role of white allies in the Black Lives Matter movement, the tension between artistic form and political content, creating space for disagreement, and balancing collective deliberation with goal-oriented decision-making.
The PFL Program is a leadership and course development program dedicated to incorporating civil dialogue, civic engagement, and social responsibility across the undergraduate curriculum.
Periclean Faculty Leaders create new courses that incorporate civic engagement; promote civil dialogue locally through lectures, town hall meetings, and public events; and advance public scholarship nationally and internationally through publications and conference presentations.
Presidents, Provosts, and Program Directors nominate faculty members based on their leadership skills and experience incorporating civic engagement into the curriculum. Through a competitive process, Periclean Faculty Leaders are be selected by a panel of Project Pericles staff and civic engagement and higher education experts.
PFLs and their courses for 2019:
- Berea College, Andrea Woodward, Associate Professor of Social Sciences, "Civic Sociology"
- Carleton College, Laska Jimsen, Associate Professor of Cinema and Media Studies, "Nonfiction Media Production"
- Elon University, Jennifer Carroll, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, "Citizenship in Crisis"
- Goucher College, Ann Duncan, Associate Professor of Religion, "Religions of Baltimore"
- Hampshire College, Ashley E. Smith, Assistant Professor of Native American Studies and Environmental Justice, "Memory, Nation, Power, and the Politics of Place"
- Hendrix College, Ann Muse, Professor of Theatre Arts, "Engaging Community through Theatre: The Service of Others"
- New England College, Christine Oskar-Poisson, Assistant Professor of Education, "Teaching Literature for Social Justice"
- Occidental College, Marcella Raney, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Bevin Ashenmiller, Associate Professor of Economics, "Planting Seeds: The Collaborative Approach to Implementing Green Schoolyards in the Urban Environment"
- Pace University, Melanie LaRosa, Assistant Professor of Media, Communications, and Visual Arts, "Multimedia Storytelling: Service Learning through Media Production"
- Rhodes College, Laura Beth Kelly, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies, "Issues at the Intersection of Education and Immigration"
- Widener University, Bretton T. Alvaré, Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology, "Perspectives on Sustainability"
We thank the Eugene M. Lang Foundation for supporting the 2019-2020
Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL)
Program. Prior support was provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations and The Teagle Foundation.
Article in eJournal of Public Affairs: Civic Engagement * Education * Research * Practice
The article documents many of the lessons learned and insights from our project of the same name, which was part of The Teagle Foundation's A Larger Vision: Education for Civic and Moral Responsibility initiative and supported by The Teagle Foundation and the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.
The invitation to submit an article came out of our presentation
, "Creating Cohesive Paths: Five Approaches to Institutionalizing Civic Engagement," at the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Anaheim, CA.
Joining Jan Liss on the panel were Project Pericles Program Directors Amel Gorani, Director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, Carleton College; Tessa Hicks Peterson,
Associate Professor, Urban Studies, Director, Community Engagement Center,
; and Ella Turenne, Assistant Dean for Community Engagement, Occidental College.
The CLDE meeting is a project of The American Democracy Project (ADP), The Democracy Commitment (TDC), and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). Project Pericles is a co-sponsor.
Berea College and President Lyle D. Roelofs to Host Fall 2019 Project Pericles Program Directors' Conference
We are looking forward to visiting Berea College and learning more about their approach to civic engagement. The meeting is scheduled for October 2-3 and our programs directors are working on the agenda.
Please help empower students leaders by making a donation to Project Pericles today. Donations can be made directly through our website www.projectpericles.org by clicking donate in the upper right corner.
The Periclean Progress is also available on the Project Pericles website.
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Periclean Colleges & Universities
Allegheny College * Bates College * Berea College
Bethune-Cookman University * Carleton College * Chatham University
Dillard University * Drew University * Elon University
The Evergreen State College * Goucher College * Hampshire College
Hendrix College * Macalester College * Morehouse College
New England College * The New School * Occidental College * Pace University
Pitzer College * Reed College * Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Rhodes College * St. Mary's College of Maryland * Skidmore College
Swarthmore College * Ursinus College * Wagner College
Whitman College * Widener University * The College of Wooster
Executive Director: Jan R. Liss
Assistant Director: Garret S. Batten
Program Manager: Arielle del Rosario
Intern: Talibah Alexander
Board of Directors
Founder and Chair Emeritus: Eugene M. Lang (1919-2017)
Chair: Neil R. Grabois
Vice-Chair: Richard Ekman
Treasurer: David A. Caputo
Janet S. Dickerson
Helen Lang Suskin
Jan R. Liss*
Louis A. Martarano
Michael S. McPherson
James H. Mullen, Jr.*
Vincent M. Ponzo
Lyle D. Roelofs
Lourdes M. Rosado
Chair: Lyle D. Roelofs, Berea College
Vice-Chair: Steven G. Poskanzer, Carleton College
National Board of Advisors
Co-Chairs: Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker & Hon. Kurt L. Schmoke
J. Herman Blake
Roger W. Bowen
Harry C. Boyte
Sen. Bill Bradley
Russell L. Carson
Raymond G. Chambers
Jerome A. Chazen
Richard A. Detweiler
Christopher F. Edley, Jr.
Jonathan F. Fanton
Nicholas H. Farnham
Ellen V. Futter
Llewellyn P. Haden, Jr.
Samuel L. Hayes III
Amb. James C. Hormel
Helene L. Kaplan
Gov. Thomas H. Kean
Arthur E. Levine *
Mary Patterson McPherson
Robert D. Putnam
Judith A. Ramaley
David M. Scobey
Allen P. Splete
Mark A. Vander Ploeg
Alison R. Bernstein * Mario M. Cuomo * Curtis B. Gans
Clark Kerr * Eugene M. Lang * Paul Newman
Sen. Paul Simon * Sen. Harris L. Wofford
The title "Project Pericles®" and its embodiment in the Logo are registered service marks of Project Pericles, Inc. All rights are reserved.