Organize Free Democracy Summit
Every Monday a group of around 50 University of Minnesota
Duluth students meet to prepare an event to be held April 22-24. Organized
by the University of Minnesota Duluth's chapter of the Minnesota Public
Interest Group (MPIRG), the summit sets out to explore and inspire citizen
participation in American democracy and grassroots activism. This year's
summit is focused on interpreting what Thomas Jefferson famous phrase:
“life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” means to individual
This year's lineup of speakers includes Jim Hightower, a New York
Times best selling author and promoter of grassroots politics.
Also set to speak is Dr. Steven Miles, Minnesota Monthly's
Minnesotan of the year and first person to document military health
care workers' involvement in the tortures of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo
Bay detainees. In addition, Mark Ritchie, executive director of the
institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in Minneapolis will be speaking.
The heart of the Free Democracy Summit is its informative and empowering
panels and workshops. For this year's summit over 20 panels and workshops
are scheduled. In keeping with this year's theme, panels and workshops
have been divided into three groups: live, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness. `Life' issues will include among other things: poverty, homelessness,
and health care. Panels investigating `liberty' will include: trade
issues, the patriot and freedom of information act and media reform.
A variety of workshops will explore what `the pursuit of happiness'
means to citizens.
The Free Democracy Summit hopes to use art as a way of inspiring and
enlightening its attendees. Throughout the summit weekend there will
be a variety of music and visual art events. Galleries in Duluth will
showcase local and regional artists' political and socially charged
art. A photo contest with cash prizes is also planned. Contestants are
asked to submit pictures that answer the question: what does democracy
mean to you? Additionally, each night local and regional bands will
play Duluth venues. A variety of genres from rock, punk, jazz, and folk
will be performing.
For information see: http://www.freedemocracysummit.org/
or contact: David Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Posted April 13, 2005
Cheryl Reitan, Publications Director, email@example.com
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