Occupy confab at Goddard

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Goddard College will host a first-in-the-nation conference to explore the ramifications of the Occupy Wall Street movement for higher education and the nation on Saturday, March 10.

Les Leopold, author of “The Looting of America,” will kick off the conference as keynote speaker, followed by three discussion panels featuring activists who have shaped the movement. A “General Assembly’’ will be facilitated by Amin Husain, facilitator of the first General Assembly in Zuccotti Park, New York, and Sandy Nurse, organizer of the now-historic Brooklyn Bridge march.

“Goddard College has strong roots as an activist college,” said Barbara Vacarr, president of Goddard College. “Institutions of higher education have a duty to foster and encourage student activism and citizen participation. The Occupy movement is drawing our attention to a paradigm shift in modern society that is not unlike the change Goddard is leading in higher education.”

Speakers and audience members will discuss how the enthusiasm and outrage of the 99% can be harnessed and utilized as a force to drive positive change. Discussion will also focus on institutions of higher education and their moral responsibility surrounding student activism.

Discussion panels composed of key OWS organizers, academics, educators, journalists, and student activists will discuss the following topics:

Panel #1: “How did we get here? How a decentralized, grassroots movement captured the attention of world leaders and the global political media.”

Panel #2: “How can we advance the movement and maximize its potential? How we all can participate in shaping the future of the movement.”

Panel #3: “How can institutions of higher education encourage student activism and find a more productive response to young activists other than calling the police?”

The panels will be moderated by veteran Vermont journalists Anne Galloway, founder and editor of VtDigger.org, and Shay Totten, communications director of Chelsea Green Publishing and former journalist.

This event is open to the public and will take place at The Haybarn Theatre at Goddard College, located at 123 Pitkin Road, Plainfield, Vt.

For more information and to register for the conference, visit: www.goddard.edu/occupy. A $10 registration fee covers lunch and assures attendance.