Join the League of Women Voters of New Jersey as we explore youth political engagement. This exciting day features David Burstein, a Millennial author and filmmaker, a panel of young activists working in different policy areas to engage and educate their communities, and a number of afternoon workshops on a variety of issues.
You wont want to miss this amazing opportunity to learn from these passionate speakers. Additionally, the League's "Young People's Network," a group of young League leaders, will be leading many areas of this special forum.
Keynote Speaker: David Burstein
David Burstein, a Millennial writer, filmmaker, and storyteller will kick off the conference with a discussion on youth political action and engagement. He is the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World. The book takes readers inside the largest generation in history to tell how and why they are changing business, technology, culture, and politics. He is the founder of Generation 18, a nonpartisan young voter engagement organization. The organization grew out of the documentary film, 18 in '08, which David directed and produced about young voters in the 2008 election. For his work, David received a 2009 DoSomething Award and his story was featured on several million bags of Doritoes. His 2012 follow up film, Up to Us focused on the optimism and resilience of the Millennial Generation in the face of the economic crisis and their continued desire to vote and participate in public service. David is a frequent speaker and commentator on Millennials, social innovation, and politics. He has appeared on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, NPR, ABC Evening News, and C-SPAN, and in The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, Politico, Salon, The Huffington Post, and many others. He is a proud graduate of NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Young Activists Panel
Following the keynote address, a panel of young activists working in different policy fields will discuss youth engagement and tell their personal stories of becoming involved.
Stacey Faella, Chair, LWVNJ's Young People's Network
Stacey Faella is the Program Associate at the Woodcock Foundation, a progressive family foundation that supports efforts to improve the educational, economic, and environmental circumstances of communities in need. Stacey has experience working on foundation and nonprofit communications, strategy, and evaluation, including the development of a project strategy to build millennial engagement in gender equality causes and a program evaluation for an international youth program of Planned Parenthood. She also has conducted communications research on millennial views on gender equality causes and the role of social media in promoting gender stereotypes on college campuses. She is currently Chair of LWVNJ's Young People's Network. Stacey is passionate about gender equality, which she views as an issue of economic sustainability, moral integrity, and human compassion.She has a BA in Psychology and Communication from Wake Forest University and an MPA in International Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy from New York University.
Nicole Scott-Harris, Newark Organizer, NJ Environmental Justice Alliance
Nicole Scott-Harris is the Newark Organizer for the NJ Environmental Justice Alliance (NJEJA), where she educates and fosters engagement among Newark residents and community organizations on a host of EJ issues. Prior to joining NJEJA, Nicole worked in politics, first serving as a Congressional Aide to former NJ congressman, Steve Rothman, followed by working for the NJ Democratic State Committee, and the national labor union AFSCME. Nicole is a proud alum of Rutgers University, where she earned her BA in Sociology & African-American Studies, MA in Political Science, and completed a graduate fellowship with the Eagleton Institute of Politics. She credits her grandmother, a retired NJ public school teacher, with her entree into politics.
Casey Olesko, Vice President of Public and Community Affairs, Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area
Casey Olesko is the VP of Public and Community Affairs for Planned Parenthood Association of the Mercer Area where she oversees the development and presentation of education and outreach programs in the Trenton community. She also manages the organization's marketing, communications, and public affairs efforts. She graduated magna cum laude from The College of New Jersey with her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies and a minor in Marketing. As a student, she was President of the student organization Vox: Voices for Planned Parenthood, which educated the campus community about reproductive health and rights. She also served on the executive board of WILL: Women in Learning and Leadership, a student organization that enhances the leadership and activism skills of feminist women. She spent her free time volunteering for Planned Parenthood on a local, state, and national level, including serving on the Young Leaders' Advisory Council of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She grew up in Bergen County, and nows calls Plainsboro her second home town.
Giancarlo Tello, New Jersey DREAMer
Giancarlo Tello is a New Jersey DREAMer who was born in Lima, Peru and now lives in Belleville, NJ. He started his involvement in the Immigrant Rights movement in 2012 with the New Jersey Dream Act Coalition where he organizes and advocates for undocumented youth through open forums, lobbying visits, training, leadership development, and presentations. Most recently he was the campaign manager for the NJ Dream Act which got In-State Tuition for undocumented students in NJ. Now his is working on State Aid for undocumented students and trying to address Higher Education issues overall through his advocacy.
During lunch, participants will learn about the statewide NJ public questions that will appear on the General Election ballot and will have an opportunity to ask questions about the League education study.
Afternoon Workshop Sessions: After the morning presentations, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a workshop session of their choosing (you will be asked to make a selection when registering).
Mobilizing Millennials: Engaging the Next Generation for Social Change
Stacey Faella, Chair, Young People's Network, Casey Olesko, Young People's Network, Brendan Keating, Young People's Network
How can we craft messages that embody millennial values and beliefs that resonate? How can we ensure that our message is reaching a millennial audience? What opportunities for engagement can we offer that appeal to them most? You'll get answers to these questions and more in this session.
MissRepresentation of Women and Girls
Melissa Smith Goldstein, Chair, LWVNJ Women and Family Issues Committee, Lauren Hedinger, Young People's Network
Join us for a lively discussion on the limited and disparaging representation of women and girls in mainstream media. Using excerpts from the documentary, MissRepresentation, we will explore how the negative portrayal of women and girls discourages women from seeking powerful leadership positions. We will focus on the underrepresentation of women in politics and discuss steps toward gender equality. Participants will be armed with resources and challenged to take action for positive change.
Combatting Climate Change
LWVNJ Natural Resources Committee
Climate change is one of the most critical issues of our times. We will discuss LWVNJ's work on Climate Change, from planning to mitigate its impact on our shores, to developing better protection for our drinking water, to finding ways to reduce our use of polluting fossil fuels and better protect air quality. Attendees will gain a better understanding of these issues and leave feeling empowered by the changes active involvement in these issues can bring to New Jersey.
The State of Voting in 2014
Jennifer Clark, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice
Until recently, the Voting Rights Act was a critical tool in the voting rights fight, but the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the law's core protection last year. We will discuss controversial voting restrictions, including those previously blocked by the Voting Rights Act, that are making it harder for many citizens to vote. We will also explore how voting advocates are fighting back.
Current Issues in Immigration
LWVNJ Immigration Committee
The debate surrounding immigration has been heating up. Join our Immigration Committee for an informative discussion on current immigration issues including the absence of broad-based federal legislation, the sudden wave of unaccompanied minors from Central America, "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," and expansion of deferred action to other groups of unauthorized immigrants.
Department of Political Science, Brookdale Community College
The Libby Sharpe Memorial Fund