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PCC to Host National Teleconference on America's Ailing Civic Life

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FROM ME TO WE: Renewing America’s Civic Life in an Information Age

Portland — On Thursday, Oct. 24, Portland Community College joins more than 400 other community groups across the country as the local host for a live-via-satellite call-in video teleconference on confronting current threats to American civic life, such as:

  • rising divisiveness and lack of trust;
  • declining civic participation;
  • a growing gap between the "haves" and "have-nots";
  • the isolating nature of new technology.

The conference will be held at the Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Terrell Hall, room 122. A follow-up locally-led panel discussion, from 1 to 2 p.m., will explore the themes and ideas of the conference and share reactions with conference attenders. Both the teleconference and panel discussion are open to the public and free of charge.

Kendi Esary, Cascade Campus student government coordinator who organized the conference at PCC, said, "We believe this program is an important one for our community and encourage people to attend. It is an opportunity for citizens in communities across the country to talk face-to-face about possibilities for reviving America’s civic life in their own locales."

Local panel leaders include Ben Priestly, executive director of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods; Rep. Margaret Carter; Dana Anderson, chair of the PCC board of directors and Terri Greenfield, director of Steps To Success-North, a PCC partnerships program helping welfare recipients with job training and self-sufficiency.

The teleconference is moderated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault of "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer." Confirmed panelists include Jeremy Rifkin, author, "The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era;" Adam Meyerson, vice president, The Heritage Foundation; E.J. Dionne, Jr., journalist, The Washington Post; Stephen A Janger, president, Close Up Foundation; Meredith Bagsby, author, "The First Annual Report of the United States of America;" Connie Odems, former senior vice president, American Association of Community Colleges; Izetta Mobley, 10th grade student activist, Maret School, Washington, D.C.; Harry Boyte, co-director, Center for Democracy and Citizenship; Lawrence K. Grossman, author, The Electronic Republic: Reshaping Democracy in the Information Age.

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