About This Conference
Over a hundred global activists joined forces last week to lobby Congress, visit the White House, hear from experienced political activists and Obama administration officials, network, and enjoy the cherry blossoms! Citizens for Global Solutions' 2012 Annual Conference was a huge success. If you missed it, check out the pictures, recordings, comments, guest blogs, and more below!
CEO Don Kraus had this to say about the experience:
"Because of you, this year’s conference was a great success! We spread our message of global cooperation all over D.C. – from Congress to the White House. Last weekend reaffirmed for me how, when we raise our voices together, they are heard loud and clear. Thanks for the wonderful three days of activism. I can’t wait to get together again – here and in your home town."
Lessons in Activism:
Opening the Doors to Power in 2012
This year's keynote address was delivered by Margaret Groarke. Margaret is an active board member and past co-chair of, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, a North American organization devoted to bringing together academics, K-12 educators and activists to engage in research and advocacy for a more just, more peaceful world. Ms. Groarke is also an Associate Professor of Government at Manhattan College, and past director of the College's Peace Studies program. She is actively involved in community organizing with the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.
Watch Margaret's Speech:
Thursday was our Lobby and Program Day. We started off with lobby training, run by our Deputy Director of Government Affairs, Melissa Kaplan. Participants split up into lobby groups with people from their state and practiced role playing what they would say to their elected officials. Then they took off to go meet with their senators and representatives. We had some great success stories. Jean from Maine met with Representative Mike Michaud’s staff, and heard that “the congressman strongly supports the proposed funding for the International Affairs Budget.” Tom from California lobbied Senator Barbara Boxer’s office on support for United Nations Funding and a diplomatic solution to the Iran nuclear crisis. He was told that the senator agrees with the views of Citizens for Global Solutions on these issues and hopes that we can garner more support from senators in other states. Great work lobbyists!
People came back for lunch in between visits, and had a chance to get know one another and relax. The afternoon session started with a great multimedia film about social media and activism in the Arab Spring. Then we heard an inspiring address from Manhattan College Professor of Government and long-time activist Margaret Groarke on how to be a global activist. Our last afternoon event featured Citizens for Global Solutions Advocacy Manager Amanda Bowen, who held a messaging training that helped attendees express themselves about global issues they cared about. The breakout sessions during that training produced some amazing elevator speeches about global issues!
Check out recordings and comments from the day here.
A Day at the White House
Friday was an action packed day - at the White House! We met at Cosi at 7:30 AM (it was still dark out!) and then made our way to the security checkpoint outside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The morning session featured expert speakers from the State Department like Assistant Secretary of State Esther Brimmer as well as White House officials like Jon Carson and Karen Richardson who work with non-governmental organization relations and Paul Monteiro, the coordinator for Arab-American relations. Then we had to drop off all our belongings with White House staff in preparation for the East Wing tour. The tour took us through various rooms in the East Wing, all of which are actually used on a regular basis. We saw everything from the famous State Dining Room to pictures of Bo and other Presidential pets throughout the years.
The afternoon session was held in the White House Conference Center on Jackson Place. Guests got to choose between three breakout sessions led by State Department officials; Genocide Prevention and Civilian Protection with Victoria Holt, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Organizations, Nuclear Nonproliferation and Iranian Nuclear Program with Eliot Kang, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Affairs, and Climate Change with Trigg Talley, Deputy Director of the Office of Global Change. One guest said that he “enjoyed the briefing series,” and was, "moved to take action!"
Friday evening Citizens for Global Solutions hosted both a cocktail reception and a Global Leaders Dinner with special guest Gen. Bill Nash. Both were great networking events for people to connect and make new friends through their commitment to global solutions. Click here to see more pictures and comments from Friday!
Citizens for Global Solutions' Annual Meeting
Saturday morning was the time for us to delve a little bit deeper into the nitty-gritty organizational details. Despite most of the streets in D.C. being closed for a marathon, our dedicated crowd made it to the Ronald Reagan Building to discuss Citizens for Global Solutions’ Political Action Committee, Grassroots Leadership Council, and how the organization can move forward this year to become even better than ever!
It was a great three days of global empowerment and activism! Thanks to all of our members who helped to make it such a success.
The Global Citizen
A blog by Citizens for Global Solutions
March 23, 2012 - 11:00am EDT
Guest Post by Nicole Helmers, University of Indianapolis, freshman majoring in Psychology and Occupational Therapy. While... Continue Reading
March 23, 2012 - 10:53am EDT
Remembering the Citizens for Global Solutions 2011 Annual Conference and how exciting it was, I just knew I had to gather... Continue Reading
How'd It Go?
This conference was a great way to network with other members and leaders.
I’m going to continue engaging with high level reps from the government.
Made me jump out of my comfort zone!
Great networking, great food, great speakers!
This conference made me care about CGS, about lobbying, and about networking.
Interesting people, good causes!
I enjoyed the briefing series, I was moved to take action. And I want to engage on behalf of CGS!