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PVCC Civic Leadership Conference

Andrew Fletcher, guest writer

If you are like me, the 2016 election was the first election that I actually paid attention to. With that being said millennials are the least likely to pay attention to politics. Because of the outcome of this election, I was driven to become more politically active; however, this seemed like a daunting task to take on. For this reason, I was excited to see that Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) was putting on a Civic Leadership Conference, with the sole purpose of informing students on the best way of being politically active with a civil demeanor.

Knowing how many of the PVCC events go on campus, I was not sure how many people would show up; nonetheless, this conference was packed with a diverse crowd of students truly interested in being engaged in the community.

The main goal of this conference was to teach PVCC students about how to enact the most change in our community. Conference speakers were carefully chosen to foster discussions about civil political discourse, religion in politics, issues regarding historical monuments, and news reliability.

Of these discussions, I was able to attend the civil discourse panel and the news panel. The civil discourse panel was helpful in pointing out how to best approach a conversation with a person that has a different viewpoint than your own.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Connie Jorgensen offered opening remarks at the second  annual Civic Leadership Conference   Photography courtesy of PVCC Office of Marketing &Media Relations

Assistant Professor of Political Science Connie Jorgensen offered opening remarks at the second annual Civic Leadership Conference 
Photography courtesy of PVCC Office of Marketing &Media Relations

One of Dr. Jackson-Beckham’s main points was that like in a classroom there are no bad questions; in a civics discussion, there are no bad reasons for believing what you believe.

It is this idea that helps to mitigate the divide between liberals and conservatives, and can help to come to an agreement on a certain issue. The problem we face in the current political climate is that sometimes people do not listen to understand; instead, they listen to respond. I believe this is the reason for the current polarized political climate in the United States.

Verdis Robinson ended the Civic Leadership Conference with a discussion about how as community college students, we are able to enact real positive change within our communities. His main point was that because we are democracy students, we should be able to connect with the community around us more than a four-year institution might.

He explained democracy students as all of us who have different backgrounds and experiences. It is because we have a diverse set of ideas that makes us democracy students; great things can blossom from people explaining and understanding their different viewpoints.

As community college students, we can inspire others to be involved in our community, whether by running for local government offices, school boards, or volunteering. I am extremely grateful for being able to have a conference at PVCC that boosts the idea that all of us can be a positive influence on our community.

Short URL: http://www.piedmontforum.com/?p=32255

Posted by on May 4 2017. Filed under Campus News, Collegiate News, Events, From the Forum, Local News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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