National Conference 2000
Arsalyn Foundation is pleased to report the success of its National Conference 2000 on Youth Citizen Action which took place in Denver, Colorado on July 14-15 at the Westin Tabor Center
Arsalyn Foundation sponsored a national, non-partisan, non-issue-based conference called "Piecing Together An Inclusive Democracy . . . Youth by Youth" that convened youth, civic and community organizations working to increase democratic participation among young people. Arsalyn Foundation's national conferences serve as respectful, neutral forums for diverse groups to come together as colleagues. In addition to the standard expectations of conferences networking, information exchange and learning Arsalyn conferences provide an excellent opportunity for participants to examine each other's diverse, interrelated efforts and to develop a sense of common purpose in working toward the full inclusion of young people in the political process. In convening National Conferences, Arsalyn Foundation seeks to create space for democratic exchanges between people and organizations working to promote and enhance participatory democracy. Because our national conferences emphasize the process of coming together as well as the experience of a specific event, to optimize interaction between participants attendance was limited to 200 people. All participants agree to participate in the full conference agenda and are expected to actively contribute to the proceedings.
National Conference 2000 participants explored and challenged each other's understanding of that fundamental democratic concept known as "citizenship." What is citizenship? How is it defined and passed on to new generations of Americans? Does it require activism? What is the impact of globalization on citizenship? Do youth and adults have different rights, responsibilities and opportunities as citizens?
At the conference, Arsalyn Foundation, in partnership with the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Global Kids, Inc. and Public Achievement, presented a series of training sessions devoted to exploring concepts and issues related to citizenship. The conference also offered workshops where participants explored different models for civic engagement. Workshop topics were selected to promote active citizenship and highlighted innovative models that further this goal. The workshops also provided opportunities for participants to deepen their understanding of how diverse strategies contribute to common goals, such as increasing youth political participation. For more details on workshop topics please see the conference agenda.
WHO WAS INVITED?
Groups that identify with the mission of Arsalyn Foundation and are working to enhance participatory democracy, applied citizenship or civic participation. Arsalyn hopes to bring together diverse organizations and perspectives in order to promote inclusive democracy. Participating organizations were asked to send two representatives - one adult and one person between the ages of 16 and 20. All participants participated in the full conference agenda.
Arsalyn Foundation covered certain expenses in order to remove or lessen financial barriers to participation. Arsalyn reimbursed organizations for each participant's travel (up to $300 for national travel or $150 for regional travel) and provided lodging, conference meals and registration at no cost.