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SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.


Contact: Christina Holmes
phone: (415) 405-3803 or (415) 338-1665

Former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta, Omega Boys Club Founder Joe Marshall to speak at SFSU symposium

A month after the deadly terrorist attacks, the Oct. 9 civic engagement conference draws educational, political leaders to discuss training students to be active citizens

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 4, 2001 - Student participation in civic groups and involvement in local and international political arenas will be the focus of a daylong symposium at San Francisco State University that includes addresses from former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta and Omega Boys Club founder Joseph Marshall.

Faculty members and students will be among the panelists for the "Challenge for Change" symposium from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Among the topics discussed will be civic engagement and inspiring student participation in civic life. The conference is free and open to the public.

Less than one month after the deadly terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and rural Pennsylvania, the conference is an opportunity for faculty to share ideas with local and national leaders on how to engage students in their communities as part of their classroom instruction. Discussions will also include democratic ideals in the face of conflict; becoming citizens of the world through international service; organizing in community contexts; developing student activism for change; and building communities through civic and political involvement.

Panetta, a longtime member of Congress representing Monterey Bay, a former White House Chief of Staff in the Clinton administration and current co-director of the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy based at California State University, Monterey Bay, will speak about the "Challenge for Change in an Uncertain World."

"Prior to Sept. 11, national polls conducted by the Panetta Institute made clear that most students were not interested in participating in public careers nor did they believe that Washington was very relevant to their lives. The question today is whether that has changed and what it all means for the future of our democracy," said Panetta, whose institute seeks to attract

thoughtful men and women to lives of public service and to prepare them for the public policy challenges of the 21st century.

Also speaking will be SFSU alumnus Marshall, founder and executive director of the San Francisco-based Omega Boys Club and a talk show host of the Sunday night call-in program "Street Soldiers" heard on KMEL 106 FM. The boys club gives troubled teens a family setting to discuss problems and find solutions.

This conference will spotlight some of the many SFSU students and faculty who are engaged through the university in community work and will also encourage other students to become more active, said SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan.

"San Francisco State University is nationally known for its service and active involvement with community issues," said Corrigan. "We want our students to recognize the many ways that they can change public policy, build communities, and promote democratic institutions. This conference will provide both examples and, we hope, inspiration to get involved in civic life."

Students and faculty involved in service learning projects throughout the community will sit on nine separate panels that focus on the following themes: creating change through civic leadership and activism; making a difference in real life; working as partners in civic and community engagement; working with boards and coalitions to affect public policy; citizens of the world - service and learning in areas of need; research for change; teaching; student activism and engagement; and democracy in the face of conflict. Three panels will run each hour from noon to 3 p.m.

San Francisco State University's Office of Government Relations, Office of Human Relations, Academic Senate, Associated Students, Inc., and the San Francisco Urban Institute is sponsoring the symposium. It will be held in Jack Adams Hall in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. For more information about the conference, call (415) 338-6879.

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Last modified April 24, 2007, by Office of Public Affairs