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Four-Day Community Symposium on Citizenship Issues

KEENE, N.H., 10/26/07 - What does it mean to be an informed citizen? Keene State College’s Citizenship Symposium 2007 is a four-day opportunity to come together as a community to learn and to discuss issues like immigration, race, the environment, campaign politics, and the media’s role in informing citizens.

“Citizenship is an important term because it’s a prism through which you can look at a lot of different themes,” says KSC journalism professor and symposium co-organizer Marianne Salcetti. “The symposium stresses the importance of paying attention for American citizens.”

Nationally renowned speakers, filmmakers, and community members will be on campus to offer a wide look at how we are all defined as citizens and the challenges we face in today’s American democracy. Symposium themes include:

  • The American Citizen: America’s democratic republic, participatory democracy, civic journalism, and a free press
  • The Voting Citizen: The New Hampshire primary, voting integrity, voter turnout, free speech, and campaign tactics
  • The Plugged-In Citizen: Blogging, citizen journalists, media ethics, campaign coverage and censorship, privacy, and the First Amendment
  • The Local Citizen: U.S. Constitutional rights and responsibilities, the New England heritage, and civic education
  • The Socially Responsible Citizen: Civil rights and civil liberties, environmental issues, disabilities, and homelessness
  • The Global Citizen: Citizen soldiers and global warriors, immigration, globalization, and the Iraq war

The symposium highlights more than 40 presentations and panel discussions with speakers, including Scott Ritter, former U.N. weapons inspector; Debra Scranton, documentary filmmaker of The War Tapes; Richard Kimball, founder and director of Project Vote Smart; Elizabeth Wurtzel, best-selling author of Prozac Nation; Udi Ofer of the New York Civil Liberties Union; Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mark Schleifstein; Emmy award winner June Cross; Jon Greenburg of New Hampshire Public Radio; Joe McQuaid of the New Hampshire Union Leader; Bob Steele of the Nelson Poynter Institute, among others.

Featured Speakers

June Cross, Emmy award winner and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism associate professor, will show and discuss her award-winning documentary Secret Daughter on Tues., Nov. 6, from 7 to 10 p.m.; Mabel Brown Room, Student Center

Mark Schleifstein, Pulitzer Prize winner, will present “The Role of Mission Journalism in Disasters: How the Times-Picayune Represents Its Citizen Readers in Katrina’s Aftermath,” on Wed., Nov. 7, from noon to 1:15 p.m.; Main Theatre, Redfern Arts Center

Elizabeth Wurtzel, best-selling author of Prozac Nation, will present “Drugs and the American Citizen” on Fri., Nov. 9, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.; Main Theatre, Redfern Arts Center

Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University associate professor of sociology and Project Censored director, will present “Civil Liberties and the New American Censorship” on Fri., Nov. 9, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., in the Mabel Brown Room, Student Center

Bob Steele, The Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values, The Poynter Institute, will present “The Media Mosh Pit: Journalists, Bloggers, and Citizens in the Dialogue vs. Diatribe Dance” on Tues., Nov. 6, from 3 to 4:30 p.m.; Main Theatre, Redfern Arts Center

Riley Grimes, Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Congressional Veterans Legislative Service Award, and a panel of local veterans will present “Citizen Veterans and the Political Process” on Wed., Nov. 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Mountain View Room, Student Center

Scott Ritter, former U.N. chief weapons inspector, will present “Citizen Soldiers and Global Warriors: Challenges of Iraq” on Thurs., Nov. 8, from 7 to 9 p.m.; Mabel Brown Room, Student Center

Ian Cheney, award-winning filmmaker, will show and discuss his documentary King Corn on Wed., Nov. 7, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; Mabel Brown Room, Student Center

Tom Lantos, U.S. representative and Holocaust survivor, will present “Citizenship and Responsibility” on Thurs., Nov. 8, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center. He will also deliver this fall’s Kristallnacht Remembrance address later that evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Keene Middle School Charles Larracey Auditorium.

All Citizenship Symposium events are all free and open to the public. For a detailed schedule, please visit or call 603-358-2772.

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