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Archive for Wednesday, July 17, 2002

KU to play host to Campus Greens national convention

July 17, 2002

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A student group formed from Ralph Nader's 2000 run for the U.S. presidency will have its national convention Aug. 8-11 at the Kansas Union.

The Campus Greens event is expected to draw more than 400 high school and college students from across the nation.

An Aug. 9 rally at the Lied Center  called "Justice Across Generations"  will feature speakers from social movements of the past several decades. They will include Vernon Bellecourt, co-founder of the American Indian Movement, and Michael Bronski, author and gay rights activist.

Campus Greens had its first convention last year in Chicago, where the group is based. It wants to build progressive student movements at high schools and college campuses.

Lawrence was chosen for this year's convention because of its central location and the enthusiasm of the KU Greens, officials said Tuesday.

"A lot of conferences tend to be on the East or West coasts. Here we had a very organized group in Kansas that was willing to take on the task of organizing the convention," said Carolyn Danckaert, national director of the Campus Greens.

"And Lawrence has a tremendous reputation of being a progressive community," she added.

Sarah Hoskinson a KU graduate from Lawrence, one of the founders of KU Greens, said the Lawrence organization had about 40 active members. Nationally, the group has about 2,500 members in 150 chapters, which is up from about 15 chapters last year.

Hoskinson said the convention would focus on ways to prevent increasing corporate influences on public education.

The event will feature numerous workshops and discussions on globalization, the environment, politics, fund raising, labor, trade, social justice and issues facing indigenous people.

Event organizers said they were trying to get Nader to speak to the convention, but they hadn't been able to confirm whether he could make it.

In 2000, Nader received 10 percent of the vote in Douglas County, one of his highest countywide percentages in the nation.

Registration for the convention is available online at www.campusgreens.org. Individuals who are not members are welcome to attend. Registration runs from $20 to $40, depending on affiliation with a campus chapter or individual.

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