Speaker address a crowd of listeners

2024 Symposium on Democracy keynote speakers announced

Created: January 17, 2024  |  Last Updated: January 17, 2024  |  Category:   |  Tagged: ,

WASHINGTON, PA (January 17, 2024) – Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) has announced that Rosa Clemente and Dr. David Siegel will serve as the keynote speakers for the 2024 Symposium on Democracy Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Each will offer an address during a lunchtime keynote session titled “Agency for the Common Good: How Individuals, Social Movements and Institutions Can Positively Influence Democracy.”

“This year’s keynote speakers are exceptional leaders in their respective fields (politics and academia) who share an inspiring conviction in the power of our political agency as citizens in a democracy,” said Dr. David Holiday, director of the Center for Ethical Leadership and chair of the Symposium on Democracy’s planning committee. “I am excited to hear their perspectives on how each of us can use this power to make our society a more free, just, peaceful and happy place.”

Clemente’s speech will share the history of the social justice movements of the past 50 years and reflect on her experiences as someone deeply engaged in political life and the pursuit of justice in America.

She will focus on how we can effectively work together for common goals by moving past social media moments and viral hashtags to decentralized movements capable of driving substantial social change.

Dr. Siegel’s address will highlight the tactics and strategies of social and political movements, such as the organized resistance and direct action of the civil rights movement, that can help defend academic freedom when political attacks have deeply compromised such freedom.

This year’s Symposium theme is “Stepping Up: Being an Informed, Involved and Impactful Citizen.” A complete schedule of events and registration information will be available later this month.

The Symposium on Democracy is fully funded by the generous support of the Guy Woodward, Jr. Foundation.

For more information, visit www.symposiumondemocracy.org/year/2024

About the Speakers

Rosa Clemente, a Black-Puerto Rican woman born and raised in the Bronx, is an award-winning organizer, speaker, political commentator, producer, independent journalist and scholar-activist.

In 2008, Clemente became the first Afro/Black-Latina vice presidential candidate, joining Cynthia McKinney on the Green Party ticket. They are the only women of color ticket in U.S. presidential history.

She is the creator of Know Thy Self Productions, a full-service speakers bureau, production company and media consulting service, where she has produced eight community activism tours.

Most recently, Clemente was an associate producer of the two-time Oscar-winning biographical drama, “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s W.E.B. DuBois Center.

Dr. David Siegel is a professor of educational leadership at East Carolina University.

He is the author of “The Interlude in Academe: Reclaiming Time and Space for Intellectual Life,” “Organizing for Social Partnership: Higher Education in Cross-Sector Collaboration,” and The Call for Diversity: Pressure, Expectation and Organizational Response in the Postsecondary Setting.”

Dr. Siegel is a co-editor, alongside President Knapp, of a three-volume book set, “The Business of Higher Education.”

His essays have appeared in various publications, such as Academe Aeon, Liberal Education and The Chronicle Review.

Dr. Siegel’s work has been supported by grants from the Lumina Foundation for Education and the Fulbright Specialist Program.

About Washington & Jefferson College 

Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pennsylvania, is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu or call 888-W-AND-JAY.