Advocacy & Activism: Leading from where you are

Westminster College played a leading role in defining the contours of the last century as global leaders visited its campus and delivered world-changing policy speeches. At the twelfth annual Hancock Symposium, Westminster students and members of the wider community were invited to think about how they can be agents for change in defining the next century.

By interacting with world-renowned activists, scholars, politicians, entrepreneurs, and artists who have exhibited transformative leadership in their fields, attendees were challenged to reach new personal and professional heights. Whether by identifying and rectifying a social injustice or by providing visionary solutions to issues affecting your profession or discipline, 2017 speakers inspired their audiences to push the boundaries of what advocates and activists can achieve. In doing so, participants were encouraged to fulfill their potential as global leaders while helping ensure that Westminster continues its mission to redefine the world.

Green Foundation Speaker: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

As of 2017, Senator Sanders is the longest-serving independent member of Congress in American history. Throughout his years of public service, Senator Sanders has focused on the shrinking American middle class and the growing income and wealth gaps in the United States. Since his election as mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981, Sanders has been a champion of progressive causes including environmental protection, progressive taxation, and civil rights. His campaign for the United States presidency in 2016 galvanized a generation of young people into political activism.

Plenary Speakers

Katharine Hayhoe, climate scientist, political science professor, and Director of the Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas

Aisha Fukushima, founder of RAPtivism, New York

Executive Speakers

Dave Collins, Professor of English, Emeritus, Westminster College, and Vic Holmes, Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, University of North Texas Health Science Center

Eryn Wise, Youth Coordinator, Honor the Earth and Former Media Coordinator, International Indigenous Youth Council

Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, Christian Theological Seminary

Fereshteh Forough, Afghan Technology Entrepreneur & Founder and CEO of Code to Inspire, Peace is Loud Speaker

Breakout Session Speakers

Donald Wood ’00, Executive Director, Just Communities of Arkansas

Beau Underwood, Senior Minister at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Subhi Nahas, Founder and Executive Director of Spectra Project

Ratchet, Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) Vice President of Missouri, and B.A.C.A Chapter President of Mid-Missouri Chapter

Westminster Faculty and Student Panel: “Pope Francis: An Unlikely Climate Activist”

Dr. Dave Hammer, All the Way Home organization

Paula Kreissler, Director for Healthy Living and Community Development for Health Savannah

Ryan Dillon ‘06, Candidate for Missouri State Senate

Dr. Kali Wright-Smith ’04, Associate Professor of Political Science, Westminster College

James Gordon, Lead Developer, California Civic Data Coalition

Milia Islam-Majeed ’01, Executive Director, South Coast Interfaith Council

Liz Icenogle ’05, CAE, Director of Strategic Affairs at ARMA International, Bethany Moran ’97 Regional Vice President at NRCCUA, and Mikhail Orlov ’96, founder of Run United

Dr. Marialice Curran, Curran Dee, and Matt Murrie ’98, Chief Curiosity Curator, What If…? 360

Larry Miller and Troy Stabenow

Max Abrahms, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Northeastern University, Boston