Generation after generation matures with the knowledge that they will be one day charged with making the decisions that govern our nation and world. It is no secret that our generation is the future, but this is one message junior Ginny Graves was reminded of last summer while working as an economic policy intern at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. The Center is run by esteemed Knox alum, John Podesta ’71.
Part of Graves’s experience was participating in a national youth conference, and there she was struck by the faith and trust that older generations placed in the youth. She said one of the focal points was “figuring out goals for when we’re in charge.”
With this idea in mind, Graves has taken steps to found a Knox chapter of Campus Progress, a collegiate branch of the Center for American Progress with chapters across the U.S. Graves describes the group as “issue based,” and “progressive,” and says its aim will be to “let young progressives have their voices heard” while trying “to give as much unbiased information as possible” to empower young people to make decisions.
When asked what Campus Progress will offer that other organizations at Knox cannot, Graves said, “No organization here is dedicated to giving people facts about what is going on in the present day United States.” She stressed the idea that the facts are pieces of unbiased information offered to aid students in developing perspectives. She continued, saying she thought this would be of great interest to Knox students, and would help them in decision making and “[to be] very active … and part of a bigger picture that is the future of America.”
According to Graves, the group will focus on “creating awareness, education, and empowerment.” She hopes Campus Progress will invite speakers, hold events, forums, panel discussions, and possibly undertake its own campus publication. She said the group is “very open ended,” and can be molded by Knox’s specific needs and interests.
At a national level, the organization has set issues and campaigns, but the individual collegiate chapter will determine its primary interests. Issues might range from war to global warming, justice to academic freedom; they may be broad or narrow.
Graves echoed the “we are the future” sentiment, noting that college students are the “future of America, and it is up to us what direction to go in. We should be empowered to make that decision.” She hopes that with a group specifically aimed at issue-based conversation and the exchange of ideas, Knox students can begin to work towards shaping a better future for the country and world.
Campus Progress meets Tuesdays at 4 p.m. in the Common Room of Old Main.