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Getting Engaged: Inspiring Civic Bystanders to Action

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With support from: Lowell Institute
Date and time
Thursday, September 29, 2022

Revolutionary Spaces, GBH News, GBH Forum Network, and Suffolk University are coming together to present an exciting panel discussion on what it takes to motivate young people to vote in contemporary America. Moderated by GBH News correspondent Peter Kadzis, this special afternoon program will feature a subject matter policy expert, a voting rights advocate, a political campaign strategist, and a minority youth activist group representative. With audience participation, the panel will take on issues relating to political persuasion, mobilization, and the power of generational change. Among the enduring questions to be addressed are: how is my voice heard; who speaks for me; and what is my recourse if I am silenced or marginalized. The program will thus aim to explore the who, what, where, when, how, and why of voting among young people in America today.

Peter Kadzis joined the *Boston Phoenix* as Associate Editor in 1988, became editor in 1989, and was named Executive Editor of the Phoenix Media/Communications Group in 2004. He assumed responsibility for all content and operation at its three newspapers, various magazines, and websites. Mr. Kadzis is also a political commentator on *Fox 25 News*. Mr. Kadzis’ newspaper career includes work at the *Boston Globe*, the *Providence Journal*, *New York Daily News*, *Money Magazine*, and *Forbes*. He has covered a variety of topics including breaking news, politics, Wall Street, and the economy. Mr. Kadzis also worked as an editorial advisor to the *Boston Business Journal* before founding its companion publication, the *Providence Business News*. Under Kadzis’s leadership, the Phoenix has been awarded the Pulitzer for Criticism and the National Press Club’s Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism. Kadzis in 2002 and 2009 won NEPA’s award for Distinguished Editorial Writing.
Noorya Hayat joined CIRCLE as a researcher in January 2016. She works on projects that help promote civic learning and engagement in the K-12 education system and beyond, and she is interested in the intersection of education, both in formal and informal settings, and civic learning and awareness in youth, particularly from marginalized and diverse ethnic backgrounds. Noorya has experience working in the U.S. and abroad in teaching and educational research. Before joining CIRCLE, Noorya worked as an international researcher and coordinator in public health and nutrition awareness in the developing world. She has experience teaching and mentoring students from diverse backgrounds and grade levels, and worked as an early childhood educator in Boston.
Vanessa Snow is the Policy and Organizing Director at MassVOTE. Vanessa is a long-time activist from Boston. She brings decades of experience in labor, community, and youth organizing and advocacy. A UMass Amherst alum, Ms. Snow has previously served at organizations including SEIU Local 509, the Greater Boston Labor Council, and the Hyde Square Task Force. Additionally, Ms. Snow is the board chair of Zero Debt MA, a board member of Student Immigrant Movement, a member of the Mijente National Leadership Circle, and a member of Right to the City Vote’s steering committee.
Lina Cañon, a first-generation immigrant from Colombia, leads chica project’s development, finances and operations. For a year and a half she held this Director role while also acting as Interim E.D. strengthening Chica Project's fundraising with multi-year commitments from multiple partners, playing a critical role in building collaborations that strengthen data collection and assessment capacities, and enhancing team development. She has a MBA from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business with a concentration in Social Impact and Leadership and Organizational Transformation.
John A. Griffin is a public policy analyst and political consultant with experience in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. He currently serves as an advisor to Danielle Allen, a former candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, and to Priorities For Progress, an advocacy organization dedicated to advancing innovation and good governance in the Commonwealth. Previously, he served as the Massachusetts Policy Director at Democrats for Education Reform, where he authored the 2020 Massachusetts K-12 Education Policy Primer. He has also advised multiple campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels. John holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.