Baylor ONE Leader in D.C. for Elite Student SummitJan. 14, 2008
Media contact: Kimberly Cadena, ONE Campaign spokesperson, (202) 669-0802
Baylor Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Justin Kralemann, a sophomore biology major from Chesterfield, Mo., and ONE Chapter leader at Baylor University, joined more than 120 of the top student activists from U.S. colleges and universities in Washington, D.C., in early January for the first-ever ONE student summit.
The three-day summit offered students the opportunity to meet some of the political and policy figures who have led the fight against extreme poverty and disease, including former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Council on Foreign Relations' Gene Sperling, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Paul Begala, political contributor and Democratic strategist on CNN's "The Situation Room."
As students learned about ONE and heard from well-known speakers, activists and political leaders, the goal of the Power 100 Summit was to create lifelong activists. In the short term, students learned techniques that have been effective on college campuses nationwide to raise awareness about the fight against global poverty and disease, as well as acquire new ideas and polish their skills for the coming semester.
"It was such an honor to be able to travel to Washington, D.C., to represent Baylor. So many of Baylor's principles coincide with the values of the ONE Campaign. As one of the most prominent Christian universities in the world, I feel we should be the forerunners in fighting a global issue such as extreme poverty," said Kralemann, who is a member of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce. "I hope to inspire my peers over the next semester to put their Christian morals into practice to bring about positive change in our world."
Students earned an invitation to the Power 100 Summit by being one of the student leaders at the top 100 campuses nationwide, as determined by the schools that rank within the top 100 schools in the ONE Campus Challenge (OCC). Campuses earn their ranking by garnering points in challenges that advance and increase awareness of the movement to make poverty history. The schools with the most points after World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) were invited to elect one representative to come to the conference. The Power 100 Summit took place Jan. 2-5 at the Capital Hilton.
More than 20,000 students on 1,300 campuses nationwide are participating in the ONE Campus Challenge, a competition among schools across the country. In its first 12 hours, the Challenge signed up new members of the ONE Campaign on more than 1,000 college campuses across the United States. ONE's use of cutting-edge Internet-based technologies gives students an unprecedented level of organization and involvement.
Kralemann said through the work of students, Baylor was ranked 45th in the nation in the ONE Campus Challenge.
"To earn his spot at the conference, Kralemann organized his peers to take actions that will create lasting change. They called their Members of Congress. They recruited other students and they asked presidential candidates what they are doing to address these issues," said ONE spokesperson Kimberly Cadena. "This is a critical time in history, and students are seizing the opportunity to make big things happen as we move to end extreme poverty and eradicate unnecessary diseases such as malaria around the world. Justin is one of many student leaders across the U.S., who will accomplish great things individually in the coming semester, but together they will change the world in their lifetimes."
Kralemann says his goals for the next year include working with Baylor President John M. Lilley and Waco Mayor Virginia DuPuy to make Baylor a campus of ONE and Waco a city of ONE, creating awareness of ONE on campus by working with Baylor Athletics and Student Ministries, and chartering ONE as an official organization at Baylor. He also said he plans to partner with other Texas universities, such as the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University and University of Houston, all of which had representatives at the summit.
During the conference, Jenna Bush, daughter of President George W. Bush, spoke to the students about Ana's Story, a book she wrote about her time interning in Latin America with UNICEF. She encouraged students to talk about the individuals affected by the problems they are working to address, rather than relying on statistics which frequently overwhelm the listener. After speaking to the Power 100 participants, she signed copies of Ana's Story and posed for photographs with the student leaders.
Suprotik Basu, Public Health Specialist for the World Bank's Booster Program for Malaria Control in Africa and newly appointed Managing Director for Malaria No More, urged the students to think about the implications of ending malaria, posing it as the public health achievement of this generation. Basu advised that it is feasible that the next president could end deaths from malaria, a disease that currently takes the life of more than 3,000 children each day, within 10 years and with new tools and technologies that the disease could be eradicated in their lifetimes. Students were energized by the possibility and surrounded Basu after his remarks with questions.
Students also heard from Gayle Smith, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress; Steve Radelet, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development; Sam Worthington, President and CEO of InterAction; John Fawcett, Legislative Director for RESULTS: Creating Political Will to End Hunger; Patrick Schmitt, former Executive Director of STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition; Adam Taylor, Director of Campaigns and Organizing for Sojourners; and Erin Thornton, Policy Director for ONE.
"Every day, I see first-hand the creativity and energy that students bring to ONE. Bringing the top student leaders together in D.C. for the Power 100 Summit was one of the best things ONE has ever done," said ONE Student Outreach Coordinator Erin Eagan. "For the first time, we brought together students who have achieved great successes as organizers on their campuses, including some who have successfully recruited more than 1,000 students on their campus, petitioned their mayor to declare their city a ONE City or gotten ONE issues included in their school's curriculum. Their accomplishments are as diverse as the students represented here and all have been on the frontlines of the fight against poverty in 2007."
Lighter moments of the conference included hearing from Douglas Walker, founder of the World Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) Society, who spoke about the power of viral marketing and refereed an impromptu RPS tournament for Summit attendees. Students also took a tour of Washington's monuments, preceded by dinner at the National Press Club with Tucker Eskew, former Deputy Assistant to the President in the White House Office of Communications and founding partner of ViaNovo, and Nathan Naylor, White House veteran from the Clinton-Gore administration and current adviser on cyber security communication strategies to the Department of Homeland Security. Friday evening closed with a concert by Washington, D.C.'s, own Jukebox the Ghost, who joined the Power 100 participants to create a human ONE logo in the lobby of the Capital Hilton at the conclusion of their show.
"At the Power 100 Summit, the top ONE chapter leaders had the opportunity to meet each other and share their enthusiasm about what ONE is doing across the country. The take-away from this conference, in addition to friendships and restored enthusiasm, is a lasting passion for activism," Cadena said. "These students are among the 2.4 million members of ONE that believe that we can end extreme poverty and stop the spread of preventable disease. College campuses are a laboratory for effective activism and the ONE Campus Challenge provides students with the tools necessary to take advantage of every opportunity and to create many on their own."
THE ONE CAMPUS CHALLENGE is ONE's initiative to engage American college students in the fight against extreme poverty and global disease. It is a high-energy, creative organizing effort to funnel students' innovative ideas and passion into the growing movement to make poverty history. For more information, please visit: one.org/campus.
ONE: THE CAMPAIGN TO MAKE POVERTY HISTORY is a new effort by Americans to rally Americans -- ONE by ONE -- to fight the emergency of global disease and extreme poverty. ONE is a coalition of millions of Americans and more than 150 of the nation's leading relief, humanitarian and advocacy organizations. For more information, please visit: ONE.org.