To change this country, we must first change the conversation within the younger generation. Through Heritage’s Young Leaders Program (YLP), Heritage speakers are visiting college campuses to do just that.
Ryan Anderson, Heritage’s leading voice on traditional marriage, visited Boston College this fall to lead a discussion about marriage. A number of campus organizations created Facebook groups to protest the talk and invited other students to “occupy” the auditorium. According to the Boston College newspaper, The Heights, students listened to the facts Anderson introduced.
Mike Villafranca, co-president of the St. Thomas More Society, stopped by the discussion to speak with the students there. “I was concerned going into tonight’s talk because I knew nothing about Mr. Anderson, and I was worried that the student reaction would be visceral and angry,” Villafranca said later in an email that was noted in The Heights. He continued:
Instead of that, I was impressed by the way that the students from GLC and BCSSH reacted to what Mr. Anderson said. It was clear that they came with ideas about what they wanted to ask, but that they listened to what he had to say, and they challenged him in terms of what he said rather than what they came expecting to hear. I’m glad that the Q&A stayed on an intellectual level and didn’t descend into emotional outbursts, which it easily and justifiably could have done.
At the University of Dallas, Heritage shared with students about the American Dream. David Azerrad, Director of Heritage’s B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics, gave his insights on American values as a Canadian. Students heard how to articulate the case of why economic opportunity is not threatened by income inequality.
Speakers have visited schools including Harvard College and Ohio State University. Depending on the campus, they cover a variety of policy issue areas, ranging from the importance of traditional marriage to homeland security and the debt.
Each year, YLP also hosts more than 100 school groups at Heritage’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. This semester, Program Associate Angelise Schrader welcomed students from major universities, homeschool programs, and community groups from across the U.S. and abroad.
The Young Leaders Program seeks to help young people understand why conservative principles and policies are best not only for our nation, but also for their future.
Want to bring a Heritage speaker to your campus—or bring your group to Heritage? Contact the YLP.