THIS SATURDAY! The Michigan Summit: Largest gathering of Michigan progressives of the year

Energizing. Engaging. Winning.

Every year, Progress Michigan and a Who’s Who coalition of progressive organizations from around the state host an event called “The Michigan Summit”. (You can have a look at my liveblog of the 2011 Michigan Summit HERE.)

This year, the event takes place THIS SATURDAY, May 12, 2012, starting at 8:00 a.m. at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing. If you are involved in progressive political action, activism or Democratic politics in any way, you won’t want to miss it.

This year’s theme is “Energizing. Engaging. Winning.” and it’s a perfect description of the intent of The Michigan Summit: to activate progressives across the state to achieve our goals in everything that we do.

Here’s the Zack Pohl, Executive Director of Progress Michigan:

Our goal is to propel Michigan toward a better tomorrow through a collective voice, and to help strengthen our communities. We’re thrilled about the lineup of keynote speakers and participants, and the broad array of diversity and perspectives they bring to the table. This event is all about collaboration, helping participants to find their voice and working towards change.

I am personally looking forward to this year’s event. Check out this list of breakout sessions from their agenda:

  • People-Powered Democracy
  • Our Vote, Our Voice
  • A Progressive Approach to Investing in our Future
  • Movement Building
  • Voting is Power: Mobilizing in 2012
  • Effective Usage of Social Media as an Organizing Tool

The two keynote speakers this year are powerhouses in progressive activism.

Barbara R. Arnwine is the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

A leader in the civil rights community, Ms. Arnwine’s contributions on critical justice issues include the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991. As a graduate of Scripps College and Duke Law School, she continues to champion civil rights issues.

In 1995, Ms. Arnwine led a delegation to the NGO Forum and Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In 2001, she helped draft provisions of the Program for Action of the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa.

Ms. Arwine has this to say about Michigan Summit 2012:

I’ve fought to help people find their voice across the globe, and that starts with the drive for change, and grassroots efforts just like at the Michigan Summit. People across our country are facing massive obstacles, and they can be the engines that drive change by simply working together.

George Goehl is the executive director of National People’s Action, a network of metropolitan and statewide membership organizations dedicated to advancing economic and racial justice.

George has been an organizer and strategist for 17 years, crafting city, state and federal campaigns on issues ranging from preventing foreclosures, outlawing predatory lending and advancing immigration reform.

Under George’s leadership National People’s Action has helped lead the fight to hold big banks accountable, advance financial reform and prevent foreclosures. He is a co-founder of The New Bottom Line, a national alignment designed to restructure our relationship with Wall Street and the financial sector, and advance a vision of a more equitable and sustainable economy.

Here’s Mr. Goehl’s take on this year’s Michigan Summit:

I’m looking forward to the Michigan Summit and discussing issues that impact Michigan residents on a day-to-day basis. Only by sparking conversation and collaborating for solutions can we resolve obstacles Michigan residents – and the rest of our country – face every day.

At The Michigan Summit, they will also be announcing the winner of the 2012 Organizer of the Year Award.

As famed organizer Marshall Ganz explains, organizers identify, recruit and develop leadership; build community around leadership; and build power out of community. Michigan is blessed with extraordinary organizing talent and at The Michigan Summit on May 12 in East Lansing we will recognize their contributions by honoring the 2012 Michigan Organizer of the Year. The winner will designate a $1,000 gift to a Michigan 501 c 3 non-profit civic engagement organization of their choice.

Who’s the 2012 Michigan Organizer of the Year? Someone with a demonstrated record of building grassroots leadership and community power. Additionally, he or she is:

  • an empowering advocate who lifts up and moves forward Michiganders who are often left behind
  • a champion who fights for social justice and protects our air, land, water, health and safety.
  • a bridge-builder who forms connections and coalitions between diverse people and makes unlikely allies
  • a selfless, grassroots organizer who works hard while sharing the limelight
  • a risk-taker who generates new, exciting ideas and innovative solutions to old problems
  • a standard-bearer involved in building the capacity, and the power, of Michigan’s progressive movement

You can register for The Michigan Summit by clicking the image below:

As an added bonus/incentive, attendees at The Michigan Summit will have a chance to win one of two Amazon Kindle Fires.

You can follow The Michigan Summit on Twitter HERE and put a “Like” on their Facebook page HERE. The Twitter hashtag for The Michigan Summit is “#MS12″.

If you are involved in any way with progressive activism in the state of Michigan, you won’t want to miss this crucial educational and networking opportunity. You’ll come away energized, engaged, and ready to win.

I hope to see you there.

P.S., if you can’t make the event, they will be live-streaming the two keynote speeches HERE.

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