Democracy 911

Democracy 911

February 18-February 21st, 2010 (NY)

WHERE: NY Retreat Facility: The Woodhull Retreat Center, Ancramdale, NY 2-1/2 hours north of New York City in the beautiful Berkshire Mountain region.

WHY: Most U.S. citizens, even those with the most to offer as citizen leaders, know very little about how this country works and what they can do to make it better.

FORMAT: In a long weekend, a team of professionals will lead a true non-partisan “Democracy 911″. Retreatants will receive a core grounding in the principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as well as a refresher on the separation of powers. Furthermore, the retreat will provide participants with intensive modules on how to start a campaign, pressure your representative, create your own media, write op-eds, craft an initiative or referendum, draft a bill, lobby and petition for your most cherished issues, run a protest and excel at public speaking.

Gain the Skills to:

Write Op-Eds; Writing for Change
Draft a Bill
Run a Protest
Excel at Public Speaking
Start a Campaign
Pressure Your Representative
Lobby and Petition for Issues
Craft an Initiative or Referendum

COST: $395 plus $200 lodging, totaling $595. We encourage you to seek scholarship from your institution or place of employment. Limited scholarships are available.

Professionals will Include: Naomi Wolf, Shahid Buttar, Catherine Orenstein, Wende Jager-Hyman, Jacquette Timmons and Sgt. Matthis Chiroux.

Feminist, social critic, and political activist Naomi Wolf raises awareness of the pervasive inequities that exist in society and politics. She encourages people to take charge of their lives, voice their concerns and enact change.

Wolf’s latest book, The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, is an impassioned call to return to the aspirations and beliefs of the Founding Fathers. Wolf shows how events of the last six years parallel steps taken in the early years of the 20th century’s worst dictatorships. A documentary adaptation of The End of America was relased in fall 2008 along with her follow-up book, Give Me Liberty: A Handbook For American Revolutionaries.

Wolf is co-founder of The Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership, an organization that teaches young women how to become leaders and agents of change in the 21st century, and co-founder of The American Freedom Campaign, a non-partisan citizens’ alliance formed to reverse the abuse of executive power and restore our system of checks and balances.

A graduate of Yale and a former Rhodes Scholar, Wolf has written essays for The New Republic, The Wall Street Journal, Glamour, and The New York Times.

Shahid Buttar is the Executive Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and leads the People’s Campaign for the Constitution (PCC) in their efforts to defend civil liberties and privacy interests threatened by the war on terror. Previously, the director of a program to combat racial and religious profiling by federal authorities, an Associate Director of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, and a litigator in private practice with a prolific public interest docket, Buttar has long advocated in defense of the Constitution. He graduated from Stanford Law School in 2003, where he served as executive editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and as Professor Lawrence Lessig’s teaching assistant for Constitutional Law.

Catherine Orenstein has contributed to the op-ed pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Miami Herald. Her opinion pieces on women, power, popular culture, and human rights have run on the Knight-Ridder newswire and appear in anthologies. She has lectured at Harvard, Penn, and Columbia universities, and appeared on ABC TV World News, Good Morning America, MSNBC, CNN and NPR All Things Considered.  A graduate of Harvard (BA) and Columbia (MA) universities, she is the author of Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked: Sex, Morality and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale, and she is a fellow at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership.

Karla Jackson-Brewer is an African American feminist therapist whose private practice serves women of color, sexual assault survivors, and addresses issues of cultural/ethnic identity, spirituality and empowerment. Karla is an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University in the Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies Departments. She has taught at the college level for the past 23 years. She teaches the courses “Dynamics or Race, Sex and Class, “Intro to Africana Studies,” “The Black Woman,” and “African Religions.” She currently advises a women’s activist organization at Rutgers.

Wende Jager-Hyman has an extensive background in both the worlds of education and business. She comes to us after years of service as the E.D. of a major private independent school on Long Island, with an enrollment of over 700 students. Prior to serving in a not-for-profit educational environment, Wende’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to be the founder and owner of a personnel recruiting firm. Her experience extends into finance, budgeting, program development, fund development and marketing in both the public and private sectors. Wende is dedicated to training women in ethical leadership skills and helping them to get their voices in the public sector.

Jacquette M. Timmons, the author of “Financial Intimacy,” is known for leading thought-provoking conversations about money, choices, relationships, and life. An investment expert and financial coach, she is the founder of Sterling Investment Management, an investment education and financial coaching firm. She has worked in the investment industry for twenty-three years, dedicating more than a decade to teaching intelligent people how to be smarter with their money. Ms. Timmons holds an MBA in finance from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business and a BS in marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

After serving five years in the Army, Sgt. Matthis Chiroux was discharged and subsequently recalled for a year-long deployment to Iraq. Matthis refused those orders in Congress May 15, 2008 (watch video) and spent the next month with Members of the House of Representatives, 13 of whom sent a signed a letter of support for Matthis to President Bush, likely resulting in his later discharge under honorable conditions. Matthis now organizes in various communities around peace and social justice issues. His experience includes organizing and leading grass-roots campaigns, demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience as well spokesmanship at various levels. Matthis is a student of political science at Brooklyn College and serves on the Iraq Veterans Against the War Board of Directors.

Honor Presidents’ week the way it was meant to be honored. Become an informed and active citizen leader!