Today’s Afternoon Plenary at the AIPAC Policy Conference had an absolutely incredible opening!
Harvard students up on the stage told of their campaign to divest Harvard University funds from companies that do business with Iran’s energy sector. Part of their motivation is the inspire the many Harvard alumni in positions of power to support the idea of divestment from Iran. They have met with the many Harvard alumni in Congress, and a dozen members of Congress have already signed on to the official petition they are bringing to Harvard this year.
Following the Harvard group, students from around the nation spoke about their activism at Columbia University, University of Florida, George Wahington University, Northwestern, Yeshiva University and Stern, Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, and many others.
In total, there are more than 1300 students attending the conference today, from 365 colleges and high schools across the nation!
Student Comments from the Conference Stage
This isn’t just about nuclear bombs (although those are an important issue, of course).
These students are being inspired by the pictures and audiotapes of young Iranian men and women willing to risk everything, including their very lives.The students are saying that “they too seek change.”
And therefore, “we, who risk nothing, must do everything to ensure a peaceful change.”
These students “have pledged never to grow weary, never to give up, because far too much is at stake.”
You can hear the students’ full remarks here:
One-on-One Student Perspectives on AIPAC
During the Conference, I caught up with Isaiah Scott, a member of the 15-strong delegation from Morehouse College. Isaiah is originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a Junior studying Economics. I asked him his opinion of the conference so far, and here is what he told me.
Logistically, it’s phenomenal. A very good hub for knowledge and dialogue, very educational, offers a wealth of perspectives.
Would you come again or recommend it to other people?
Definitely, if you’re interested in this stuff!
See another interview Leora did with Richard Fulton, Jr., another Morehouse student, on divesting from Iran’s energy sector here:
Minnesota Boy in Lights
Zander Abrams from our very own University of Minnesota also spoke up on the Plenary stage tonight. (Full disclosure: I know Zander’s aunt personally, though in Minnesota’s Jewish community, that’s hardly surprising).
It was great to see our state represented right up there with Harvard and Columbia, and I think Zander definitely did us proud!
I caught up with Zander after the Plenary, and you can hear some of his remarks in this video.
All of these students are at AIPAC because they want to know that they were a part of the generation that helped ensure “a strong and secure america, a lasting and vibrant Israel, a world at peace.”