Civic Action Academy Registration and Keynotes Announced

September 9, 2019

Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact is excited to announce the keynotes to the 2019 Civic Action Academy. Students from across the Midwest are invited to attend this two-day conference focused on civic and community engagement. Register today!

Stacey Walker, County Supervisor, Linn County

Friday, November 8 @ Noon

One of our greatest duties as Americans is to our country. Civic activism has been an essential feature of our democratic experiment, and as our country faces an ever-growing set of complex challenges, our duty to engage civically has become more apparent and important. During this talk, I will encourage students to engage with their country at every level – local, state, and federal – to meet the challenges of our time.

About Stacey Walker

Stacey Walker is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He grew up on the southeast side of town and attended Washington High School. He went on to study political science at the University of Iowa. After college, he helped launch the LBA Foundation, an education-based nonprofit that works to help at-risk students stay on course to graduation. Walker later moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Case Foundation, a family organization dedicated to empowering people and ideas that can change the world. Prior to being elected to the Linn County Board of Supervisors – as the first African American to ever hold the position – Stacey served as the Chief of Staff for Patel Endeavors and Hawkeye Hotels. Throughout his career, Walker has worked for several political campaigns at the congressional, gubernatorial, and presidential level. He continues to serve as a political activist and writer, with a portfolio of work published in Little Village Magazine, Quartz Magazine, The Washington Post’s The Root, among others. Walker served as Co-chair of the Safe, Equitable, and Thriving Communities Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional partnership between the City of Cedar Rapids, the Cedar Rapids School District, and Linn County to address systemic poverty and gun violence among other priorities. He is a board member to the Academy for Scholastic and Personal Success, the University of Iowa Political Science Department Alumni Advisory Board, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, and NewBo City Market. In addition to serving as the county’s legislative liaison to Iowa’s General Assembly, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Linn County Public Health Department, the Public Art Commission, the Workforce Development CEO Board, the Large Investor Board of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Advisory Committee for CSPS/Legion Arts and he represents Linn County on the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Justice & Public Safety Steering Committee. Walker received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Iowa in 2010.

Paul Pate, Iowa Secretary of State

Friday, November 8 @ 4 pm

Secretary of State Paul Pate will discuss how students and campuses can be “voter ready” for upcoming elections. The secretary will also present the 2018 All In Campus Challenge Awards in the following categories: highest student voter turnout and most improved from 2014 with separate awards in each category for private and public colleges and universities. The secretary will also take questions from students about Iowa’s election system.

About Paul Pate

Paul Pate is a nationally-recognized entrepreneur, currently serving in his third term as Iowa Secretary of State. Pate has dedicated his life to public service, also serving as a state senator and mayor of Cedar Rapids. Pate’s office oversees elections and business filings for the State of Iowa. He was recently elected the President of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Pate has received national awards for election cybersecurity, his efforts to help veterans and Iowans with disabilities vote, poll worker training, and Youth Straw Polls. He is a father of three, and a grandfather of five. Paul and his wife Jane live in Cedar Rapids.

Megan Tensen and Sarah Helleso

Saturday, November 9 @ 11:30 pm

Megan and Sarah will share from their experience as co-directors of Try Pie Bakery – a nonprofit teen employment program that hires high school girls to make pie as a tool in equipping them with work, life, and leadership skills. With values of empowerment and mutuality, they believe social enterprise will play a critical role in the nonprofit sector moving beyond a charity-based approach and toward creating long-term transformational change. They hope to inspire you to think about how you might use business as a tool to address the needs you see in your own community and pass along some practical applications of what they’ve learned while working with the teens at Try Pie.

About Try Pie 

Try Pie is a social enterprise in Waterloo, Iowa that uses employment as an opportunity to engage and equip young women for their futures.  Following their graduations from the University of Northern Iowa, Sarah Helleso and Megan Tensen became directors of the program. With their background in Nonprofit Management and interest in the overlap between business and ministry, the two grew the program from its beginnings in a church kitchen to its own storefront in downtown Waterloo this past December. Since its formation in 2014, the program has employed and trained 28 high school students in job skills, financial literacy, and has given them opportunities to build friendships across divides in our community.  Megan and Sarah are convinced of the value of social enterprise as a critical tool in transforming our communities and engaging our youth. They’ve both been deeply impacted by the students they’ve worked with through Try Pie, and are glad to be with you today.

About the Civic Action Academy

November 8 – 9, 2019, The University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa

This unique professional development opportunity for students interested in learning new ways of making a difference and building skills through civic and community engagement.

The event will be held on November 8 and 9, 2019 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. Students from across the Midwest and beyond (undergraduate and graduate) are invited to learn from professionals across sectors. Sessions will offer skill-building in civic action including philanthropy, leadership, dialogue, advocacy and more. Students will also have a chance to learn what others are doing on other campuses and network with peers.

Registration is now open. The full conference rate is $75, but students, staff, and faculty from Campus Compact member institutions can register at a discounted rate of $25.

Attendees may also register for the Civic Leadership Workshop (pre-conference) and Networking Dinners (Friday night) for an additional fee. Space is limited to both!