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Indiana Conference on Citizenship 2020

The Best of America: Citizenship in Times of Crisis

September 17, 2020
10:00-11:30 A.M.

On Constitution Day – Thursday, September 17, 2020 – Sagamore Institute hosted the 6th annual Indiana Conference on Citizenship. In face of an unprecedented year, the 2020 conference focused on the critical role of citizenship during times of national crisis. Drawing from the lessons he learned as the first director of the USA Freedom Corp, keynote speaker John Bridgeland shared how the spirit of volunteerism and civic engagement shape our national response to crisis. 

Explore our game day or watch a recap of the event to learn more.

John Bridgeland

keynote speaker

John Bridgeland served as Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Assistant to the President of the United States, and first Director of the USA Freedom Corps under President George W. Bush.

Bridgeland experienced American citizens rising up in times of crisis first-hand from the West Wing on 9/11 and he built President Bush’s national service strategy in response. John will offer an insider’s account of this remarkable time and share some new ideas about how to refresh the same spirit during the COVID-19 era.

Leslie Lenkowsky

Dr. Leslie Lenkowsky is an expert in volunteering and civic engagement, nonprofits and public policy, civil society in comparative perspective, education and social welfare policy, and social entrepreneurship. A leading scholar on philanthropy, Lenkowsky has been a member of the Paul J. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University since 2004, and, for five years, was the director of Graduate Programs at IU’s Center on Philanthropy in Indianapolis. He also served for many years as professor of philanthropic studies and public policy at IUPUI.  

In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Lenkowsky to be CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a position he held for three years. The Corporation engages more than a million Americans of all ages in improving local communities through three initiatives: AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and the National Senior ServiceCorps.

Jaylon Smith Receives the Celebrating American Ideas Award

As a think tank committed to moving ideas into action, the fourth Celebrating American Ideas award was awarded to Jaylon Smith, Dallas Cowboys linebacker and founder of the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI). MEI closes the economic and educational gap for minority entrepreneurs by connecting impact investors to quality and meaningful minority-owned investment opportunities, holding annual pitch competitions, and providing consulting services and support to minority entrepreneurs. At the 6th annual Indiana Conference on Citizenship, Sagamore Institute  honored Jaylon Smith for putting his vision to work by providing equal resources and opportunity to close the gap. Given the beginning of a busy NFL season, Jaylon was not able to join us live at the event but the program featured a video highlighting his important work with MEI.

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