Saturday, March 22, 2014

Toggling Between Two Screens: Hillary at CGI U 2014 and Gerri on Showtime

The first webcast from CGI U 2014 at Arizona State University last night featured Hillary Clinton welcoming the participants and  introducing ASU President Michael Crow who, in turn, introduced Bill Clinton.  After presenting five students summarizing exciting projects, the former president then moderated a panel consisting of  Senator John McCain, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, women's rights activist Manal Al-Sharif, and Harvard student Shree Bose.

Both Clintons received resounding welcomes from the youthful audience.  Hillary greeted them in her typical wonky fashion citing stats.  The topic of the evening was The Age of Participation which, Hillary made clear, refers not only to an era but also to an age group as she addressed an overwhelmingly millennial audience.

She spoke of the CGI U participation doubling from 600 at the first event in 2008 to 1200 this weekend when students from 270 schools, 50 states, and more than 80 countries  represent 685 commitments to action so far and dubbed millennials "the participation generation."
Praising the host university she noted that one-third of ASU's largest student body in the United States are the first in their families to go to college.   Calling millennials crowd-sourcing entrepreneurs who are open-minded and tolerant, she noted that three-quarters of that age group had volunteered in the last year.

She stressed that change is possible in the world and that they can effect it pointing out that because of last year's CGI U 50,000 people now have healthcare,  23,000 people are in mentoring and training programs, and 200,000  square feet of new community gardens have been planted.

It was a motivating and inspiring start to what is sure to be a record-breaking weekend for CGI U.

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Meanwhile, Showtime was airing the premiere of Donna Zacarro's loving documentary tribute to her mother, Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way.  Talk about being torn!  Talk about toggling between glass ceiling crackers!

There was Gerri on TV, and Hillary was sometimes on both screens at once - at CGI U on my laptop and in Donna's documentary.

Hillary was talking about Gerri, and Gerri was talking about Hillary -  at one point choking up and unable to continue when she spoke about pulling that lever for Hillary in 2008.


This one is a keeper.  I am recording it as I type.  Kudos to Donna on this beautiful, powerful, and touching portrait of her heroic mom.  I did not shed tears when I pulled the lever for Hillary.  I didn't do that when I voted Mondale-Ferraro, either.  It was sheer joy, and I have kept the sample ballot from the 2008 primary as I did not have the foresight to do with the 1984 sample.  Maybe I thought, naively, that the struggle had been won and this would be the way of things from then on.  I really don't know.  I think I did.

Nothing will ever erase from my memory, however,  the pride I felt for her that July morning 30 years ago driving to work, hearing her acceptance again on the radio, and sitting up so tall in the driver's seat and smiling as I drove to work.   That morning ... that ... was the first morning of the rest of our lives.