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On Thursday, February 21, 2008 the 12th annual Barbara Jordan National Forum on Public Policy, a student led and student organized event. Centering on the theme Change: From What to What?, this year’s forum explored the evolving political landscape in America in much the same way Barbara Jordan’s address of the same name did at the 1992 Democratic National Convention.
The event began with a presentation by Max Sherman, author of Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder—a collection of speeches and writings from Barbara Jordan. Two panel discussions led by distinguished academics and politicians followed, one of which asked Who Represents Us? Exploring a New Generation of Leaders while the other was titled Does My Vote Count? The Effects of Polarization, Technology and Redistricting.
The event culminated in a key note address by former US Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council. Ford spoke on politics in America, the 2008 election, and education policy—his trademark issue.
The Barbara Jordan National Forum on Public Policy is not just an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of the former Congresswoman, but also to reflect on the complex political and policy challenges that face our country. In 2008, her message of change could not be more relevant, and in keeping with her vision of engagement the Forum ended with a reception and debate watching party for the Democratic Debate that was co-presented by the LBJ School of Public Affairs.