Tobey Maguire, sigh -- leader of ServiceNation's Ambassadors
Today Service Nation launched its celebrity Ambassadors program, engaging famous people in service projects as a way of highlighting the new day of service and inspiring the public to get involved proactively in building stronger communities.
Guided by an Ambassador’s Council — and led by actor Tobey Maguire — other celebrities who’ve participated in community service events today include other actors: Cameron Diaz in Boston, Anne Hathaway in Los Angeles, Oscar de la Hoya in Los Angeles, and Anna Sophia Robb in her hometown Denver.
Another initiative Service Nation has spearheaded this week included a Mayors Meeting in New York yesterday — convened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Hands On Network, AARP, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. The two dozen mayors from around the country came together to announce their commitments to the Cities of Service campaign, following in Mayor Bloomberg’s footsteps to highlight and support civic service in their cities.
Finally, Service Nation is hosting an event tonight in New York City at the Beacon Theatre where Secretary of State Clinton will keynote, and many other public leaders and entertainment industry stars will speak and perform.
Idealist’s Joanne Eng is on the ground at that event and will be bringing back a full report for us in the coming days.
President Obama has declared today as Patriot Day and National Day of Service, and senior administration officials, including Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden, cabinet secretaries, and the heads of the Corporation for National and Community Service and Peace Corps will take part in service projects.
In a proclamation issued yesterday, President Obama remembers the events of September 11th:
Through the twisted steel of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the scarred walls of the Pentagon, and the smoky wreckage in a field in southwest Pennsylvania, the patriotism and resiliency of the American people Continue reading
Photo by Ed Reed, Office of the Mayor
This week, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg announced that Diahann Billings-Burford will be New York’s first Chief Service Officer.
Billings-Burford — who’s coming from an external affairs role at City Year New York — will lead an innovative new municipal effort that Bloomberg launched earlier this year called NYC Service.
The initiative promotes volunteering and service, with the goals of making New York “the easiest place in the world to volunteer,” finding ways for volunteers to address the impacts of the economic downturn, and”setting a new standard for how cities can tap the power of their people to tackle our most pressing challenges.”
Billings-Burford’s work will include implementing the agenda spelled out in the NYC Service Report (PDF).
One new project — sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters — is a campaign to bring 2000 new mentors into 51 high needs middle schools through Middle School Mentors. Mentors would spend eight hours a month with a middle school student, “being their friend in Continue reading
Today, President Obama made the following remarks before signing the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.
The transcript was released by the Office of the White House Press Secretary. Re-play the signing and hear the speech for yourself on CSPAN.
Thank you. Please be seated. Thank you. Well, what an extraordinary day. It is good to be here with all of you.
I want to, first of all, thank President Bill Clinton for joining us here today — where’s President Clinton? — (applause) — for his lifetime of service to our country, but also the fact that he created AmeriCorps, and that not only made this day possible, it has directly enlisted more than half a million Americans in service to their country; service that has touched the lives of millions more.
Now, it just so happens that one of those people who have been touched by AmeriCorps was FLOTUS, otherwise known as First Lady of the United States — (laughter) — Michelle Obama, who ran a AmeriCorps-sponsored Continue reading
A campaign for service
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On September 11 and 12, 500 leaders from public, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors will come together in New York City to call on the next president of the United States to “enact a new era of voluntary service and civic engagement in America, an era in which all Americans will work together to solve our greatest and most persistent societal challenges.”
Senators Barack Obama and John McCain (presidential nominees of the two major parties) have both now confirmed that they will speak at the Service Nation Summit.
And you can watch it live (Thursday, 8 pm EDT) on CNN!
Other speakers at the two-day event will include First Lady Laura Bush (invited), Senator Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The aim of the summit will be to lay out a policy blue print for solving tough social problems through expanding citizen service. Read the TIME magazine article from this summer by TIME Managing Editor Rick Stengel.
The Service Nation campaign is a coalition of over 110 organizations (including Idealist.org) that has been organized by Be the Change Inc. and founded by City Year‘s founder Alan Khazei. The initiative will come to a service project near you on September 27 with over 1000 events in communities across the country on the Service Nation Day of Action. Learn more and to find out how you can get involved with the Service Nation campaign in your community. Read more on The Page blog by Mark Halperin.
Do you have questions to ask of Senators McCain or Obama about national service?
At the Service Nation Summit Presidential Candidates’s Forum Sept. 11, facilitators will ask questions submitted on the Service Nation web site.
Also, check out the Service Nation page on Facebook.