Alan Khazei’s Tribute to Senator Ted Kennedy

A letter from Be The Change’s Alan Khazei in tribute to Senator Kennedy who passed away Tuesday. Sign the Condolence Book for the Kennedy family.

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Senator Kennedy at the Service America Act bill signing. Photo credits: Martin H. Simon-Pool/Getty ImagesOn behalf of ServiceNation, Be the Change and our extended community, I would like to express our profound sadness over the passing of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, as well as our deep appreciation for his life’s contribution and our most heartfelt sympathy to his extraordinary family.

Senator Kennedy is the true godfather of the service movement. Without his tireless commitment, this movement as it thrives today never would have come about. He indelibly changed the fabric of America by not just inspiring, but personally enabling millions of citizens to give their time and skills to improve their communities and country. Through his visionary and bipartisan leadership in authoring the National and Community Service Act of 1990, the legislation that created AmeriCorps in 1993, and most recently with his good friend Senator Orrin Hatch, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009, he Continue reading

Service Nation Strategy Session in San Francisco as part of NCVS

Monday, Service Nation coalition members and others gathered for a luncheon at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, prior to the kick off of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.

Overall the strategy luncheon was more luncheon than strategy, but I was glad to see an effort made to bring the Service Nation campaign spirit into the National Conference on Volunteering and Service gathering, which overall seeemed to involve more media attention and celebrity involvement this year than in the past.

Speakers included:

Alan Khaizei, founder of Be the Change, Inc, leader organizer of the Service Nation campaign, spoke—summarizing the Continue reading

NonProfit Times honors Service Nation Leaders

Nonprofit periodical spotlights national service by honoring leaders of the Service Nation movement.

Today The NonProfit Times announced the 2008 NonProfit Times Executives of the Year:

For their dedication toward promoting a national service agenda, John Bridgeland, president and CEO of Civic Enterprises, Michael Brown, co-founder and CEO of City Year, Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Alan Khazei, founder and CEO of Be the Change, Michelle Nunn, president and CEO of the Points of Light Institute, and Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, have been selected the 2008 NonProfit Times Executives of the Year.

John Bridgeland speaks at the Service Nation Summit

John Bridgeland speaks at the Service Nation Summit

Service Nation Summit on Friday afternoon

After the Town Hall, Chris Dodd was to speak:

Michael Brown, co-founder of City Year, introduces RPCV Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT).

Chris Dodd, in his opening remarks, says that he has spoken with Ted Kennedy and that Kennedy apologizes for not being here. Dodd announces that he has signed on as a co-sponsor of the Servce America Act. Our candidates are stronger because they have served their country: McCain in the military, and Obama in his community. Their examples of service remind us that who or how or where you serve, but that you serve. Sited the value to his life and values of his own Peace Corps service. Founded the bipartisan National Service Congressional Caucus in the Senate and introduced the Summer of Service legislation. We can’t write a check at all of our problems, but we can invest more in service. We spend in Iraq on one day what we spend all year on AmeriCorps and Peace Corps. We must translate our ideas into action, and change our country. Talk about what we can and must do as a nation, and the role national service plays in helping us accomplish our goals.

In an interview after the speech, Dodd said that we aren’t emphasizing enough how well the investment national service programs leverages community volunteers and resources, and facilitates the growth of strong communities, that would be far more expensive without national service Corps members. When I asked him about the challenge of keeping the spotlight on national service, he said he was committed to doing his part in the Senate and pointed to his emphasis on the movement during his presidential campaign this year.

Also see Building Bi-Partisan Support, a panel discussion with Dodd, following Dodd’s speech.

Michael Brown and Robert Balfanz on National Service

Adding to the chorus of national service supporters this week, City Year CEO and co-founder Michael Brown, and Johns Hopkins research scientist Robert Balfanz have written an opinion piece “Volunteering to Get Tomorrow’s Dropouts on Track” published in today’s Boston Globe.

People who drop out of high school, they claim, not only give us warning signs that they are “off-track” but they can be put back on the right track if they get the support they need from trained, caring adult role models — the type of support that national service participants can offer.

Balfanz and Brown cite national service members’s desire to serve and the relatively low cost (in dollars) of supporting them.