Apathy and Activism: Exploring Youth-Driven Movements Conference Schedule

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

12:15 p.m.
Dana Auditorium

Opening Remarks

12:15- 1:30 p.m.
Dana Auditorium; lunch provided

Between Protest and Powerlessness: The Startling Ubiquity of Youth Activism


  • Meredith Weiss, University of Albany 

Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 12:30 p.m.
Dana Auditorium

Between Protest and Powerlessness: The Startling Ubiquity of Student Activism

Meredith Weiss will speak about the unique political processes associated with youth activism. Grounded by years of research experience and interviews with young activists from the Southeast Asia region, the talk will provide a background of the politics of student movements in Asia and around the world.   

4:30- 5:45 p.m. 
Dana Auditorium

The Radical Mind


  • Don Wyatt, Middlebury College
  • Linus Owens, Middlebury College

Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 4:30 p.m.
Dana Auditorium
The Radical Mind

Why do some movements become successful, and others do not? Professor Linus Owens will be exploring the complicated ways that activists incorporate travel, movement, and space into their protest tactics and the distinguishing factors which make or break a movement. He will be addressing intriguing questions like the role of radicals in a movement, and whether or not radicalism is useful for helping achieve a movement’s goals. He will draw from his extensive research on how anarchists organize online and the place-making and storytelling practices of squatters in Amsterdam.​

Some people are more likely to become strict adherents of extremist ideologies than others. Professor Don Wyatt will explore the theme of radicalism and the socio-political influences responsible for motivating an individual to join a fundamentalist movement. He will also consider the psychological factors that play an important role in determining whether a person has a disposition towards radicalization. 

8:00 p.m. Screening

Lessons in Dissent

Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 8:00 p.m.
Axinn 232
Lessons in Dissent (2014): A Documentary 

Lessons in Dissent is a documentary about a new generation of Hong Kong democracy activists. Schoolboy Joshua Wong dedicates himself to stopping the introduction of National Education. His campaign begins to snowball when an interview goes viral on YouTube, and with the new school year fast approaching, a showdown with the government seems inevitable. Microphone in hand, and still in his school uniform, he leads 120,000 protesters into battle.Meanwhile, former classmate Ma Jai fights against political oppression on the streets and in the courts. Having dropped out of school and dedicated himself to the social movement, he endures the persecution suffered by those not lucky enough to be protected by the media’s glare.


Friday, February 20th, 2015

12:15 - 1:30 p.m.
Robert A Jones ‘59 House conference room; lunch provided

Combating Apathy

  • Shannon Galpin, Mountain2Mountain

Friday, February 20th, 12:30 p.m.
Robert A. Jones ’59 House conference room

Combating Apathy: A Lecture

It is difficult to discuss activism without also speaking of apathy. Shannon Galpin will be sharing her insights and experiences in combatting apathy through art, sport, and citizen activism. In particular, her presentation will focus on projects in Afghanistan for the past seven years, including graffiti art projects in Kabul, creating the groundbreaking Streets of Afghanistan street art exhibition, and her relationship with the women’s national bike team. 

4:30 - 5:45 p.m.
Robert A. Jones ‘59 House conference room

Collective Action and Strategy

  • Marcela Olivera, Water for All
  • Jonathan Smucker, UC Berkeley

Friday, February 20th, 2015, 4:30 p.m.
Robert A. Jones ’59 House conference room

Collective Action and Strategy

Marcela Olivera, Latin America Coordinator for Food and Water Watch, and Jonathan Smucker, founder and director of Beyond the Choir, will present their experiences as organizers and participants of social movements. Marcela was a key figure in the Cochabamba Water War protests in Bolivia, and Jonathan was involved in Occupy Wall Street and other social and economic justice movements. They will discuss the challenges of organization and the role of radicals, moderates, and coalition building in social movements


6:00- 7:15 p.m.
Robert A. Jones ‘59 House conference room

The Climate Movement

  • Bill McKibben, Middlebury College
  • Alexandra Barlowe, Fossil Free Yale

Friday, February 20th, 2015, 6:00 p.m.
Robert A. Jones ’59 House conference room
The Climate Movement

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, and Lex Barlowe, a student and organizer at Yale University will be presenting on their experiences in the global climate movement. Mr. McKibben will speak on the challenges and promises of organizing a global movement, and Lex will present on her work with the national movement for climate justice and solidarity through fossil fuel divestment. 

Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs
Robert A. Jones 59 House
148 Hillcrest Road
Middlebury, VT 05753