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Video: Four featured presentations highlight Winter Symposium

January  21, 2014

"Helping to Clean America's Rivers: From the Bottom Up" - Chad Pregracke

East Moline native Chad Pregracke, CNN's 2013 Hero of the Year, talks about growing up along the Mississippi River and how his river experiences led to his vision to clean up America's rivers. During the past 16 years, Pregracke, his crew and nearly 70,000 volunteers have removed 7 million pounds of garbage from our nation's rivers.

"Freedom to Think, Responsibility to Act: The Human Rights Responsibilities of Students, Faculty and Higher Education Institutions" - Robert Quinn

Robert Quinn, executive director of the Scholars at Risk Network, New York University, presented "Freedom to Think, Responsibility to Act" as the first of the day's four featured presentations. The presentation emphasized the social responsibility dimension of the higher education sector as a continuation of the legacy of the civil rights movement.

"The Unfinished Agenda: Building the Beloved Community" - Rev. Dwight L. Ford

The presentation addressed today's challenge of finishing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life's agenda of building the beloved community. Rev. Ford intertwined solutions to three of the most pressing and interconnected social challenges of our day: the persistence of racial discrimination, the social degradation of mass incarceration, and the economic exploitation of the poor and impoverished communities.

"Transforming Higher Education by Strengthening the Town/Gown Connection: Two Innovative Model" - Bob Choquette & Jason Maher

Two experts presented a transformative and inter-disciplinary higher education model that increases student engagement and provides students opportunities to acquire practical skills for career success. The panel discussed the award-winning University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Initiative & the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities' City Labs programs. These programs use the tremendous, untapped potential resources of the university to engage and help communities solve real-world sustainability challenges.