October 16, 2018

Photos: Marseille Chapter Collaborates with IAU and the US Consulate

October 3rd, 2018 at the Institute for American Universities at Aix-en-Provence: Talk with Amy Anne Below on "Why Your Voice Is Essential, Free Speech and the Survival of Democracy”.

Emphasizing the non-partisan aspect of encouraging ALL people to vote no matter for whom they would like to vote allowed us to form a collaboration with the Institute of American Universities and the US Consulate General in Marseille. Both VFA and the Federal Voting Assistance Program were used to get dozens of students to register to vote, not only on the evening of the event, but for three days at IAU, where there were computers installed around campus with the two sites on the screens. Many emails were sent out by the Dean of IAU, Leigh Smith, and teachers talked about the event in their classes and assigned homework based on the talk. So it turned into a three-day event culminating in the talk with Amy Below. About 80 people were there. 

Many thanks to the participants: SIMON HANKINSON, the US Consul General in Marseille; CHOUROUK FARHAT, the Special Consular Services Assistant of American Citizen Services at the Consulate; AMY ANNE BELOW, US Government expert from Paris; LEIGH SMITH, Dean of IAU; PHILIP BREEDEN, Vice-President for Administration at IAU.

                                                                                            Chourouk Farhat, US CG Simon Hankinson, Amy Anne Below

                                                                 Chourouk Farhat, Simon Hankinson, Amy Anne Below, Philip Breeden, Leigh Smith

The students had lots of questions, and since they are our future, this is food for thought:

- What difference can I really make from abroad in my own county when I vote from far away and don’t know much about local politics there?

- The problem of voter oppression – not only the frustration concerning gerrymandering and the cheating, but also the general feeling of oppression, feeling that one can’t make a difference.

- The problem of saturation – being inundated with news and information, and the feeling of being on overload.

- What am I going to get out of it? What will the government do for me?

                                                                      Amy Anne Below                                                                       Chourouk Farhat and Simon Hankinson