Without forums that encourage respectful debate across the political aisle, our communities and country will become ever more divided. The need for dialogue on public affairs has never been more important. With such pressing issues in mind, we founded The Contemporary, a nationwide current affairs publication that unifies and empowers collegiate journalists.
The news media’s fragmentation represents one of the most critical challenges our democracy faces. In a recent interview we published with Ethan Zuckerman, the director of the Center for Civic Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Zuckerman stressed the importance of media ecosystems that challenge readers’ preconceived notions rather than pushing sensationalist conspiracies.
For this reason, The Contemporary hopes to bring the next generation of leaders in academia, government, and business from across college campuses together into one community in order to engage deeply on the most pressing issues we face. The team has collaborated with more than 20 publications nationwide, interviewed prominent figures, and competed in the final round of the Stumberg entrepreneurship competition.
We have greatly benefited from the knowledge and guidance of entrepreneurs throughout San Antonio through our connection to the Trinity University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Last summer, we had the opportunity to develop our organization with the center’s support. Our organization would not exist in its current form without the intellectual and emotional support of Dr. Luis Martinez and Carmen Aramanda.
The Contemporary celebrates the variety of voices from across college campuses. The diversity of our team and platform has been the cornerstone of our organization’s accomplishments. We value perspectives of all of our members, and hope to expand our efforts to be more representative of all students.
Our goal is to build a sustainable media organization that will remain at Trinity for years to come. We believe that mobilizing a movement of Millennials who engage at the center – not just the left or the right – is the only political strategy that has a chance to represent us in this new era. An alternative future for engagement exists, and The Contemporary is the space to advance it. Indeed, this is an ambitious project. But with our growing network, we are gradually building a movement. All that we ask is this: join us.
In order to announce our presence to San Antonio, we have decided to bring together public affairs leaders who we believe embody our mission. The event, entitled “Contemporary Thought Leaders: A Civic Engagement Symposium” will feature a panel discussion regarding education, civic engagement, and immigration at the Pearl Stable in San Antonio on April 10 at 6:30 p.m.
Robert Rivard, director of the Rivard Report, will moderate the panel. Panelists include: H. Drew Galloway, executive director of MOVE San Antonio, a nonprofit civic engagement organization; Marisa B. Perez-Diaz, the youngest Latina in the nation to join the Texas State Board of Education; Jason Stanford, communications director for Mayor Steve Adler in Austin; Juany Torres, founder of Organize SA, a community organization on civic engagement, education, and voting; and George Rodriguez, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush White House appointee and nationally syndicated columnist.
At this event, attendees will be encouraged to donate to help The Contemporary empower collegiate journalists nationwide by contributing to our new crowdfunding campaign. Trinity University recently selected The Contemporary to use its crowdfunding platform to make our organization a long-term success.
We are grateful to our sponsors: The Pearl, the Rivard Report, Aric J Garza Law PLLC, the Trinity University Entrepreneurship Center, and the Trinity University Student Government Association. Their continuous support and generosity has helped us make this event possible.