Declaration of Independence to visit SU as part of ‘Declare Yourself’ voting drive
Declaration of Independence to visit SU as part of’Declare Yourself’ voting driveMarch 19, 2004Cynthia J. Moritzcjmoritz@syr.edu
An original copy of the Declaration of Independence will be displayed on the Syracuse University campus March 23 in conjunction with “Declare Yourself,” a national voting campaign aimed at young people. The event, which is the tour’s only stop in New York, will take place from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium, and will include voter registration, music and spoken word performances and giveaways.
Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw will host an invitation-only luncheon kickoff for the event, March 22 from noon-1:30 p.m. in Goldstein Auditorium.
Spoken word performers at the event will include Steve Connell, Sekou (tha misfit), Gina Loring and Marty McConnell. Connell was a member of the 2003 National Poetry Slam championship team and has appeared on Russell Simmons’ “Def Poetry Jam” and Black Entertainment Television’s “Lyric Cafe.” His poem “I Am an American” was published recently in an anthology of American voices called “Why Freedom Matters.” He is at work on his second CD.
Sekou is the current National Poetry Slam two-time champion, and the 2003 Word Up! National Poetry Slam champion. His work has been featured on the Underground Poets Railroad spoken word tour.
Loring was the top female poet at the 2002 National Poetry Slam. She has been featured on “Def Poetry Jam” and “Lyric Cafe” and performed on the Underground Poets Railroad tour. She has recorded a CD, “Sol Songs.”
McConnell completed three national tours with the Morrigan, an all-female performance poetry troupe she co-founded. She competed in the 2000-03 National Poetry Slams. She is a member of the Louder ARTS Project, which runs two reading series, ongoing workshops and collaborative performances in New York City. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies, including “Will Work for Peace” and “In Our Own Words: Poetry of Generation X,” as well as in literary magazines.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan “Declare Yourself” campaign is the culmination of a three-year project, the Declaration of Independence Road Trip. The road trip is a 50-city tour by copies of the Declaration of Independence and a multimedia exhibit on the contemporary relevance of the nation’s “birth certificate.” Founded by television producer Norman Lear, the road trip and “Declare Yourself” are sponsored by The Home Depot, the U.S. Postal Service and AXA Financial Inc.
Other parts of the “Declare Yourself” campaign include a nationwide voter education initiative for high school seniors, a voter registration and election information website, an online awareness campaign, a televised “get out the vote” concert and public service announcements.