Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ward Connerly at SIUC: A Call for Donations

This email was sent to me by Professor JonathanBean, and I am reprinting this to help call for donations as well as illustrate what conservatives must to get their message out to college students:
Please let me introduce myself. I am a professor of history at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. My full academic bio. is available at my website link below. In addition to writing and speaking about U.S. business and public policy, I am the faculty sponsor for several student groups on campus. This year these groups--College Republicans and Saluki Conservative Union--are organizing a special week to highlight an "invisible minority" on campus: libertarians and conservatives (broadly defined). The university will be hosting many events with liberal speakers, some during Black History and Women's History Months, others during Gay Month. In the spirit of fair play and a true "marketplace of ideas," we call upon you to financially support the second event listed below. We also welcome your advice and verbal support, if you are unable to give to this event. And, please feel free to forward this to interested parties.
In celebration of "Conservative Coming Out" week, January 23-27, there will be two separate events:

January 24: "Coming Out Conservative" -- minority and nonminority speakers address conservative issues on campus. Student panelists (including graduate students), including conservatives who happen to be white, black, Cuban, Asian, and gay. SPONSORS: Multicultural Programs and Services AND College Republicans. COSTS: Fully paid.

***January 26: Ward Connerly, a national figure in the black conservative movement for a new civil rights vision. See

http://yaf.org/speakers/ward_connerly.html

and

http://tinyurl.com/c72ee

SPONSORS:

*SIU Law School (Dean Alexander has offered free use of the auditorium and agreed to officially cosponsor the event);
Young America Foundation will pay for travel and all related expenses (approx. $1,500);
College Republicans;
Multicultural Programs and Services.
Alumni.

We have requests pending with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Federalist Society.

WE NEED MORE SEED MONEY to bolster our case for university funds. All that is required is a "letter of intent" or commitment. If the event falls through, the donor owes nothing. Although Connerly is perceived as a "conservative" figure, the Republican Party has often shied away from backing his classic liberal view of race. Nonetheless, he has persisted--and succeeded--despite death threats and bullets through his living room window. It is no overstatement to say that he is one of the most courageous men in America today.

Given the uniqueness of this event, and the caliber of the speaker, it would be a worthwhile expenditure to help cover some of our remaining costs. Connerly's fee is $7,500 and we hope you can contribute as much as possible toward that fee. Many people--Multicultural Programs, College Republicans, myself--have worked arduously to attract funds on campus and off. When you can get such a broad spectrum of sponsors for such an important, yet controversial, speaker, it will reflect well on SIU, showing the university to be "fair and balanced." As an aside, student government bodies have given much more money to fund James Carville here next semester (his fee is $35,000!). Dean Alexander's support of the event is indicative of the fairminded reception his talk has already received on campus. When you get Multicultural Programs, College Republicans, and the Law School dean (who happens to be African American) together, you know this is a uniquely interesting event.

This event, in the midst of "diversity week," goes far to promote diversity of ideas on campus. Please give it your careful and thoughtful consideration. You may call me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Bean
Professor of History
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL
If you can send some donations Professor Bean's way, I'd appreciate it. I'll be doing the same.

Now to see if I can get a PayPal account set up to take donations.

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