Managing Editor Nancy Lewis’ October report from New York about the ServiceNation summit (“Party Service”) drew several responses.
It’s a shame that Nancy Lewis takes such a cynical and shallow view in her report on the ServiceNation summit. The summit was not about glitz and glad-handing. It was about rallying leaders from all sectors of society behind the idea that service can play a critical role in helping solve the many problems and challenges that America now faces.
Here’s what the summit accomplished:
1. It provided a forum for both presidential candidates to tell the American people about their plans and vision for service, and also put both on record as supporting the new Kennedy-Hatch Serve America Act.
2. It included the announcement of a series of meaningful commitments by universities and foundations related to service, which can be found at http://bethechangeaction.org.
3. It featured the unveiling of the ServiceNation policy blueprint (which more than 100 organizations have endorsed), as well as the details of the Serve America Act, helping generate a series of pro-service editorials in newspapers like The New York Times and The Boston Globe.
4. It launched the Declaration of Service, our idealistic celebration of the ideals and potential of service, giving all Americans a way to demonstrate their belief in the power of service to unify us and help solve problems.
5. It unified and rallied the service world behind the idea that, working together, we can bring about a new era of service in America. ServiceNation coalition members have been telling us that their memberships have been fired up by the summit. That enthusiasm was carried into the Sept. 27 Day of Action, which featured more than 2,700 events across the country celebrating the power and potential of service.
6. The Summit and the Day of Action have laid the foundation of a grassroots movement for service, which will now engage communities, the private sector, and elected leaders on the importance of uniting Americans in common cause through voluntary service.
The Summit was an important start to a national movement that already is having a direct impact on the lives of Americans.
Director Of Communications
Be the Change
I wanted to clarify my viewpoint of the ServiceNation movement as reported [Party Service, October]. I attended both days of the Summit, and the I Have A Dream Foundation coordinated a nationwide event for our affiliates as part of the Day of Action that followed. I was honored to be part of this effort, and amazed by the extraordinary energy that this movement inspired.
Tangible commitments were made during our two days together. The Day of Action several weeks later then began to put these commitments into practice.
My comment was that the important thing now was to make sure that we maintained this momentum in the months ahead, and that we fully capitalized on the potential of this movement.
Iris Chen, CEO
I Have A Dream Foundation