Post submitted by Bo Suh, HRC Digital Media Intern
On Wednesday, Generation Progress hosted the Make Progress National Summit in Washington, D.C., attracting more than a thousand young individuals to discuss topics focusing on LGBT issues, college affordability, immigration reform, civil rights and more.
The day-long summit featured multiple speakers, panels and training sessions designed to inspire participants to advocate for policy change. Keynote speakers included House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden, who received the Champion for Change Award. Biden fiercely condemned sexual violence during his speech.
"I'm committed to ensuring that our country adopts a no-tolerance policy on violence against women. Your generation has the ability to make it clear that anyone who engages in this behavior is a pariah," he said.
Biden also told the crowd to “challenge the orthodoxy” and emphasized voting as the most important right Americans have, with all other rights “trickling down” from that.
Pelosi, a long-term advocate for marriage equality, took the stage immediately after Biden and emphasized the need for women’s rights and equal pay.
“When women succeed, America succeeds,” she said.
The summit also provided breakout sessions with many speakers and panelists encouraging young people to see the progressive movement as a collective push for change for all the issues at hand.
“The way they focused on intersectionality was really encouraging,” said HRC Religion and Faith Intern Erica West. “The conference really made an effort to address a lot of issues in a more progressive lens.”
The summit also allowed participants to interact with each other and provided opportunities to network and socialize.
“It was really awesome to meet people who came from humble beginnings like you, especially when it came to the intersections of topics like immigration reform, LGBT advocacy, and racial issues,” said HRC Foundation Intern Trinice McNally.