First Lady Michelle Obama to Keynote National Conference on Volunteering and Service
SAN FRANCISCO (June 19, 2009) – Highlighting her commitment to community service, First Lady Michelle Obama will give the keynote address at the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco next Monday, June 22. The conference, co-hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute, will bring together more than 4,000 volunteer and service leaders from across the nation and globe at a time of strong momentum for service and civic engagement. This conference takes place from June 22-24 at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco. The First Lady is keynoting the opening plenary session and is expected to speak around 5:00 PM. Earlier in the day, the First Lady will join California's First Lady Maria Shriver to work on a community playground service project with volunteers at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco. The First Lady's appearance launches United We Serve, an extended call to service challenging all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service. In a video message released on May 16, President Obama called on all Americans to help in our nation's recovery by volunteering in their communities this summer and beyond. The United We Serve summer initiative begins on June 22nd and runs through the National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11th. “The First Lady has made service and volunteering a life calling, and her leadership is helping to inspire a whole new generation of Americans who are making service a part of their daily lives,” said Nicola Goren, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Her participation demonstrates the high priority the White House has placed on service as a way to help in our nation's recovery.” “First Lady Michelle Obama knows first-hand the power of service to transform lives and communities,” said Michelle Nunn, CEO of the Points of Light Institute and co-founder of HandsOn Network. “We are thrilled that she chose our national conference as the platform to launch United We Serve. She has made service a centerpiece of her agenda, and her appearance will add a burst of excitement and a new significance to this gathering of service leaders as well as our larger efforts to usher in a new era of service.” The growing momentum for service has resulted in record attendance and interest in the annual conference. Organizers announced several entertainment and political leaders who will be attending: • Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a longtime champion of service who recently worked to pass the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, will speak at the opening plenary • Lisa Paulsen - President & CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), Hollywood's leading charity, is in attendance to share plans for EIF's new multi-year campaign to help make service and volunteerism a national priority. EIF has received wide-spread support from the entertainment industry, and later this year will launch an unprecedented campaign beginning October 19th. • Kerry Washington - Showing her support for our nation's call for service, the actress and L'Oréal Paris spokesperson will be in attendance to support the company's annual "Women of Worth" grassroots program, which recognizes and supports incredible women from across the country who are volunteering and making a beautiful difference in their communities. • Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the acclaimed international ambassadors of American dance culture, will perform at the “Cheers to YOU” celebration sponsored by Target at Fort Mason. • Clifford The Big Red Dog® will be on hand to welcome conference participants and showcase Scholastic's BE BIG™ initiative (www.scholastic.com/cliffordbebig) -- a national campaign to support civic engagement by inviting everyone, big and small, to raise awareness for how Clifford's Big Ideas can make the world a better place. Major corporate sponsors of the event are Target, Shinnyo-en Foundation, Coca Cola, The Home Depot and UPS. Additionally, the Entertainment Industry Foundation has provided special support. About the National Conference on Volunteering and Service The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors. Co-convened by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the annual event provides attendees with an opportunity to learn, connect and be inspired through a wide range of exciting and informative plenary sessions, workshops, special events, service projects, exhibits, specialized corporate tracks and more. More than 4,000 attendees are expected to attend the 2009 conference, taking place June 22-24 in San Francisco. For more information, visit www.volunteeringandservice.org About the Corporation for National and Community Service The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year the Corporation engages more than four million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service to meet local needs through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov. About Points of Light Institute Points of Light Institute inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action that changes the world. The Institute has a global focus to redefine volunteerism and civic engagement for the 21st century, putting people at the center of community problem solving. We are organized to innovate, incubate and activate new ideas that help people act upon their power to make a difference. Points of Light Institute operates three dynamic business units that share our mission: HandsOn Network, MissionFish and the Civic Incubator. For more information, visit www.pointsoflight.org. About HandsOn Network HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation and includes more than 250 HandsOn Action Centers that reach more than 83% of the nation’s population and extend to ten countries. HandsOn includes a powerful network of more than 70,000 corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations that are answering the call to serve and creating scaled impact. In 2008, the network delivered approximately 30 million hours of volunteer service valued at $615 million. For more information, visit handsonnetwork.org.