Exactly two weeks before the historic 2016 presidential election, Brenau University will host a public program with two of the nation’s most visible experts on the impact women, minorities and younger people now have on American politics.
The Oct. 25 program will feature Republican pollster and strategist Kristen Soltis Anderson and Democratic organizer and commentator Maria Teresa Kumar in a special program at 7:30 p.m. in Pearce Auditorium on the historic campus. Titled “Beyond the Talking Points: What Election 2016 REALLY Means to Women,” the program is part of the Douglas and Kay Ivester Programming Series at the university. It is free and open to the public, but because of limited seating, reservations are required. (Register at brenau.edu/ivester-series/, by calling 770-534-6110 or by emailing ude.uanerb@ofni.)
“If you have watched any network television political analysis programs over the past year, you are probably familiar with one or both of these bright, articulate young women,” said Brenau University President Ed Schrader, who will moderate the open forum discussion. “Each brings unique perspective and expertise on that generation of young Americans between 18 and 33 who defy the traditional political, religious, geographical, cultural and gender identities that have had major impacts on previous elections.”
Schrader said that the program focuses on women because of the historic nature of the 2016 election in which the first female candidate representing a major political party seeks the presidency. However, he added that this will be the first national election in which the so-called “youth vote” will play a major role in shaping the future of the nation as will significant turnouts among Latino and African-American voters.
Anderson, a regular contributor of political commentary in national and international print and electronic media, has been a frequent analyst on ABC News and a variety of other network news and political commentary programs. She is co-founder and partner at Echelon Insights, an opinion research, data analytics and digital intelligence firm, and the author of The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up). The Florida native has a master’s degree in government from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Florida. In 2014 she served as a resident fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politic. Time magazine listed her as one of “30 Under 30 Changing the World.” She made National Journal magazine’s “25 Most Inﬂuential Women in Washington Under 35,” Marie Claire magazine’s “New Guard” of 50 rising and Elle’s 2016 “Most Compelling Women in Washington.”
Kumar also made the Elle most powerful Washington movers-and-shakers list along with Fast Company magazine’s “Top 100 Creative Minds” for her work using technology, celebrity voices, media and youth to engage young voters. Several publications identified her on listings of top Latino leaders in the United States. The California native is founding president and CEO of Voto Latino, which has become a key factor in national elections by registering more than 225,000 new voters and influencing millions more through multimedia campaigns. The Emmy-nominated MSNBC contributor and Council on Foreign Relations term member appears regularly as an analyst on a variety of national broadcast network programs, writes frequent opinion and commentary for national publications, and speaks prolifically in a wide variety of forums. She has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s in international relations from the University of California, Davis.