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Past Events Archive

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Oct 27 Bill James Event Image (1).png

Just a week before the election, Bill James, Chair of the Santa Clara Democratic Party, was generous enough to share an hour of his time with us to present about campaign finance. At the event, we learned about campaign spending, regulatory techniques, and how to investigate the funding of political ads we watch. 

Campaign Finance Event with Bill James
October 27, 2020
4-5pm PST
Samanta Power Event Image.png

We were honored to host Ambassador Power for a Q&A session attended by over eighty Real Talk chapter members. During this session, Ambassador Power informed and inspired us by discussing the United States’ changing role on the international change, the importance of immediate climate action, and the power we, as students, have to “shrink the change.” 


If you are a Real Talk member interested in viewing the video, please email to request the link. 

Moderated Q&A with Former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power
October 17, 2020
1-2pm PST
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We felt energized and empowered after our Vote By Design workshop with Lisa Solomon. During our hour together, Ms. Solomon pushed the group to think critically about the qualities and experiences we value in our political leaders. In the session, students reflected on questions such as “Do you tend to consider Presidential candidates based on policy issues or on the individual, leadership traits?” and “How do we hear messages from the candidates differently when we have clarity about what we are looking for?” Through the process, we uncovered the diversity of viewpoints represented by Real Talk students. Read one student’s recap and reflections about the dynamic and thought-provoking workshop here

Vote By Design Workshop with Stanford d.School Designer in Residence Lisa Solomon
September 4, 2020
4-5pm PST
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During summer 2020, Real Talk brought together middle and high school students from 27 high schools for a series of seminars. We kicked off the series with a lesson about skills for productive discourse. Over the course of the summer, we held conversations about the Black Lives Matter Movement and the history of youth involvement in movements for racial justice, examined case studies about free speech on college campuses, and learned about gerrymandering from JoAnn Loulan and Laura Kavanaugh from the organization Local Majority You can read a blog post of one of our high school seminars here.

Summer Seminar Series
June - August 2020

At the Democracy Online Conference, funded by the City of Palo Alto ThinkFund Grant, almost sixty students from high schoolers around the Bay Area came together to explore how the internet has changed the way Americans approach politics and civil discourse. 


We were honored to host panelists Pui-Wing Tam (technology editor, New York Times), 

Alex Stamos (Director of Stanford Internet Observatory), Subbu Vincent (Director of Media Ethics Program at the Markkula Center at Santa Clara University) and Professor Peter Minowitz (Professor of Political Science, Santa Clara University). From them, we learned about the psychology behind fake news, the measures social media companies might take to protect election integrity, and the challenges and promises of widespread publication on the internet.


After the panel, students split into smaller groups for discussions about identifying misinformation, breaking out of online echo chambers, and engaging constructively with other perspectives online. 

You can watch the conference highlight video here. Other videos from the event are on our Youtube channel.

Democracy Online Conference
March 8th, 2020
10am-2pm PST
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