Peru State College
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News Release
 
02/23/12

Ralph Nader to speak at Peru State March 26

Book signing to follow presentation, titled "Social Justice and World Affairs"

 

Ralph Nadar(Peru, Neb.) Ralph Nader, former Green Party candidate for president and consumer advocate, will speak at Peru State College (PSC) at 7 p.m. Monday, March 26 in the College Theatre. The event, part of the college’s Distinguished Speaker Series, is free and open to the public. 

 

Nader replaces Anthony Shadid, New York Times Beirut Bureau Chief and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, who passed away suddenly while on assignment in Syria. Nader is a close friend of the Shadid family and will share some stories about Anthony Shadid during his presentation, titled Social Justice and World Affairs.

 

Honored by Time magazine as “One of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth Century,” and recently as “One of the 100 Most Influential Figures in American History” by The Atlantic, Nader has devoted his life to giving ordinary people the tools they need to defend themselves against corporate negligence and government indifference. With a tireless, selfless dedication, he continues to expose and remedy the dangers that threaten a free and safe society.

 

The subject of the critically acclaimed documentary An Unreasonable Man, Nader penned the introspective book The Seventeen Traditions about the earliest days of his own life, where he revisits 17 key traditions he absorbed from his parents, siblings, and the people in his community, and draws from them inspiring lessons for today's society. Nader recently released his first novel, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us. The book presents a “practical utopia,” outlining the lasting improvements to society that America’s most powerful figures could achieve if they pooled their resources toward a singular goal.

 

Nader’s foray into public life began in 1965 when he took on the Goliath of the auto industry with his book Unsafe at Any Speed, a shocking exposé of the disregard carmakers held for the safety of their customers. The Senate hearing into Nader’s accusations and the resulting life-saving motor vehicle safety laws catapulted Nader into the public sphere. Working with lawmakers, he was instrumental in creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Laws he helped draft and pass include the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Meat and Poultry Inspection Rules, the Air and Water Pollution Control Laws, and the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Working to empower the average American, Nader has formed numerous citizen groups, including the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen, the Pension Rights Center, the National Coalition for Universities in the Public Interest, and the student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) that operate in over 20 states. In his latest citizen initiative, he is working with alumni classes, including his own at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to expand their efforts beyond parties and reunions to community projects that systemically advance social justice.

 

Successfully predicting the current financial crisis years ago, Nader has outlined a ten-point plan for recovery. His plan involves sweeping reforms for the financial and housing markets, as well as increased public accountability for any institution seeking a bailout. Nader has also defended the integrity of public office by rallying against the laws allowing multinational corporations to make unlimited donations to political campaigns.

 

Believing that Republicans and Democrats are so close ideologically he calls them “tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum,” Nader organized the Green Party’s first presidential campaign in 1996 to challenge the “duopoly” of the two-party system. He received 700,000 votes on a limited campaign budget of $5,000 and he ran again in 2000, receiving 2.8 million votes. His goal is to build the foundation of a third political party and create a robust progressive political movement that rallies around issues rather than empty slogans and figureheads.

 

Among his best-selling books are Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President; Winning the Insurance Game; Why Women Pay More; and Getting the Best from Your Doctor. Other titles include Children First: A Parent’s Guide to Fighting Corporate Predators; No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America; and The Ralph Nader Reader. He also writes a weekly column, In the Public Interest, which runs in newspapers around the US.

 

Both citizens and corporate audiences listen intently to what Nader has to say. Years after they graduate, college students tell him how his lecture changed their lives. His message is simple and compelling: “To go through life as a non-citizen would be to feel that there’s nothing you can do, that nobody’s listening, that you don’t matter. But to be a citizen is to enjoy the deep satisfaction of seeing the prevention of pain, misery and injustice.”

 

PSC’s Distinguished Speaker Series was established in 2010 as part of the college’s commitment to student engagement and success. The intent is to bring diverse, nationally and internationally recognized speakers to southeast Nebraska to enrich the educational experience of our students while also providing our surrounding communities opportunities to engage in interesting and relevant topics.

 

Speakers are encouraged to engage with the community in a variety of ways during their visits through classroom discussions, guest lectures, meet and greet receptions, and a keynote address. Previous guests include former skinhead Frank Meeink; civil rights activist and Little Rock Nine member Minnijean Brown-Trickey; Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi; Bawa (Cameroon) Health Initiative Co-Founder Dr. Dennis Richardson; and Pulitzer Prize winning author Sonia Nazario.

 

Additional information about the Distinguished Speaker Series is available at www.peru.edu/speakerseries or by contacting Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Michaela Willis at 402-872-2221 or mwillis@peru.edu.