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Quinnipiac University

Saturday, October 17, 2020

2:00pm EST

No upcoming events at the moment

The Speakers



Marc Morial

President and CEO, National Urban League

Marc Morial, who has been described as one of the few national leaders to possess “street smarts”, and “boardroom savvy”, is the current President and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest historic civil rights and urban advocacy organization. 


He served as the highly successful and popular Mayor of New Orleans as well as the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He previously was a Louisiana State Senator, and was a lawyer in New Orleans with an active, high profile practice.


He is a leading voice on the national stage in the battle for jobs, education, housing and voting rights equity.


A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, and the University of Pennsylvania, he has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Black Americans by Ebony Magazine, one of the top 50 Non Profit Leaders by the Non Profit Times, one of the 100 Most Influential Black Lawyers in America and he has also been inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta, GA.


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Shawn Wooden

State Treasurer, Connecticut

Shawn T. Wooden was sworn in as Connecticut’s 83rd State Treasurer on January 9, 2019. He is currently Secretary-Treasurer of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) and has been elected by his peers to serve as Senior Vice President of NAST starting January 1, 2021.


He previously spent 21-years as an investment attorney focused on public pension plans. Born and raised in Hartford, Treasurer Wooden worked in key roles for the Mayor of Hartford and the state Commissioner of Social Services. Former president of the Hartford City Council and Connecticut Director of Project Vote, he also served on the Connecticut Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board overseeing the Connecticut Office of State Ethics.


Treasurer Wooden holds a J.D. from NYU School of Law and a B.A. from Trinity College. He previously worked in the AFL-CIO's Office of Investment in Washington, D.C. He was recognized as a Connecticut Super Lawyer for Securities and Corporate Finance, Business/Corporate. Pensions and Investments named him one of the "25 Investment Professionals to Watch” and Savoy Magazine identified him one of the most influential black lawyers in the country. He is the father of two teenage sons.



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Toni Harp

Former Mayor, New Haven, CT

An abiding commitment to social justice steers former New Haven Mayor Toni Harp’s career in public service. Her drive for inclusiveness, equality, and integrity is the byproduct of resonant, across-the-board life experiences.


Toni holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Roosevelt University, and a master’s in urban design from the Yale School of Architecture. Her public service in elected office began first as a member of New Haven’s Board of Aldermen – for three terms – and then for 21 years, as the state Senator for the 10th District, during which time she spent 11 years as co-chair of the legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee. Over time she earned a reputation as “the conscience of the Senate” at the Connecticut state Capitol, and her enduring respect for working people and tireless advocacy for issues important to all citizens has been unwavering.


In 2014 Toni became the first woman to be Mayor of New Haven and went on to serve three two-year terms. Throughout her distinguished career, Toni’s policy priorities never changed, and are highlighted by full access to affordable healthcare, an equitable criminal justice system, early childhood learning and development, job creation and economic development, and public safety.

Marilyn Ford


Professor of Law, Quinnipiac University

Marilyn Ward Ford is the Neil Cogan Public Service Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University. She was founder of a civil clinical program at the University of Bridgeport School of Law (predecessor to Quinnipiac Law School), and has obtained academic and fellowship appointments at Yale, Penn and Rutgers Universities.


Her myriad awards and recognitions include the Thurgood Marshall Award for community service, the American Association of University Women Award for Outstanding Women,  the Presidential Award from the Bridgeport Chapter of the NAACP, the Connecticut Bar Association “All Star” award,  and selection as one of the National Black lawyers Top 100.


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FEB 22


  • Welcome


  • Voting - National Perspective


  • Voting - Local Perspective


  • Q & A

  • Closing







No upcoming events at the moment

Plan Ahead

WHEN: When will you vote? You may be able to vote early or by absentee ballot. Perhaps you’re in a state with all-mail ballots. If you’re going to vote in person on Election Day, look at your schedule for the day. Decide what time you will go to the polls. Set a reminder on your phone.

WHERE: Where is your polling location or ballot drop box? It may have changed since the last time you voted. Check here to find your polling place.

HOW: How will you get there? Are you driving or do you need a ride? Are there any friends or neighbors that you can go with? Taking a friend with you increases the chances you’ll both definitely vote.


Most States require citizens to be registered in order to vote. Make sure you understand the voter registration requirements of your State of residence. If you are not registered to vote, apply for voter registration no later than the deadline to register in your State. Contact your local or State elections office or check their Web sites to get a voter registration application and learn the deadline to register. The National Voter Registration Application form is available here

For more information and for answers to other questions about the election process, contact your State or local elections office.

Why Your Vote Matters

If you ever think that just one vote in a sea of millions cannot make much of a difference, consider some of the closest elections in U.S. history.

In 2000, Al Gore narrowly lost the Electoral College vote to George W. Bush. The election came down to a recount in Florida, where Bush had won the popular vote by such a small margin that it triggered an automatic recount and a Supreme Court case (Bush v. Gore). In the end, Bush won Florida by 0.009 percent of the votes cast in the state, or 537 votes. Had 600 more pro-Gore voters gone to the polls in Florida that November, there may have been an entirely different president from 2000–2008.


The Opportunity Foundation


The Opportunity Foundation's mission is to expand social action activities for minority youth throughout Fairfield County, through scholarships and educational support, to make postsecondary success possible for all students.

Our vision is to be locally impactful in the lives of minority youth by providing scholarships and other financial support, to make the completion of education beyond high school a reality for those who dream to inspire.

Gregg A. DeMar - President

Dr. Carlton Barnswell - Vice President

Raiford Cockfield - Secretary

Ronald K. Woods - Treasurer

Randolph Kinder -Board Member

Vincent Murphy - Board Member

Charles Shepherd - Board Member

Go to for more information.


Couch Conversations


Engage the community.

Think aloud.

Act on the mindshare.


Couch Conversations

Session I

Couch Conversations

Session II


February 22, 2020

October 17, 2020 


UCONN - Stamford Campus




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