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Syndicated Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson is among the featured presenters at this weekend’s CARE Conference: Vulnerable Children and Viable Communities at Taylor University, sponsored by Taylor’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children’s (OVC) Program.
The conference, scheduled for February 27-28, will bring a number of keynote speakers to campus including Gerson; author and speaker Shannan Martin; Senior Executive at Holt International, Tendai Masiriri; and author, speaker, and advocate, Sarah Quezada.
Also featured is recording artist Josh Garrels, who will perform on Thursday evening in the Rediger Chapel/Auditorium. Opening for Garrels are Taylor students and sisters, Abby, Adeline, and Annelise Gonzalez.
Gerson, who will also speak in Taylor’s chapel at 10 am, Friday, is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post. He is the author of Heroic Conservatism and co-author of City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era. He appears regularly on the PBS NewsHour, Face the Nation, and other programs. Gerson also serves as senior adviser at One, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
This year’s conference is the third such conference for the OVC program. It marks the first time the conference has also featured Taylor students who will present research in the area of orphans and vulnerable children. Organizers will present $800 in awards to the top presenters.
The CARE Conference focuses on opportunities for students to dialogue with experts on vulnerable children and viable communities, exploring issues of violence against children, orphan care, foster care, refugees, and trafficking.
Keynote presentations will be in the Cornwall Auditorium in the LaRita Boren Campus Center. The Taylor student researchers will present in Jacobsen I and Jacobsen II, also in the Boren Center.
For Taylor students and faculty, tickets are $10.00 to attend the CARE Conference alone and $25.00 for the conference and concert. For the general public, the concert is $25.00 and the conference is $15.00.
Program Services Director for OVC Kara Riggleman said she hopes to see increased synergy and unity about the global concerns that will be discussed.
“We hope shared ideas, best practices, and new perspectives all come to the surface after our time together,” Riggleman said. “We pray that students and faculty alike will feel encouraged in their callings to this important work and equipped with new tools to engage the vulnerable.”