MORAGA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2010) â€“ Former Lt. Governor of Maryland and Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Kathleen Kennedy Townsend will spend a week at Saint Mary's College of California, from Feb. 14-19, 2010.
Townsend will speak with student groups and visit classes to address topics such as volunteerism and service, women in power and the intersection of faith and politics. She will also present a lecture titled "The Dream Shall Never Die: Hope and Action for Today," on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Soda Activity Center at the College. The lecture is free and open to the public.
The Woodrow Wilson Fellows program, administered by the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, D.C., brings prominent non-academic professionals to campuses across the United States for seminars, workshops and lectures.
While Lt. Governor of Maryland -the first woman elected to the office- Townsend focused on public safety, job creation, quality health care and education. A former Peace Corps volunteer with a deep commitment to the values of volunteerism and social responsibility, she led Maryland to become the first state in the nation to require high school students to perform community service to graduate.
She is also the author of the 2007 book "Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way." In it, Townsend -a devout Catholic- urges churches to refrain from pursuing single-issue political agendas and reclaim the legacy of social justice activism.
A member of one the nation's most revered political families, Townsend is the eldest daughter of Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy and niece of President John F. Kennedy and the late Sen. Edward M. (Ted) Kennedy. She is the founder of the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. Bestowed through the RFK Center for Human Rights, the award honors individuals striving for social justice throughout the world. Townsend has also served as a deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice.
For more than three decades Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows have introduced students and faculty members at liberal arts colleges to a wide range of perspectives on life, society, community and achievement. Saint Mary's College has participated in the Visiting Fellows program for 18 years.