Nader gives speech at Point Park Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Speaking to a packed house at Point Park University, Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, emphasized the importance of being an engaged citizen, telling students that individuals can make a difference on important public policy issues.
Nader's lecture, titled "The Mega Corporate Destruction of Capitalism and Democracy," suggested college students have "grown up corporate" and struggle to recognize the magnitude of unfair policies and practices that are created for the benefit of corporations.
Nader, who spoke in Point Park's 's George Rowland White Theatre, called on the students in the crowd to go beyond basic civic engagement and to forge on with their cause, even when they sense that "nothing happens."
"Don't ever say, 'I can't do this and that because I don't have any power,'" Nader said. "Throughout history, every social justice movement started with the victims, the grieved, peasants, workers, and they didn't have any power."
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 Magazine, Nader has devoted his life to the investigation and education of public interest issues.
To challenge the "duopoly" of the two-party political system, Nader ran for president as the Green Party's nominee in 2000, garnering just under 3 million votes. He ran again as an independent in 2004 and 2008.
Nader's lecture at Point Park University was followed by a Q&A session and book signing. Nader has a number of best-selling books. His latest, Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us! was released in September.
Nader's visit was presented by Point Park University's School of Arts and Sciences and the Global Cultural Studies program, which is offered through the Department of Humanities and Human Sciences. The aim of the program is to provide students with an understanding of the complexities of the world in which we live, grounded in a familiarity with its historical, philosophical, political, social, cultural, aesthetic, and environmental elements; and the critical thinking and communication skills needed to make agile, confident and informed decisions.