Progressives’ Role in the 2016 Primary Debate

Progressives’ Role in the 2016 Primary Debate

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 18 11:30 AM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 18 12:45 PM (Eastern)

Join us for a conversation about the best interventions that progressives can make in the 2016 primary debates—on both the Democratic and Republican sides. How can we leverage our power across the movement to ensure there is a vibrant debate, progressives have spaces to make their voices heard, and the best ideas surface as we select the best candidate on the Democratic side? And how can we best fight against the misleading, offensive ideas coming from Republicans, doing what we can to ensure the Republican nominee is not well positioned to win the general? What role, if any, should third-party and independent candidates play?


Benjamin O'Keefe

Benjamin O'Keefe

At just 21 years old, Benjamin O’Keefe is already taking the progressive world by storm as an accomplished speaker, writer, pundit, and activist.

At just 18, Ben began a campaign against the clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch and their company’s discriminating practices which helped to spark a global body positive movement.

Ben has been featured on and seen in television shows and newspapers across the world including Good Morning America, BBC World News, Huffington Post Live, Forbes, The Guardian, The New York Times and many more. He has spoken to thousands of people in audiences across the United States and Canada, and is in the process of writing his first book, “Our Stories: A Voice for the Voiceless.”

Ben currently works as Social and Cultural Producer at

Other sessions: Reel Advocacy: A Film Showcase, Laughing Liberally Comedy Show

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Arturo Carmona


Arturo Carmona is the Executive Director of is the largest national Latino online engagement organization in the US, focused on amplifying the political voice of Latino communities.

For well over a decade, Arturo has used his leadership and experience to bring people together on important challenges impacting communities from across the nation. Arturo has served as a political analyst, community spokesperson, and community organizer with an established expertise is in the evolving political, cultural, and demographic trends of the US. He is recognized as a change-agent.

His management and leadership skills have made him a national spokesperson on behalf of the Latino community and working families. He has appeared in many news stories, interviews, and political discussions through outlets such as MSNBC, ABC, CNN, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Univision, Telemundo, USA Today, NPR, La Opinion, and many others.

Other sessions: The Evolution of Immigrant Rights: From Political Empowerment to Progressive Change, A Movement Not a Moment: Fighting Fast Track in Arizona (sponsored panel)

Brandi Collins-Dexter

Brandi Collins-Dexter

Brandi Collins-Dexter is the Senior Campaign Director at Color Of Change and oversees the media, democracy and economic justice departments. She has led a number of successful campaigns for accountability including getting Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor taken off the air; getting R. Kelly dropped from RCA for his repeatedly abusing girls; winning Net neutrality protections; pressuring financial companies to pull funding from hate groups; and persuading Disney not to whitewash the features of their character Princess Tiana.

Brandi is a regular commentator in the media on racial justice. The Hill named her a 2017 “person to watch.” She has written for The Root, The Hill and ESPN’s The Undefeated, and has been featured on the BBC, and in the Guardian, Gizmodo and Pitchfork.

Other sessions: Stingrays, Drones and Fusion Centers: Coming to a Police Department Near You?

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Adam Green

Adam Green is Co-Founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a grassroots organization with a million members that engages in electoral and issue advocacy work — with a focus on economic populism and democracy issues. For four years, he worked as Director of Strategic Campaigns and Civic Communications Director for Previously, Adam served as the Democratic National Committee’s press secretary in Oregon for the 2004 presidential campaign, communications director for the New Jersey Democratic Party in 2003, and press secretary for the top winning Democratic U.S. Senate race of 2002 in South Dakota. He has a B.A. from George Washington University and a law degree from University of Virginia — and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, C-SPAN, and other media outlets.

Other sessions: Saving Millions with Earned Media: How to Organize Kick-Ass Press Events and Get Your Campaign Covered

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