One of the country’s most well-known political activists, Eli Pariser ’96 will return to Bard College at Simon’s Rock on Thursday, October 22, to offer a lecture as part of the College’s ProSeminar Lecture Series. The series hosts speakers from a range of fields and perspectives who offer insight into the social sciences. His talk, which takes place in the Clark Auditorium at the Fisher Science and Academic Center, is free and open to the public.
Eli Pariser is president of MoveOn.org, a grass roots political organization once defined by journalist George Packer as the "mainstream" element of what "may be the fastest-growing protest movement in American history.”
His leadership with MoveOn began following the September 11 attacks, which spurred Pariser to found the MoveOn Peace Campaign. The campaign, which mobilized members against the Iraq war, tripled MoveOn's member base. Under Pariser’s leadership as executive director of MoveOn.org, the organization grew to boast more than three million members and raised over $30 million from more than 350,000 small donors.
While Pariser’s work became most recognized as a leader of one of the country’s most active grassroots political organizations, his acumen for activism was evident while still a student at Simon’s Rock. In 2000, he and three other alumni launched an interactive web documentary, This is Your American Story, a project that grew out of a Simon’s Rock web development class. The experiment had them boarding their own campaign bus and zigzagging the country to capture ordinary American political opinions for inclusion on an online, interactive database. The project attracted the attention of hundreds of media outlets at the time and pointed to Pariser’s talent for innovation in activism. He graduated from Bard College at Simon’s Rock that same year, in 2000, with a B.A. in law and political science.