YAF's Freedom Conference inspires young people to promote conservatism on campus

Students from across the nation gathered to hear from leading conservative speakers on the dangers of the Obama administration’s policies and to understand the arguments necessary to make the case for freedom on their campuses.

On March 23 and 24, students from around the country heard from top conservative speakers including Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, Stephen Moore, Dinesh D’Souza, and others at Young America’s Foundation’s Freedom Conference (#FreedomCon) in Raleigh, North Carolina.  This was the first of four regional conferences made possible by the generosity of the late Russell “Dale” Phelon and his wife, Debra. 

Young people—largely unemployed and weighed down by college debt—are suffering from the failures of big government, and #FreedomCon armed students with the tools to be the catalysts America needs to fix our biggest challenges.

The opening banquet featured Michael Steele, Maryland’s seventh lieutenant governor and former chairman of the RNC, who instructed the students to stand up for their beliefs and conservative ideas in order to save our great nation. Mr. Steele was introduced by his former colleague in the Maryland state senate and executive director of the National Journalism Center, Alex Mooney. 

After Mr. Steele’s address, the young leaders enjoyed a special screening of the Foundation’s newest film, The Conservatives, featuring Mark Levin, Monica Crowley, Peter Schweizer, Stephen Moore, Jonah Goldberg, Michelle Malkin, and Dr. Walter Williams. This film succinctly lays out why young people must defend the American free enterprise system.

Throughout the weekend students also heard from New York Times best-selling author and president of The King’s College Dinesh D’Souza, who presented the case that the Obama administration’s policies stem from a belief in anti-colonialism—a belief that America is not exceptional and has bad intentions.

Young America’s Foundation President Ron Robinson educated young people about the Conservative Movement and the media’s overwhelmingly negative coverage of conservative leaders. Robinson showed a compilation of Newsweek and Time covers—highlighting the glowingly positive coverage liberals have received versus vicious headlines conservatives have received like “Mad as Hell” and “Queen of Rage”. 

New York Times best-selling author and Young America’s Foundation and National Journalism Center alumnus Jason Mattera spoke on his book, Hollywood Hypocrites. Student were entertained as Mattera showed slides exposing Harrison Ford as a “pollution pimp” and other celebrities as “Hollywood hatemongers.”

The Wall Street Journal’s senior economics writer Stephen Moore educated young people on the negative effects government intervention has on the state of our economy. He pointed out that the most unregulated industries have seen prices go down and efficiency go up, while heavily regulated sectors—like healthcare and education—have seen prices skyrocket.

Author and Young America’s Foundation Director Wynton Hall gave a well-received tactical presentation showing young people how to market their ideas. He gave the student hints on how to build a brand name and emphasized the importance of using the internet to showcase their product.

Best-selling author and professor of history at the University of Dayton Dr. Larry Schweikart spoke on liberal lies about U.S. history that pervade America’s classrooms. Activist and founder of The American Cause Bay Buchanan taught students how to forcefully and bravely defend their principles.

The young participants left the Raleigh Freedom Conference energized to fight for their ideas in the weeks and months ahead. Young America’s Foundation sent them home loaded with materials including the new edition of the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism and its latest pamphlet, the “Youth Misery Index.”

“I had an amazing time at this conference and learned things I didn’t know before!” exclaimed Miriah Soliz from Regent University. “I am now prepared to defend my conservative values.” 

The next #FreedomCon will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 13 and 14.  Freedom Conferences will also be held in Ohio and Florida later this year. Visit to register and for more information.