Last night Young America’s Foundation accomplished what many others attempted: hundreds of students were able to hear, engage, and discuss conservative ideas at the University of California, Berkeley.
YAF’s Fred Allen Lecture Series partnered with New York Times best-selling author Ben Shapiro, and students braved antifa violence, administrative roadblocks, and hateful sneers from triggered liberals to hear conservative ideas expressed openly on campus. Furthermore, our online live stream reached more then 350,000 on the night of the event and it was the number one trending topic on Twitter. Less than 24 hours after the event, Shapiro’s speech has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.
You may have seen the numerous news reports on the Drudge Report, Fox News, and many other news outlets reporting on the event.
Achieving this victory for free speech was not easy.
Berkeley administrators previously blocked two Foundation speakers from campus. Their repeated attempts to silence conservative ideas lead us to file a lawsuit against the school. Yet, even with the pending legal threat, the school employed numerous dirty tricks to undermine the lecture.
The Foundation team worked hand-in-hand with the conservative students on campus. We dispatching our team weeks before to assist with advertising on the ground and engage administrators who dodged scheduled meetings, and literally ran from our students when they attempted to meet with them.
While Berkeley administrators claimed to support conservatives free speech rights, they levied a hefty $15,000 security fee, which the foundation stepped forward to cover to allow the event to continue. When it was discovered that we had more demand to fill the entire 2,000 seats, the school summarily limited attendance to half. When students lined up in a stand by line for unclaimed tickets, Berkeley seized the extra tickets to keep those eager students from attending.
All the while the Foundation team worked hand-in-hand with the conservative students on campus. We dispatching our team weeks before to assist with advertising on the ground and engage administrators who dodged scheduled meetings, and literally ran from our students when they attempted to meet with them.
Their sad efforts ultimately failed and conservatism prevailed.
Ben electrified the audience with his defense of individual freedom and tore down many liberal concepts, including their obsession with identity politics.
Young America’s Foundation once again proved why we are the leader changing campuses, even one as liberal as UC-Berkeley.
Our student training, on-ground activism, and leadership in filing a free speech lawsuit against Berkeley brought about this breakthrough accomplishment.
We are just getting started!
Young America’s Foundation will continue our work to bring the conservative message to campuses nationwide. Earlier this week we worked with more than 200 campus groups to establish displays of 2,977 American flags as part of our 9/11: Never Forget Project which is the largest nationwide campus initiative.
Steve Forbes also addressed more than 500 at the University of Louisville.
Next week we will welcome high school students to another sold out conference at the Reagan Ranch and we will see more campus events featuring Ben Shapiro, Carly Fiorina, and others speak on college campuses from Yale to the University of Utah.