Conferences & Seminars

2022 Escaping Communism Seminar

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Event Overview

Escaping Communism Seminar

Stories and Lessons from Survivors

Santa Barbara, California • December 2-3, 2022

“Freedom is not the sole prerogative of a chosen few,
but the universal right of all God’s children.”

– President Ronald Reagan

This two-day program will give high school students insights into the destructive history of communist governments and the contrasting harmony of free enterprise.

Today, young people are taught that socialism and communism are humanistic, compassionate forms of societal organization, and that free markets are oppressive and cause mass suffering and poverty. However, the lived experience of communist government survivors demonstrates otherwise.

Throughout this program, students will hear from some of the brightest minds and survivors from communist countries, be inspired by their stories and insights, and meet like-minded peers from across the country.


  • Learn from top leaders about how to champion your principles at your school & beyond!
  • Meet and network with like-minded students and participate in discussion with fellow students
  • Receive valuable resource materials
  • Improve your critical thinking and debate skills
  • Become a young leader and advocate for free markets and individual liberty!

This educational program will begin at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, December 2nd and will conclude on Saturday, December 3rd at 4:00 p.m.

THE TUITION FEE: The conference fee of $30 includes one night in a hotel, conference materials, transportation during the program, and meals from Friday dinner through Saturday lunch.

TRAVEL ASSISTANCE: Travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with demonstrable financial need. Please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to that includes:

  • Language regarding your financial need
  • What you hope to gain by attending the conference
  • Your travel plans
  • The expected amount of your travel plans and the amount you are requesting. (For example, expected travel costs from ORD to SBA $500. I am requesting $200 in assistance.)
  • The subject line should read, “Escaping Communism Seminar – Travel Assistance Request”

Please register for this program before submitting your travel assistance essay, and we will not consider your request until we receive this completed essay. Please note that travel assistance is not guaranteed and is allocated on a case-by-case basis. Incomplete essays will not be considered.

TUITION ASSISTANCE: Tuition assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis for those with demonstrable financial need. If you have financial need, please email a brief essay (no more than a page) to Conference Director Madison Habersetzer at with some language regarding your financial need. We cannot consider your request until we receive this essay.

THE DETAILS:  Please click here for all the frequently asked questions.

THE APPLICATION: This seminar is currently full. If you would like to join the wait list for this program, please email Conference Director Madison Habersetzer at Thank you!

The Reagan Ranch Center
217 State Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101

Helen Raleigh

Entrepreneur, Writer, and Speaker

Helen Raleigh, CFA, CDI.D, is a recognized American entrepreneur, writer, and speaker. She is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Her writings also appeared in various national media, including The Wall Street Journal, National Review, and Newsweek. In addition, she is the author of several books, including the award-winning autobiography Confucius Never Said, and her new book on foreign…

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George Harbison

Lecturer: The Victims of Socialism

George P. Harbison is a writer, speaker, political activist, and retired chief financial officer. In 2016, at the request of a YAF student leader,  Mr. Harbison created and delivered a lecture titled “The Victims of Socialism” at the University of California, Riverside. Since then, he has delivered this lecture at over twenty college campuses and…

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Jake Jacobs

Author and Host of the Jake Jacobs Show

Dr. Jake Jacobs is the host of the Jake Jacobs Show and the author of Mobocracy: The Cultural and Political War to Destroy Our Republic under God, Mother Should I Trust the Government: The Making and Keeping of our American Republic and his latest work MOB RULE: Unmasking the Radical Leftists at Our Doorsteps. Jake has degrees in American History…

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Daniel Di Martino

Venezuelan Freedom Activist; Economist; and Founder, Dissident Project

Daniel Di Martino is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Columbia University and a graduate fellow at the Manhattan Institute, where he focuses on high-skill immigration policy. Born and raised in Venezuela, Di Martino experienced the terrible consequences of socialism first-hand. After leaving Venezuela for the United States in 2016, he dedicated himself to explaining…

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Sigrid Weidenweber

Historian & Author

Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenweber remembers the horrific aftermath of Fascism.At the end of the war, she found herself living under Communism. Both of these totalitarian regimes left indelible marks on her psyche. She developed a healthy distrust of governments usurping too many powers in order to control people supposedly for their own…

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Grace Jo

North Korean Defector & Human Rights Activist

Grace Jo was born in North Korea, a place where she almost starved to death as a child. Two of Grace’s brothers died of starvation. Grace’s father was tortured and starved to death, he passed away when North Korean agents transferred him from a detention center to a jail and his “crime” was that he…

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