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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., author Dave Eggers to speak at town meeting April 6

Emily Breeze, Public Affairs
(217) 333-5010;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a lawyer and environmental activist, and Dave Eggers, a best-selling author and alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will speak at a student town hall meeting April 6 (Saturday) to discuss the latest generation’s present and future.

Chancellor Nancy Cantor also will speak briefly at the event, which is part of the "Exploring the Human Experience" initiative. The meeting will be held at Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., Champaign, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Illinois Student Government representatives will moderate a discussion regarding what kind of world students want to lead when they graduate and how they plan to shape that world. The sponsors of the event are ISG, the Illini Union Board, the Daily Illini and the chancellor’s office.

Kennedy will speak on what it means to be a member of the "Y" generation and how young people can prepare to become leaders. Eggers will close the event by reading excerpts from "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," for which he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

The event will feature performances by the Other Guys, Dance 2XS, Sudden ImpaQ and other student performing groups. Winners of the chancellor’s art and literary competition will display and perform their works.

Kennedy is a longtime defender of the environment. He is chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and the senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council. The Harvard University graduate has written four books, including his latest, "The Riverkeepers," which was co-written with John Cronin.

Eggers, the editor of McSweeney's, a literary quarterly and Web site, worked at the Daily Illini from 1988 to 1992, including a year as editor and designer of a weekly entertainment magazine. "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" details how Eggers became an orphan and guardian of his younger brother at the age of 22. It was published in 2000.