Service Unites, powered by Points of Light, will be held in Atlanta, June 18-20
ATLANTA – May 2, 2018 – Service Unites, the world’s largest conference on service and volunteering, will feature a number of high-profile actors, authors, athletes, activists and civic leaders – all of whom make giving back and sparking change a priority. Speakers announced today for the 2018 Service Unites conference, powered by Points of Light, include former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Navy veteran and retired astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly; Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard; and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has dedicated more than 15 years to public service. As the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, she represented her community in the Arizona Legislature from 2000-2005, and then in Congress from 2006-2012. In Congress, Giffords was a leading champion of border security, energy independence, and the needs of military veterans and their families. On January 8, 2011, at a public event in Tucson with her constituents, Giffords was shot in the head at near point-blank range. With her husband, Navy veteran and retired astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, Giffords founded Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence in 2013 to encourage elected officials to stand up for laws that make communities safer from gun violence. Capt. Kelly made two deployments to the Persian Gulf as a naval aviator and flew 39 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. The decorated combat veteran was selected as an astronaut in 1996, and has spent more than 50 days in space – one of only four individuals who have visited International Space Station on four different occasions. He will join the former congresswoman to speak at the Civic 50 Gala, an event honoring the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Dwight Howard, starting center for the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, has called Atlanta home since elementary school. Crediting his family and his faith for his philanthropic activities, Howard founded the D12 Foundation in 2011 and works in partnership with leading U.S. organizations in the areas of early childhood education and literacy. He adds his voice to the challenges facing youth through engagement in mentorship, including at the Boys and Girl Club bearing his name in Charlotte. Internationally, Howard champions girls’ education in Tanzania, East Africa, providing safe housing and school essentials for young women pursuing their education. Most recently, he led the establishment of a new social venture there, creating a small production facility that employs local women in the making of biodegradable feminine hygiene products. The products are donated to local girls to help improve school attendance, foster better understanding of health and hygiene issues, and bolster self-confidence.
Dwight will join Points of Light Chairman Neil Bush at the Closing Plenary for a conversation about the importance of service. He will also play a one-on-one game of P.O.L. (our version of H.O.R.S.E.) with a conference attendee – all attendees who register by May 31 will be automatically entered into the drawing for a chance to play!
Elected to the Atlanta mayoral office in 2017, Keisha Lance Bottoms served the city as an attorney, a judge and as a member of the Atlanta City Council. Mayor Lance Bottoms continues to actively campaign for safer communities, economic growth, affordable housing and education. She will be opening the conference with a “Welcome to Atlanta” commencement.
Howard, Lance Bottoms, Giffords and Kelly will join a list of distinguished speakers who have participated in previous Service Unites events, including Points of Light Chairman Neil Bush; actress Yara Shahidi; former first lady Michelle Obama; U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi; comedian John Oliver; author Cheryl Strayed; musician Harry Connick Jr.; U.S. Congressman John Lewis; and former President Jimmy Carter. New speakers and guests for the 2018 Service Unites conference are being confirmed every day.
More information on the Service Unites schedule, speakers, 12 learning paths and more than 100 workshops can be found at www.volunteeringandservice.org.
About Service Unites The Service Unites conference is powered by Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Points of Light inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
Frances Chang on behalf of Points of Light email@example.com 404.814.1330
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