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KNOXVILLE – The man dubbed one of the most influential figures in the United States, Ralph Nader will speak on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus, at 7:30 p.m. on March 9 at the Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building.

Sponsored by the Central Program Council and the Issues Committee, the event is free and open to the public, though first-priority seating will go to students, faculty and staff beginning at 6 p.m. Nader’s discussion topic will be “Democracy and its Erosion: Big Business and the American Duopoly.”

Nader, a consumer advocate and four-time presidential candidate, has dedicated his life to both exposing and offering solutions to the problems in the U.S. government system. He was recently called “One of the Most Influential Figures in American History” by The Atlantic. Time magazine also named Nader as “One of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the Twentieth Century.”

Nader recently released his first novel, “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us,” which presents a “practical utopia,” outlining the lasting improvements to society that America’s most powerful figures could achieve if they pooled their resources toward a singular goal.

Nader immersed himself in public life in 1965 when he took on the auto industry with his book, “Unsafe at Any Speed,” an exposé of the disregard carmakers held for the safety of their customers. The Senate hearing into Nader’s accusations and the resulting life-saving motor vehicle safety laws launched Nader into the public sphere.

Nader’s work with lawmakers has prompted the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He also helped draft and pass the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Meat and Poultry Inspection Rules, the Air and Water Pollution Control Laws and the Freedom of Information Act.

In his latest citizen initiative, he is working with alumni classes, including his own at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, to expand their efforts beyond parties and reunions to community projects that systemically advance social justice.

Among his best-selling books are “Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President,” “Winning the Insurance Game,” “Why Women Pay More and Getting the Best from Your Doctor.” He also writes a weekly column, “In the Public Interest,” which runs in newspapers around the US.

The Central Program Council is the primary source for student programming at UT Knoxville. The council seeks to provide dynamic and purposeful co-curricular programs that promote the educational, cultural, recreational and personal development of all students.

The Issues Committee brings interesting and informative issues to the UT Knoxville campus. The Issues Committee guides its programming toward ideas and issues that can stimulate and enrich the university community.

A live webcast and replay will be shown on

For more information about Ralph Nader, visit

For more information about this event or to arrange for disability accommodations, please call the Office of Student Activities at 974-5455.


Whitney Holmes (865-974-54609,