Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro connected via Skype to speak to hundreds of millennial women participating in Turning Point USA’s Young Women Leadership Summit (YWLS) on Wednesday. Shapiro had been scheduled to make a 2 p.m. appearance at the Dallas summit, but plans fell through after American Airlines canceled his flight for technical reasons.
The YWLS was organized months in advance by Turning Point USA, a youth activist organization founded and spearheaded by millennial public figure and commentator Charlie Kirk. Over 400 young female students and dozens of non-millennial YWLS 2016 attendees showed up for Shapiro’s lecture on conservative thought.
After learning he would not be able to make it, Shapiro arranged for a Skype audience with the young activists. The young women were disappointed to find he would not be making it to the summit in person. Many of them had hoped for an autograph from him, and some fans even created signs expressing their excitement to hear him speak.
Nevertheless during his lecture, Shapiro’s young fans took to social media using hashtags like #YWLS2016, #YWLS, and #BenToYWLS. American Airlines, responsible for transporting Shapiro to Dallas in time for his lecture, received a lot of angry tweets from young women today.
Anna White, a 22-year-old graduate student from Washington State, began the widely used #BenToYWLS Twitter hashtag months ago in an attempt to encourage other young activists who would be attending the summit to voice their interest in having him speak, so that eventually the summit organizers would give in to the request to host him.
“At first, I was not sure that this movement would gain traction,” White told The Daily Wire. “I, along with a few others, began tweeting using this hashtag, in hopes he would be able to attend. The hashtag's use dwindled for a while, but it began to pick up. I encouraged those I knew who were attending the YWLS to continue to use the hashtag. On May 2, we found out that the movement to bring Ben to the YWLS had been successful.”
Kyle Foley, a TPUSA staff member, announced via Twitter that Shapiro’s full lecture on conservative thought will be posted online by tomorrow. Here is a video clip taken by a member of the audience:
Students expressed overwhelming satisfaction at the lecture despite Shapiro not physically being there. As an attendee of the event myself, I saw no speaker received by the audience as enthusiastically as Shapiro was received by his fans there. Many of them sent emails to The Daily Wire with the hope of receiving his personal autograph by paper mail following the event. Shapiro’s lecture was followed by a 3 p.m. lecture at the YWLS event by former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.
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