Former President of the United States George H. W. Bush once said, “If you have a plan, we want to hear it. Tell your community leaders, your local officials, your governor, and your team in Washington. Believe me, your ideas count. An individual can make a difference.” Nobody understands this better than BYU’s Office of Civic Engagement.
On March 21, in the Garden Court in the WILK, they are hosting an event that will begin with a welcome at 9:15am and a presentation from 9:30-10:30 from former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith. Beginning at 1:30pm and lasting until 5:45, there will be three panel sessions: Find Common Ground with Those Who Differ Politically, How to Become Involved in an International NGO, and How to Help Refugees. According to Civic Engagement, these topics should “help students understand ways they can be involved as well as how to work with others, particularly those with whom they disagree.”
Civic Engagement assistant to the director Kelsey Cogswell said this about the purpose of the workshop: it is “to help students learn more about how they can be change agents in their community. [We] hope that students will leave the event with a greater understanding of how they can be involved in constructive ways in creating a better community and society around them.”
Gordon Smith will provide: “Tips for Pursuing a Life in Public Service.” He served for two terms in the U.S. Senate as a senator from Oregon. Currently, Smith is the president and CEO of NAB Education Fund.
The first panel, Finding Common Ground with Those Who Differ Politically, begins at 1:30 and will go until 2:45. The speakers are:
- Brian King – Utah House Minority Leader
- Sheryl Allen – former Utah State Representative
- Scott Howell – former Utah Senate Minority Leader
- Curt Bramble – Utah State Senator
The second panel, How to Become Involved in an International NGO, will go from 3-4:15. The presenters are:
- Pearl Wright – Choice Humanitarian leader
- Arturo Fuentes – Help International
- Jani Dix – Operation Underground Railroad
- Kim Wolf – The Hope Alliance
The third panel, How to Help Refugees, will be from 4:30-5:45. The speakers are:
- Asha Parekh – Utah Refugee Center
- Paul Moody – LDS Humanitarian Services
- Bradford Drake – Catholic Relief Services
- Natalie El-Deiry – International Rescue Committee
If you’re interested in volunteer work, serving politically, or anything in between, then this is the event for you. The Office of Civic Engagement, Gordon Smith, and the panelists are sure to inspire us to reach our full civic potential.