Conference organizers invite youth ages 14-18 to come to attend a five-day camp at BYU to be taught the fundamentals of family history research, gain hands on experience, and acquire an understanding of the importance of this work.
Catered to Young People
“We are thrilled to see so many family history enthusiasts among the youth. When we kept seeing steady growth in the number of teenage participants at the conference we decided it was time to give them a conference experience of their own. This year will be the second year for the myFamily History Youth Camp,” said Alisse Frandsen, from BYU Conferences and Workshops.
The camp will build upon the success of last year’s first annual conference, which included the attendance of sixty two young people from around the world. One of the favorite activities, which will be continued this year, was the trip to Salt Lake City to tour the Family History Library, Temple Square, the Church History Library and The Discovery Center at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The Discovery Center particularly can show campers a new side to family history work that they may not have known existed. The booths are high-tech, uniqu,e and very interactive. They’re perfect for young people whose “fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord…” as Elder Bednar said in a recent conference.
A BYU Experience
The camp offers a genuine BYU experience for youth. There will be a lot of fun involved, including a combined dance with Especially for Youth, free time to spend playing ping pong or bowling with new friends, amazing counselors, and a pizza party. Prior experience with family history research is not a requirement to attend.
Goal of the Camp
Camp organizers hope that participants will leave the camp prepared to serve as family history consultants, if called to do so. They also hope that the camp will help participants be independently motivated to continue working on their own family history and to inspire and assist those around them.
“The Church puts a lot of emphasis on family history work,” John Best, conference organizer, told the Daily Universe. “We’re just glad to assist them in helping people find better ways to find their ancestors.”
What To Do Now
Watch the video below to hear from last year’s youth attendees and see some of the activities. Follow the conference on Instagram and Facebook to view more photos and posts from last year and to see new posts as this year’s camp gets closer. Visit http://myfamily.ce.byu.edu/ to register!
Photos Courtesy of MyFamily History Youth Camp Photographers 2015
“If you find what you love to research, stick with it! There’s nothing better than diving into research that you are passionate about,” says Emily Steele, first year master’s student in our social work program, and recent first place category winner of the 2016 Fulton Conference.
Her words come from personal experience. “I participated in the conference once or twice as an undergraduate student, but this was my first time as a graduate student,” said Steele.”I felt different about it this time, because I had spent a lot more time and energy on the project that I presented this year.”
Research Helping Veterans
Her research project was inspired by the need to create more accessible and effective treatment programs for combat related trauma in military veterans. Her poster was titled: “Warrior Camp: An Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy Program for Combat Trauma in Military Veterans.”
She conducted a program evaluation of a fairly new, unique treatment program called Warrior Camp, a clinical treatment program designed to heal trauma, prevent suicide, support force preservation, and enhance resilience, based in New York City, NY. The program offers different treatments to address the vast array of symptoms that military veterans experience due to combat trauma (PTSD, depression, mortal injury, dissociative experiences, etc.). One of those treatments is the opportunity for veterans to interact with horses in a variety of activities, including grooming, feeding, walking, and playing games, Both a licensed therapist and horse professional conduct EAP.
“This type of treatment model has never been used before [at Warrior Camp], yet the program results indicate statistically significant decreases in maladaptive trauma symptoms for the participants of the program,” explained Steele. “This provides preliminary evidence that this unique treatment model offers promising results for military veterans suffering from combat related trauma.”
Research Helping Practice
Steele understands that research and clinical practice go hand in hand. “I think that as social workers, we tend to shy away from the research all together because we just want to be doing clinical work with people the entire time. However, if we don’t incorporate evidence-based treatments into our practice, our clinical work cannot be deemed valid or reliable.”
Research is Better With a Mentor
Social Work professor David Wood has been Steele’s research mentor. Steele said she has loved working with him because he gives her enough freedom to take the reigns of the project, but offers helpful direction when she needs it. “I have learned so much throughout this research project and about what I am truly capable of, and I have Dave to thank for that,” she said.
Research Helps You Determine Your Passions
Steele encourages all students to get involved with research. She said,
“Becoming involved in research early on in your undergraduate years is the best thing you can do to determine what your goals and passions are. If research isn’t for you, then at least you’ve figured it out early on!”
Seeing all of the research that other students are doing is one of Steele’s favorite parts of the Fulton Conference. “I think BYU is very unique in that it allows and encourages its undergraduate students to become involved with research on a rigorous level.” She feels that her own research experiences will help her in her future practice and career by allowing her to evaluate and critique research and clinical techniques to provide the best treatment for her clients.
Her poster, which garnered her $300 as first place winner in the graduate-level social work category, is on display on the ninth floor of the Kimball Tower at BYU.
A record number of students participated in this year’s annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Learning Conference. Six-hundred and sixty-six students, including both graduate and undergraduate students, participated with 299 posters.Their efforts were led by 75 FHSS faculty members.
What is Mentored Learning?
Mentored learning is significant hands-on research that engages BYU faculty or qualified adjunct faculty with students. It may be one-on-one or in small groups. The Mentored Learning Conference provides an avenue for undergraduate and graduate students from all departments in the The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences to showcase their mentored research in the form of a concise poster. The conference is a full day event sponsored by the Mary Lou Fulton Chair.
A Life Changer for Price
For Dr. Joe Price, a professor of Economics who spoke to the conference participants
during a special luncheon in their honor, mentored learning proved to be his most impactful experience at BYU. He said it changed his life as an undergrad student. He became a mentor when he joined the faculty, and that has allowed him to return the favor. Since 2007, he has employed over 300 students as research assistants. He shared some words of advice for students doing mentored research:
Recognize that your mentors love and care about you.
Find a way to see the big picture in what you’re doing.
Try to become part of the idea-generating process.
Find your passion.
President Worthen also offered his congratulations to conference participants. He recognized that a lot of time and effort goes into these projects – probably more than the student initially anticipates. He encouraged them to take time to express gratitude to everyone who helped make their work possible. He acknowledged the meaning in the work they are doing. “What goes on here is important to God. You are not here by accident,” he said.
Faculty representatives from the college selected first place winners from each department. Some departments also awarded second, third place winners, as well as honorable mentions. Evaluation of the posters was based on quality of research, overall poster clarity and visual appeal.
If You’re not Doing Research, You’re Only Getting Half a Degree”
“If you’re not doing research, you’re only getting 50% of a degree,” said Clarissa Gregory, a senior Political Science major, who won 3rd place in her department. Her poster was titled, The Senator Who Cried Filibuster: Using Game Theory to Explain the Dynamics of Filibuster Threats. Gregory is extremely grateful for the University’s emphasis on undergraduate research. She could not say enough good about her mentor, Dr. Magleby, who has assisted in her research, and helped her make plans for post graduation.
First time participant Laura Hovey says she plans on doing the conference again next year. Her Winter 2016 sociology class required participation in the conference, but she said that her experience with the conference was better than she ever expected. The students picked a research question at the beginning of the semester and their professor, Carter Rees, was there to help them along the research process. Hovey chose to study how parents pass down religious commitment to their children. “I am grateful that we were pushed to do this conference somewhat early [in our education],” Hovey said.
Congratulations to all who participated, and especially to our winners!
Title of Poster
Loose Threads: Reconstructing the Cultural Contexts of Five Looted Pre-Columbian Peruvian Textiles
Two Sides to Every Story: Using Ethnography to Study Conflict Among Refugees
Nicholas Hales, Ryan Allen, John Cannon
A Quasi-experimental Analysis of Elementary School Absences and Air Pollution
Landscape Ecology of Fire Recovery
Historical Films: An Essential Resource for Nurturing Historical Literacy
Jeffrey Jensen, Josh Smith, Daniel Merrill
PAMs: A growing Field in Pharmacological Drug Development
Athena Howell, Daniel Bjornn
Long term Memory Consolidation and Pattern Separation
Amanda Ellegn, Nathan Muncy, Seth Spencer
Effects of Testing Encoding on Pattern Separation
Taking the Pulse: What Can We Learn About Primary Candidates From Social Media
The Divorce Experiment: Do Children Matter?
The Senator Who Cried Filibuster: Using Game Theory to Explain the Dynamics of Filibuster Threats
AnnaLisaWard, Max Maisel, Kevin Stephenson,
Anxiety in Autism and Autism in Anxiety: Symptom Overlap on Adult Self-Report Measures
Alex Nielson, Kaitlynn Wright, Jordan Sgro, Adiane Cavallini
I feel fat: Spousal Support and Body Image
Alexithymia, Empathy, Avoidance, and Physiological Reactivity to Stress
William Hagee, Tiffany Migdat, Adam You, Sam Baker, Chelsea Romney
Julianne Holt Lundstad
Where is the Love? Intransal Oxytocin is Associated with Increases in Hostility
School of Family Life
Savanah Keenan, Logan Dicus, Ty Gregson, Karli Engebretsen
Daddy or Dumbies
Pornography and sexual media: Differentiation between pornography and sexual media and their association with multiple aspects of sexual satisfaction
Ashley Lebaron, Christina Rosa, Carly Schmutz, Travis Spencer, Josh Powell, Nick Jones
Effective Parental Practices for Teaching Children Sound Financial Principles: Retrospective Perceptions of Millennials and Their Parents and Grandparents
Leanna Stevenson,Courtney Stevenson, Lyndsey Gunnerson,Haley Furstenau, McKayla Chambers, Melanie Anthony
Teens and Screens: A Content Analysis of Media Use of Teens in Popular TV Shows
Family Planning and Women’s Empowerment in Nepal
Native American Vietnam-era Veterans: Access to Healthcare in Rural Montana
How Deos Race Affect Perceived Risk of Contracting a Sexually Transmitted Disease?
Educational Inequality in the US and International Achievement Outcomes: Are the Poor Really to Blame for the US Underperformance?
Title of Poster
Plant Microfossils Recovered from Dental Calculus at Casas Grandes, Mexico
Doris Jackson, Marcel Hall, Brady Vance, Romaine Drecketts, Jeff Kolb, Bradley Kleinstuber, David Pugh, Bud Todd
Novel Pharmacological Target: Characterization of alpha-3 beta-2 nAChRs expressed in Xenophus Laevis Oocytes
Brooke Dresden, Erika Lee, Kristen Grant, Jordann Parks, Alexander Dresden
Men exhibit more bias toward profeessional women and women experience more gender harassment in male dominated university majors
How relationship self-regulation influences relational aggression in different attachment groups
Warrior Camp: An Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy Program for Combat Trauma in Military Veterans
Does growing up in stepfamily negatively impact views on relationships & marriage?
Support for Paid Maternity Leave: What Matters?
Military Self Mastery and Self-Esteem among military service members: an analysis of symptoms across time.
More than constraints: How low socio-economic parents go about making decisions concerning their children’s schooling
REDD CENTER WINNERS
Title of Poster
Nicholas Hales, Ryan Allen, John Cannon
A Quasi-experimental Analysis of Elementary School Absences and Air Pollution
Shawn Wortham, Dallan Wortham
Understanding Utah’s Water Resources: The Bristlecone Pine
Spencer Lambert, Joseph Bryce, Amanda Crandall
Hearth and Home: Faunal Use at Two Sites in Utah Valley
Weight gain and metabolic syndrome are not a rite of passage, though some people seem to think they just come with the territory of getting older. Dr. Laura C. Bridgewater, professor of microbiology and molecular biology at BYU, asks: “How did we come to think that’s a normal way to age? Because it’s really not.”
While there is some evidence that obesity is genetic, it’s not enough to explain it entirely, says Bridgewater. “You look at families and think ‘okay, it runs in the family.’ There is a genetic component, but on the other hand, people who live together often share dietary habits and exercise habits.”
Lack of willpower can’t be the sole culprit either. “We all know people who seem to live on junk food and never gain weight,” she said. There is one aspect, however, that seems to play a crucial role in obesity and overall health: gut microbiota.
What is Gut Microbiota?
Gut microbiota is made up of all the microbes that live in the gut, with bacteria being the most abundant, explains Bridgwater. Healthy gut microbiota can do wonders for our bodies: they make vitamins, protect us from infection, regulate our metabolism, and harvest calories and nutrients from foods that are otherwise indigestible. Diversity in the gut microbiota makes the whole system more resilient. The more diverse the microbiota, the more good it can do.
Gut Microbiota in Research
“The evidence [that] gut microbiota [are related]…to obesity is very strong,” said Bridgewater. Researchers who transferred gut microbiota from obese mice to lean mice found that, over time, the mice who had received the gut microbiota from the obese donors ended up obese. Lean mice who received gut microbiota from lean donors stayed lean.
Researchers in Malawi found that the same process works with human microbiota. They took gut microbiota from severely malnourished children and from healthy children and transferred them into germ free mice. All of the mice were then fed a typical Malawian diet of roots and grains. The mice with the gut microbiota from the malnourished children stayed malnourished and the mice with the gut microbiota from the healthy children stayed healthy. Although they were eating the same thing, the gut microbiota from the malnourished children couldn’t harvest all the nutrients from the diet.
Research at BYU and U of U
Bridgewater has been involved in an ongoing study with colleagues from the University of Utah and BYU. The study, which is being funded by the BYU Gerontology Program, looks at how diet affects the gut microbiota and, by extension, overall health. The researchers started with two groups of mice. Each group was composed of both mutant mice with a high metabolic rate and wild mice. They fed each group a specific diet for six months.
Group one was fed a western style diet. It was composed of 40% fat, 43% simple carbohydrates, and 17% protein. Group two was fed normal mouse chow, which was plant-based and consisted mostly of corn, grains, soybeans, etc. The researchers tested the mice monthly to collect gut bacteria samples and check for diabetes.
After six months, Bridgewater and her fellow researchers observed that all the mice on the western-style diet had gained weight, whether or not they had a high metabolic rate, while the majority of the mice on the normal chow diet had stayed at a healthy weight. They also found a striking trend: all of the mice on the western-style diet had less diversity in their gut microbiota. Some had also developed diabetes.
Eating a Western Diet is Risky
Eating a western style diet is risky, says Bridgewater. While not all the mice on the western- style diet in the study developed diabetes, some did. It just depended on how their gut microbiota changed. All the mice on the western style diet lost diversity in their gut microbiota, making them more vulnerable to other illnesses and diseases.
While gut microbiota, genes, and diet all have an impact on obesity, some of those contributors also impact each other. There is evidence that gut microbiota influence diet by causing cravings, says Bridgewater. Certain bacteria want a certain type of nutrients. For example, if your gut microbiota is made up of a kind of bacteria that can thrive on dietary fats, they can make you crave foods that are high in fat. Eating that food will keep the bacteria happy, but according to Bridgewater, “these might not be the kind of bacteria you want growing.”
What You Can Do
According to Bridgewater, the best thing you can do to support a healthy gut microbiota is to feed it good food. Eating plant foods that provide a lot of plant fiber, like vegetables and grains, is really important. This fiber is indigestible to us, but our gut microbiota can digest it. The healthy microbiota use this fiber to produce metabolites that help us. A lot of things, including genes, impact our gut microbiota, says Bridgewater, but research shows that “we do have some control over what grows in our gut.”
Dr. Bridgewater is a professor of Microbiology and Molecular Biology in BYU’s College of Life Sciences. She served as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology from 2011 to 2014. She holds a PhD in Genetics from George Washington University and a BS in Microbiology from BYU
Registration has opened for BYU’s 48th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy, which will take place this summer (July 26th-29th). The conference will offer more than 100 classes with topics ranging from Youth and Genealogy to DNA Research. Conference attendees can expect to feel inspired, to learn a lot, and to have a lot of fun!
This year’s keynote speakers will be president and CEO of FamilySearch International, Steve Rockwood, and professional genealogist and author, Paul Milner. Rockwood spoke at RootsTech this year – the largest family history conference in the world. During his speech he encouraged the audience to think about the potential enhancements on daily life if family history was used and thought about more frequently.
The Growth and Goals of the Conference
Over the last several years, more and more people have become interested in family history work. The growth has shown in conference attendance numbers. Last year there were more attendees than ever before—over 900 people signed up to participate in one way or another. Conference organizer, Alisse Frandsen, expects this year to be just as big or bigger. She said,
“Our goal is that each participant walks away from the conference feeling more confident in their genealogy skills. Some participants come with a lot of experience and very specific questions. Others are just starting out with family history and come looking for direction—a jumping off point, maybe. This year we have 163 classes planned and each of them are different. Out of those 163, we’re sure that there is something for everyone who comes.”
Words from Past Participants
Family history work isn’t limited to pedigree charts anymore. Many people come to the conference to discover new ways to connect with their past, present and future family. A 2012 Conference Participant said of her experience,
“I truly enjoyed myself and am so excited to try new things and solve some problems I have had. The presenters were very knowledgeable and helpful. I enjoyed the speakers. I will come again. Your staff was very helpful and courteous.”
Nearly everyone who attends the BYU Family History & Genealogy Conference has a story to tell. The organizers invited past conference participants to share their stories, either by email or in interviews. They received some amazing and inspiring results, which can be read here.
Youth who are interested in family history work should consider attending the myFamily History Youth Camp, which will also take place July 26th-29th. Conference organizers noticed a steady growth in the number of teenage participants at the Conference on Family History and Genealogy and decided it was time to give them a conference experience of their own. This is the second year the camp has been offered. It will include a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, a combined dance with Especially For Youth, and a chance to become an expert on family history research. For more information, visit http://myfamily.ce.byu.edu/.
Is there ever a time when civility isn’t necessary? According to panelists at a recent Civic Engagementworkshop, there is never a time to not be civil. Civility is often defined as courtesy or politeness. It can be hard to maintain when so many people have strong opinions on matters they consider important, but it can be done.
All of the panel members had significant experience serving in public office, positions which often put them at the center of heated debates. They each explained how they have tried to demonstrate civility during their years of service and how it has proven to be beneficial. They also shared insight and advice on how to practice and encourage civility.
See Political Opponents as Real People
“Realize, that truly, two incredible, smart, educated, informed individuals who want the same thing, can differ passionately about how to get there.”
Derek Brown spoke about the importance of seeing political opponents as real people. He has made it his personal objective to leave any confrontation having made a new friend, even if they cannot agree on an issue at hand. As a Republican, he said that some of his best friends on Capitol Hill were Democrats.
Brown believes that the somewhat negative connotation of politics is largely due to the media focus on conflict. He said that this focus gives the public an inaccurate depiction of what actually occurs on a daily basis. He also cautioned the audience to avoid buying into stereotypes and generalizations about certain political parties and politicians.
He said: “Maybe 65 to 70 percent of all the bills we vote on in the Capital come out with a unanimous or near unanimous vote tally. That’s because there are a lot of things, far more than you ever realize, that we actually do agree on.”
When we approach politics from that winner takes all mentality, we end up dehumanizing the other people…”
Mayor JoAnn Seghini is a firm believer in the power of good, active listening. She has made it a habit, when listening to the concerns and desires of her citizens, to always repeat back to them what she thinks she has heard. Listening and clarifying opens the door to a good conversation, she believes.
Mayor Seghini also believes strongly that everyone should be given a chance to share their opinion and be heard.
She says: “Civility is listening. Civility is giving everyone a chance to speak; verbally or non-verbally.”
“Civility … is the glue that holds us together in society. By setting up a system where you give everyone a chance to be heard, you make it possible for civility to occur.”
She encouraged people to tell others good things, to take time to listen, to rephrase what they think they heard… and give people a chance to share their opinions in ways that recognize their personal identity and dignity. “That to me is civility in government and in life,” she said.
Know the Full Story
Mark Seastrand explained the importance of knowing the full story, as an elected official, and watching out for group think.
He spoke about what he called the pendulum of perception, meaning that everyone has a different perspective. He encouraged working with small groups and individuals to piece together the full story.
Citizens can help by recognizing that public officials are truly trying to make the community a better place for everyone.
He said that bad information tends to travel much faster than good and accurate information.
“Attack the issues, not the person.”
Mayor Jeff Acerson said that public officials must be an advocate for every citizen. Political positions or parties should not cloud that principle.
As Mayor, he oversaw a road project that would affect the land of many citizens. He met individually with each person that was to be affected and listened to their concerns. In this way, he gave each of them a voice and was their advocate. He found that this approach distilled a lot of frustrations that could have turned into major problems.
He also emphasized the importance of being constructive, not destructive in all communication and understanding our own responsibility and influence.
He cautioned everyone to ask themselves: “Are you a builder? Are you constructing or are you destructing?”
At this competition, hosted by BYU’s Graduate Student Society, Robbins and Young-Petersen went up against students from colleges all across campus for prizes of up to $5,000. Young-Petersen, who is in her first year of the Marriage and Family Therapy MS program, presented her research on pornography and young adults. Her research showed that although 85% of young adults reported viewing pornography, only 10% of young adults reported behaviors that could be recognized as addictive. She said in her 3MT, “not all porn use is porn addiction and not all porn users are porn addicts.”
Her impressive presentation earned her first place in a surprising three-way tie with two other students. Looking back, Young-Petersen is grateful for the opportunity she had to participate in the competition. Of her experience, she said,
I was so impressed by the quality – and relevance – of research done by those in all levels of the competition. It made me proud to be part of a university that promotes and supports such innovative and important research. Competing with my peers was an excellent opportunity to gain insight into and respect for other disciplines at BYU and also provided opportunities to connect with those peers in a way I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced.
Watch Bonnie Young-Petersen’s full presentation below.
What is 3 Minute Thesis?
3MT was founded at the University of Queensland in 2008 as a means of celebrating exciting research done by students. Participants were to explain their research “in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience” by doing a three minute presentation (if it goes over three minutes you are disqualified!). The competition quickly gained popularity. There have now been competitions held in over 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.
Watch the video below from the UQ 2014 3MT winner, Dr. Megan Rossi, to better understand the benefits of participating in the competition. To learn more, visit the 3MT website.
The 3MT competition is held annually at BYU. If you missed it this year, plan to attend (or participate) next year! It is a great opportunity to get a glimpse of all the amazing research being done at BYU. If you just can’t wait until next year, take a look right now at last year’s winners or watch the presentations of the two students who tied for first place this year with Bonnie Young-Petersen – Ashley Nelson and Rachel Messick.
Photo of BYU winners courtesy of BYU Graduate Student Society
You may not think that your seven-year-old would understand the concept of civil rights, much less care about it, but they can. Not only that, children can and have been agents of civil rights change in our nation’s past. So, who’s to say that they can’t be our change agents of the future? That’s a question that FHSS History professor Rebecca de Schweinitz answered in her book If We Could Change The World: Young People and America’s Long Struggle for Racial Equality, recently mentioned in an article in Time Magazine.
“Everyday people, including children and youth, changed the course of history,” she said, in reference to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ’60s. In her book, she offers these tips to help parents spark their kids’ interest in Civil Rights:
Elementary aged kids love stories, de Schweinitz told Time. Tell them stories about children like them who showed courage during the Civil Rights Movement, or others who’ve made a difference. There are plenty of stories to choose from, including:
Parents can tell the stories of the brave children who integrated into white classrooms after desegregation. That was a time that put kids “at the center of the nation’s struggle for racial equality,” said de Schweinitz.
Parents can also tell the stories of young activists like Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, who spoke on campus recently. She told the students in attendance that she recognized the harmful effects of segregation when she was just 10-years-old. At this young age, she promised herself that she would do something to help make things better when she got the chance. By the time she was 19-years-old Mulholland had participated in over three dozen sit ins and protests, including one of the most famous and violent sit-ins of the movement at the Jackson Woolworth lunch counter. She also participated in the March on Washington and rode with the Freedom Riders. Countless other children and young people were involved in the movement in one way or another.
According to de Schweinitz, as kids get older, parents can start asking them questions that get them thinking about their role in society. They can ask their children about what they would change in the world today. This could also be a time of reflection. Parents can encourage their kids to think about what they have learned from stories about young people in history who have worked for change. How they can apply those lessons to their lives today?
Parents and children can start having conversations about the personal cost of fighting for change by the time kids reach high school. They can discuss possible reasons that people are willing to sacrifice for a cause they believe in, particularly why young people might be even more willing to work for change. “One of the truly striking aspects of youth activism in movement history was how much young people were consciously willing to give up,”de Schweinitz says.
The names of key figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman likely come to mind first when thinking about the Civil Rights Movement. Though it may take a deeper look, de Schweinitz says it is clear that kids have never just been pawns or followers in the long fight for civil rights. Kids, she said, have always felt their “own determination to fight for racial equality. This was their movement, too.” Parents can help their kids look more closely at the role of children and young people in the movement and how their courage and participation made a big difference.
Have you done any of these things with your kids? How did they react?
As a BYU student, many things are competing for your valuable time. There is homework to do, tests to prepare for, relationships to keep up with, internships to complete, among other things. Involvement in community and national affairs might be at the bottom of your priority list. Even if you would like to be more involved, finding time for it may just seem impossible – and you’re not alone in this feeling.
The biggest reason why registered voters ages 18-29 ultimately did not vote in 2010 was because they felt like they were too busy, according to an analysis by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University.
Even if you happen to have the time, you might still ask yourself a question we posed in a past article, “Why should I pay attention to elections?” Millenials have been labeled as “self absorbed” and “greedy,” but statistically, they are also better educated than any other generation to date. As a college student yourself, you’ve learned crucial skills that make you an invaluable member of the community. College students understand, perhaps more than others, that decisions lead directly to results. They also see the importance of finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems.
Our most recent Connections magazine quoted Cynthia Kuta, a BYU student enrolled in the Civic Engagement minor saying, “We can sit around and complain, but nothing will happen until we get involved. That is what civic engagement is, it is making a difference, and taking action.” Whether that involvement means casting a vote for a preferred politician or presenting a proposal to city council, millenials have an important role to play.
The LDS Church Handbook of Instruction reads, “Members should do their civic duty by supporting measures that strengthen society morally, economically, and culturally. Members are urged to be actively engaged in worthy causes to improve their communities and make them wholesome places in which to live and rear families.”
An upcoming event hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement will give students an opportunity to learn more about why millenials should care, from someone who deals with community affairs on a daily basis. Stephen Kroes, president of the Utah Foundation, will deliver his lecture titled “Millenials: Voting + Quality of Life” on Thursday, March 10th at 11:00 am in room 3714 of the HBLL.
Stephen Kroes is president of The Utah Foundation, a nonprofit research organization promoting a thriving economy and a high quality of life for Utahns. Mr. Kroes serves as a member of the Utah Economic Council, the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors, the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Governors, the Governor’s Commission on Education Excellence, and the Prosperity 2020 Founders Council.
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a legendary civil rights activist, grew up in the South during the African-American civil rights movement. Her position in society as a young, white, southern woman in a well-off family offered security and opportunity. Despite this fact, Mulholland was tormented by the injustice she saw going on around her and felt a responsibility to help make things right. “I saw something was wrong and decided to do something about it,” she said.
To university students bent on making a difference in the world, Mulholland’s story of courage and sacrifice is very relevant. Now 74 years old, Mulholland will join us on campus to speak about her experiences at an event cosponsored by Women’s Studies and The Office of Civic Engagement.
Much of Mulholland’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement began when she moved from her family home in Arlington, Virginia, to Durham, North Carolina to attend Duke University. It was during this time that she participated in her first of many sit-ins and joined the Freedom Riders. She later dropped out of Duke University when the Dean of Women pressured her to stop her activism. By 19-years-old Mulholland had participated in over three dozen sit-ins and protests. Her activism was not understood and some deemed her mentally ill. Her own family disowned her.
After spending two months in Mississippi’s notorious Parchman Penitentiary prison with other Freedom Riders, Mulholland watched Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton E. Holmes become the first African American students to enroll at the University of Georgia, Mulholland wondered, “Now if whites were going to riot when black students were going to white schools, what were they going to do if a white student went to a black school?” Shortly thereafter she became the first white student to enroll in Tougaloo College.
Through her acts, Mulholland became a central member of the movement. She was involved in one of the most famous and violent sit-ins of the movement at the Jackson Woolworth lunch counter. She also helped plan and organize the March on Washington. Because of her activism she was attacked, shot at, cursed at, and even hunted by the Klan. When Mulholland is asked about what inspired or motivated her to become involved in the Civil Rights Movement, she often refers to the hypocrisy she was surrounded by as she grew up. She said,
We had to memorize Bible verses about how to treat each other, like ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ … When I got to high school, we had to memorize the Declaration of Independence, which says ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’ The problem was that we didn’t practice what we were being taught.
Racism, in all its forms, is something we continue to deal with today. According to a Pew Research poll, about six-in-ten Americans say the country needs to continue making changes to assure that blacks have equal rights with whites.
Mulholland’s life has been written about in several books and her experiences were highlighted in an award-winning documentary entitled “An Ordinary Hero”. She was recently recognized, along with other female Freedom Riders, by President Barack Obama and has received numerous awards and recognition for her work in the Civil Rights Movement.