| 03.18.2018

A senator’s speech — Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb will be in Vandal territory next week


Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb will be on the University of Idaho campus to promote civic engagement and diverse looks at life 6 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Vandal Ballroom of the Bruce Pitman Center.

Buckner-Webb was originally scheduled as the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in January. Due to poor weather, she was forced to reschedule.

Buckner-Webb’s speech will still address civil rights and diversity on campus.

Leathia Botello,  coordinator for Office of Multicultural Affairs, said Buckner-Webb’s speech will focus on inspiring students to actively engage in solving the ethnic, political and social challenges of the world

“She will be trying to empower people to become more civically engaged, and address how they can join in the ongoing debates that are facing our country,” Botello said.

Botello said trying to eliminate a feeling of singularity and powerlessness is one of the main goals of the presentation as well.

“A lot of times students think ‘I’m only a student, and I really can’t give back to my community as much as I’d like,’” Botello said. “They may not see the bigger picture on how the can still be involved in their local and national governments.”

Botello said although Buckner-Webb was not able to make it to campus in January, the same topics she will address are just as relevant as they were a month ago.

“Around the MLK holiday we wanted her to address what was going on around the country due to all the polarization. There were a lot of protests, demonstrations and unrest,” Botello said. “As far back as November, people began to feel really overwhelmed. We decided as a planning committee that her speaking on political and social issues would definitely be relevant.

Botello said the presentation will be a good guide on how students can begin their involvement in society, no matter where they are on the political spectrum.

“This presentation is simply built around the idea of being involved, how you can do things you’d like to see done, and influence change,” Botello said.

Julia Keleher, director of the LGBTQA Office, said she is looking forward to Buckner-Webb’s presentation.

“I think she’s going to speak a lot of her work, her activism, her political career and how aspiring participants can make a difference in their community,” Keleher said. “I thinks it’s going to be great, and I think she’s going help Moscow, the campus and Idaho in general a better place, because she is somebody who really is making true change.”

Keleher said she believes attendance for this event is crucial for anybody, no matter  their background, beliefs or heritage.

“Regardless of what people believe about politics, ethics or morality, it’s important that we all are civil, that we come together to be a community, and it’s important to be reminded of that fact,” Keleher said.

Andrew Ward can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu


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