Women’s Studies presents inspiring story

Jen Woytovich

On Monday, March 21, the department presented Donna Brazile, head of Al Gore’s presidential campaign and an active participant in national politics.

The title of the lecture was “Women and Other Minorities in Politics.” However, Brazile’s charismatic and driven personality led the lecture in a more interesting and personal direction.

She began by telling her own story. As a poor African-American woman growing up in Louisiana, she realized at a young age how powerful having a voice can be.

She was eight years old when Martin Luther King Jr. died, and she fought actively in her own community.

At a young age she learned to motivate and organize people, petitioning not for equality on a grand scale, but for simple pleasures such as having a playground in her neighborhood.

When she was 16 years old she decided that she would one day like to run a presidential campaign, a goal she accomplished.

Through her work for Al Gore, Brazile became the first African-American to lead a campaign.

She also worked on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, visiting 46 states speaking on his behalf prior to the election.

Brazile proved that the possibility does exist for a woman to make a difference in politics.

“There are currently 66 women in congress,” she informed her audience.

“There is no place in our democracy to sit on the sidelines.”

She did not only address women in minorities, but also the younger generation in general, saying, “it is your turn to lead.”

Brazile discussed how important it is to the political parties to get the younger generation involved.

She then went on to give her critique of the major fault of the Democratic party. “Democrats need to start telling the American people what they value … or the Republican will continue to say they value nothing but winning.”

She offers a few formulas for potential success for the democratic party in the future.She illustrates how important it is not to exclude certain geographical areas, to campaign in every state regardless of whether is it blue or red.

It is also important to keep in contact with those who aided on a previous Democratic campaign, to thank the volunteer and to keep them updated.

Although she is a dedicated Democrat, Brazile does not play partisan games.

She respects many Republicans. Several times she quoted President Bush favorably and spoke highly of his cabinet, specifically of Secretary of State Condoleeza  Rice, another powerful African-American woman in Washington.

Brazile is a woman of great accomplishment with immense sincerity and humor.

“I didn’t realize how influential certain groups can be,” Senior Brian Prior says.

“As a college student I realize even more how important my political identity and how influential I am as an individual.”

Women’s Studies has become increasingly popular and has proven itself over the past two semesters to be a fast growing, organized and ambitious concentration.

Several lectures that address different topics within Women’s Studies have been scheduled for this semester, including ones from such noted authors as Nancy Hewitt and Dr. Cathy Winkler.