Luminaries in Higher Education, Journalism, and Government Participate in 8th Citizenship Tour
From July 12 to 23, 17 high school and college students from 12 cities took part in SEA’s 8th Citizenship Tour, meeting virtually with leaders in government, journalism, law, education, and the nonprofit sector.
The eight-day experience included conversations with NBC News Anchor Lester Holt, former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Pulitzer Prize winning cultural critic Wesley Morris, New York Times Opinion Special Projects Editor Meeta Agrawal, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, and President and CEO of the United Negro College Fund Michael Lomax. Students spoke with former NFL Player Wade Davis, who now serves as Netflix’s VP of Inclusion Strategy, National Editor at The Atlantic Scott Stossel, and Keith Wofford, an SEA Board Member who is a partner at global law firm White & Case.
The participating students were selected for their academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, and civic engagement. In preparation for the Tour, students researched and presented on issues that they are passionate about, such as climate change, supporting veterans, and educational access. “We’re never too small to make a change,” reflected Diana of Squash Haven.
For Karolina from CitySquash, the highlight of the Tour was “getting the chance to challenge people in power and listen to them answer everyone’s powerful questions.” Katelyn, a Tour Counselor and alumna of Oakland’s SquashDrive, enjoyed “being able to meet young, bright individuals who all have a strong passion to better the world.”
“Being able to witness the students’ growth and seeing them shine during the speaker meetings was powerful,” reflected Leslie Cotrina, Squash Haven’s Teacher and Program Coordinator who helped lead the program. “My favorite moments were the times where students were able to open up and be vulnerable together in our spaces. Super proud of each and every one of them and can’t wait to see what they bring to our future!”
SEA is grateful to our speakers for sharing their time and stories and is proud of the ways our students engaged in meaningful and challenging discussion. “Our students ended each conversation inspired to keep working toward their ambitions and eager to advocate for issues they believe are important,” said SEA’s Director of Educational Programming and Partnerships Sonia Koopersmith.
For a full recap of the Tour meetings, check our our blog at seacitizenshiptour.org.