July 17, 2015

High-powered civics lesson from former Secretaries of State


UH System Logo

A University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa student group hosted a high-powered civics lesson for students and the community. The students known as the DKI Leaders in Action, and named for the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, coordinated the public viewing of an event featuring former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell.

The joint lecture in July 2015 was the inaugural event for the Library of Congress Daniel K. Inouye Annual Lecture Series. It was moderated by journalist Ann Compton at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C., and was live streamed to UH and beyond.

One highlight of the program was the live tweeting and the ability for the online viewing audience to ask questions via Twitter.

“We’ll be taking questions from the audience and from the students at the University of Hawaiʻi shortly,” announced Compton, encouraging viewers to participate. “What should young people focus on right now?”

“In international relations, it isn’t just political science and history, it’s health, it’s science, the world is not flat,” said Albright. “There have to be ways that many more disciplines come into it and it’s much more interdisciplinary so that you can figure out where the pressures are. Much, much more complicated than what we had.”

“So, to the young people here I would say while you are thinking about all these great issues, get your eduction, become well informed, stay off all social networks, at least part of the time, and really study the issues of the day,” added Powell.

The DKI Leaders in Action students are taking Albright’s and Powell’s sage advice to heart as they work to increase civic engagement.

Former U.S. Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Colin Powell

“I think it’s important even though as a bio student I’m not really engaged that much in politics, but I think taking advantage of these opportunities that the UH Mānoa provides,” said UH Mānoa studentSally Park. I think it’s a really good thing for students to take some time out to be involved in our events.”

“We just want people to be aware of what’s going on in Hawaiʻi and national politics and again we want Hawaiʻi to be a leader in these areas: foreign policy, more engagement with our youth, civic opportunities,” added UH Mānoa student Richard Mizusawa.

The live stream was the first in a series of events planned by the DKI Leaders in Action. It is part of the club’s efforts to encourage participation and engagement by the UH Mānoa community and to highlight the importance of bipartisanship, governance and democracy.