Two UT Baker Ambassadors to Participate in Harvard Political Conference

Diana Howell

Howell

Two UT students will travel to Boston later this month to participate in a conference led by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, featuring top political practitioners on bipartisan advocacy and campus political engagement.

The students—Diana Howell, of El Paso, Texas, and Morgan Chance, of Memphis, both sophomores majoring in political science—are Baker Ambassadors at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. They lead the voter registration drive committee and spearhead the center’s efforts to encourage political participation in Knoxville.

The Baker Center is member of the Harvard Institute of Politics National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement, a consortium of twenty-five US colleges and universities aiming to encourage today’s youth to improve society through bipartisan politics and public service.

On September 27 and 28, Harvard will host fifty students from National Campaign schools for a conference entitled “Bipartisan Advocacy: Finding Common Ground.”

Morgan Chance

Chance

Howell and Chance are working on improving voter rights and accessibility in UT’s campus community. They’ve held three events already this fall, including hosting a voting information booth on campus today for National Voter Registration Day. After the conference, at 11:00 a.m. on September 29, they’ll host a Baker Café discussion titled “To Vote or Not to Vote” at the Baker Center.

“Our main goal is to inform our fellow students and our community of what their voting rights are and the outlets that are available to them to make voting easier,” Howell said. “We want to see people care about elections and understand how important their vote is.”

Chance agreed: “Being a registered voter and participating in elections is an important civic duty for each American citizen over the age of eighteen. Having the opportunity to register people to vote—and seeing our efforts be successful— are humbling experiences.”

Nissa Dahlin-Brown, associate director of the Baker Center, said the center has been a member of the National Campaign since 2003.

“We are very excited for Diana and Morgan to have this opportunity to meet other students from across the country and to share ideas and new ways to get more youth engaged in voting and participating in their community,” she said.

Two of the conference’s September 27 panel discussions—”Fostering Bipartisanship” at 12:30 p.m. and “Millennials in Action” at 3:30 p.m.—will be streamed live online. Conference activities can also be followed via social media at #NAC4Change.

In addition to UT, the National Campaign’s consortium schools are Allegheny College, Arizona State University, Birmingham Southern College, Elon University, Franklin and Marshall College, Harvard University, Louisiana State University, Ohio State University, Rutgers, Saint Anselm College, Simpson College, Tennessee State University, Tufts University, University of Chicago, University of Florida, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, University of Oklahoma, University of Rochester, University of Southern California, University of Texas, University of Utah, University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely  (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)