By Dr. Corinna Balderramos Robinson
As the newest Chair for the PBC Speakers Bureau inclusive of 70+ members, I’ve hit the ground running and am overwhelmed by the warm welcome and support by so many LWV members. Most recently, I was elated to hear from our recent “Hot Topics” guest speaker, Mrs. Cecile Scoon. As we are both veterans of military service, her thoughts and sage advice regarding the “strengths of diversity” rang home. For example, Cecile spoke of quelling the perception of “a white savior stepping out of an ivory tower”; rather that we, as members, should seek out “the passport giver” while “listening to others tell their story”. Building trust and gaining voter support takes time and sensitivity to one’s culture and values.
Thus, I have pledged to boldly and pragmatically work toward diversifying our Speakers Bureau with more underrepresented members who will not shy away from visiting non-traditional locations. We will “think outside the box” to include gathering places such as churches, childcare centers, synagogues, athletic centers, YMCAs – places where community residents may feel comfortable and more often visit.
As a “Call for Action” our first Speakers Bureau training for 2020 will commence on February 13th. While there are 18 (state-approved) presentations to help educate voters on this year, we will primarily cover useful tips for invigorating communities with great passion. And while not everyone feels at ease with public speaking, we will encourage associates to help at the various, venues throughout the year. Bilingual, LWV members will be joining us too.