Inspiring Conversations with Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine

What a week it has been! Following Tuesday’s journalism conversations, our Tour students spent Wednesday with two inspiring public officials — Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp and Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine.

The first woman to hold such a post in North Dakota, Heitkamp reflected candidly on her experience as a woman in law and politics. She spoke about discovering environmentalism while at Lewis & Clark College, her work with the EPA, and more. “Once you catch the bug, you never lose it,” Heitkamp said. “You never lose the passion for that work.”

Our students asked Heitkamp about noteable moments in her career, such as her vote against the appointment of Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh. “You survive losing an election, but you don’t survive when you compromise your values,” Heitkamp explained. Senator Heitkamp has met with our students in person in years past, and we were so grateful to have her back with us this summer.

Wednesday’s second session was with D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine. Born in Haiti, Attorney General Racine spoke about his identity as an immigrant, an identity that some of our Tour students share. Racine spoke about his legal career, his perspectives on issues around education and mental health, and his passion for sports.

In addition to fueling his love for competition, “sports awakened me to the inequities and disparities all around me,” Racine shared.

“AG Racine was one of the impactful speakers for me because he had this humbleness to him,” said Ku of Capitol Squash. “It was insightful to see how he tries to understand everyone and their perspective.”

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