|Chance of a lifetime|
By Samantha Cypher, Media Relations intern
Empowering and advocating for peace, equality and civil rights has been a shoe the Rev. Jesse Jackson has filled for some time now. For University of Idaho freshman soccer player Christina Boddie, the Rev. Jackson brings the experience of a lifetime when he visits the University of Idaho Monday, Feb. 7.
Boddie, you see, will be introducing the legendary civil rights activist.
A few weeks ago, Director of Diversity and Community Mark Edwards extended to Boddie the opportunity to introduce Rev. Jackson at his 7 p.m. appearance at the Kibbie Dome. Boddie gladly accepted with the knowledge of the honor it brings and responsibility it possesses.
"It's a big opportunity; I just took it and ran with it. I didn't even think twice about introducing him because it's really big for the University of Idaho," Boddie said. "It's such a great opportunity because it's something you can look back on and say I got to meet someone who made such a big impact on American history."
Boddie knew coming into this what great things Jackson has done for American civil rights and growth of the nation.
"I knew that he helped a lot in the Civil Rights movement. He ran for president twice and he has done a lot to help gain equality between blacks and whites. He walked with Martin Luther King and he has just done a lot to help with the Civil Rights movement," she said.
Not only did Boddie receive the privilege of introducing Jackson, but she also received an invitation to attend dinner with Rev. Jackson, University of Idaho President Duane Nellis and Washington State University's President Elson Floyd.
"I try not to think about it because I get nervous thinking about it but I'm just really excited and honored that I got chosen to do this because this is a big thing for the University of Idaho and just around this area," she said. "I'm just super excited to get to meet him because I get to go to a dinner with him, so I get to meet him, the U of I President and the WSU President, so I get to meet a bunch of influential people. So I'm excited just to represent myself and all my accomplishments and meet him."
Boddie, whose father, Tony, is African-American, and mother, Susanne, is Caucasian, is unique in the fact that she is the first player of African- American descent in the Idaho soccer program, and up until recently, she was unaware of her historical position. She marks a momentous time in the university's history, as well as in her own.
"Yeah it's really cool. I definitely didn't know that before but it's really cool because once you bring in one person you bring more people in, just the more people you have, the more diversity we are going to have at the University of Idaho. So it's always cool to know we have people backing us up so I feel it's a big deal so I'm really excited," she said.
In receiving this opportunity, Boddie is provided with an empowering role that will make a difference, not only in her life, but for future students of diversity at the University of Idaho.