Student groups host Congressional Black Caucus leader

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Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., stressed the importance of service and community outreach Monday, at a book signing for her autobiography.

The Black Student Union, the Multicultural Student Services Center and the Williams House hosted the event in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Lee, who is also the chairwoman of the Black Caucus for the 111th Congress, reflected upon her days as a student at Mills College as the basis for her career in politics.

As the president of her Black Student Union, Lee said she brought Shirley Chisholm to speak, a woman that inspired to her to work on her first grassroots campaign and become more actively involved in public service.

“With Barbara Lee’s dedication to public, and the Williams’ House focus being that area, we had to say yes when our advisor brought the event to us,” said Brittany Thomas, a member of the Williams House.

While the event was meant to focus on the release of Lee’s book, many members of the audience asked her opinion on foreign and domestic policy, including the war in Iraq, healthcare reform, the economic crisis and D.C. statehood.

“Barbara Lee has done so much work for college campuses and has worked particularly hard on the topic of D.C. statehood,” said sophomore Samuel Collins Jr., “The issue of D.C. statehood is really important to me, especially in terms of taxation without representation, and it is my hope to see this achieved by the time I graduate.”

Lee’s final comments reached out to the young people in the audience. She said that the election of Barack Obama is a mandate to the youth to become more involved with their communities and with government.

Lee said,”The youth need to continue their involvement that they had during the election in order to continue the precedent set by that election.”

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