Donna Brazile’s passion, evidenced in her numerous blogs, has garnered for her countless opportunities to make the case for civility. “With the right leaders, both movements should try to find a path forward: They can work to change public policy,” Brazile says on her website. “With the right leaders in office next year, we can summon the will to compromise for the common good. But, it is up to us to remain engaged, involved and not just passive participants in the governing aspects of our country.”

This is reason she was chosen recently to be keynote speaker for the Y of Central Maryland’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast. Her topic was “Inspiring Civility in the National Political Discourse.”

“If you look at the political climate today it’s obvious that we’re having a harder and harder time with having a civil conversation about the direction of this country,” said Sara Milstein, chief marketing officer of the Y of Central Maryland. “Donna Brazile seemed like the perfect person to help us with this. She gave a really inspiring speech that was really appropriate to Dr. King’s message.”

When asked how the Y of Central Maryland came to the decision to choose Brazile as key speaker, Milstein said, “Her background as a political activist, CNN commentator and high profile political media pundit seemed to make her the perfect person for this.”

Milstein was also impressed with the way Brazile showed her zeal for politics even at an early age. “She was somebody that even as a 9-year-old was going door to door to campaign for a city councilman in her town.”

At a time where Congress has proven to be anything but willing to cooperate in the better interest of the American people, Milstein said Brazile’s message was a call to action and an encouragement to all who attended.

Experiencing a longevity in the nation’s capital that many rarely see, Brazile was the first African-American woman to ever oversee an American presidential election campaign. Beginning in 1976, Brazile worked on every presidential election until 2000.

Brazile is currently vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation of the Democratic National Committee, and former chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute.

As an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Brazile continues to invest in the future by sharing her knowledge and experiences with generations of future leaders. She has been named one of the 100 most Powerful Women by Washingtonian Magazine and her memoir, Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, has been named a best seller.

For the past 37 years the Y of Central Maryland has dedicated an annual event to the work of the civil rights advocate who ultimately gave his life for his cause.

All proceeds from the event are funneled right back into positive programming for youth who are vulnerable in urban settings.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer