A student run non-profit is hosting a conference on Saturday. The conference aims to teach solutions on how to bring the country together.
The Columbus Center
Jacob Householder is the director of the conference and says the conference is hosted by students in a local non-profit called the Columbus Center for Constitutional Studies.
The Columbus Center provides classes and other materials to teach young adults basic principles of the constitution. Then they can travel to other countries and teach principles of successful self-government.
“We want to change the way people talk about politics,” Householder said. “Teach them what it means to be a liberal, teach them what it means to be a conservative and show that those are not necessary titles that are owned by either political party.”
Householder said both conservative and liberal ideologies can work together. They can make the country stronger and more efficient by using their strengths.
Several speakers are coming to present in a TED talk style including two former military members - Nick Freitas, a delegate from Virginia flying down from Washington D.C., and Jason Mow.
Householder said Freitas is very good at showing everyone, especially millennials, how they can get involved.
“There are a lot of people who don’t get involved because they don’t know enough, or they feel like they are smart enough, they don’t feel like they are corrupt enough, really, to be involved in politics,” Householder said. “And Nick says, ‘you know what we all can do our part.’”
Jason Mow is now an author and has worked in law enforcement and taught law enforcement in the Middle East.
Robert Tonks works at the Research and Development Center in Rexburg and is also an adjunct professor at BYU-Idaho teaching social innovation, which is the science to change the world.
It all Started With a Fireside
Householder said he gained an interest in politics when he was in high school.
He previously thought he just wasn’t smart enough to understand what was happening or he thought that America was doomed with or without him. But then he attended a fireside by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that changed his mind.
The speaker at the fireside shared that if everyone became actively engaged in politics, the country could be brought back together.
After the fireside Householder realized he had a part to play.
“I realized I personally have a responsibility to help America service, to help America thrive, and to be more unified and to be more committed to the constitution which has given us this rare gift of freedom,” Householder said.
He started getting involved in constitutional studies and eventually withdrew from high school, got his GED and just studied the constitution. Now as a student at BYU-Idaho he is a financial economic major.
Householder said it doesn’t matter what your major is to get involved.
“There is a place for everyone in this freedom movement,” Householder said. “We don’t have to promote freedom in a way that is abrasive. We’re showing people how to promote freedom and the constitution in a way that both liberals and conservatives can be excited about.”