Idaho, the African American or black population is 1.2%, according to the
United States census bureau. Yet, the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
does not reflect that small percentage.
38th annual MLK Human Rights Community Breakfast, hundreds of participants from
all racial and ethnic backgrounds filled Moscow Middle School’s multi-purpose
breakfast tables were filled with smiles, laughter, songs and powerful speeches
on the importance of human rights and voting rights.
Woodson, the keynote speaker for the weekends MLK events and outreach
coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU), said when
he speaks to groups about a variety of different things, one thing is always
asked — who is at the table?
Woodson, as a part of his work with the ACLU, speaks with communities all across the state. With his talks and speeches, he asks those communities if the people who are affected by specific issues are a part of the conversation.
it’s like, ‘Well I live in the same community.’ OK I get that, but how is this
affecting you? What do we want to do about that, and who else is not at the
table?” Woodson said.
Woodson, what brought him to the ACLU in 2017, in part was the election of
President Donald Trump.
remember thinking what is this going to look like, if at a moment where there
is a need for folks to get more involved. How am I going to feel if I’m just
out here sipping wine in some plaza in Barcelona?,” Woodson said.
And Woodson reflected on what issues have been going on nationally, from police shootings of African Americans in Minneapolis–Saint Paul where Woodson is from. Woodson said his family history is of giving back, so he left Barcelona — with his then-fiancé, now wife — and moved to Idaho, where she is originally from.
During Woodson’s speech Saturday, he spoke about the legacy of MLK. While it was powerful, the movement sometimes forgets those that were not fit to represent the movement at that time. Some of the names he addressed were, Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old activist who refused to give her seat to a white woman nine months before Rosa Parks. Or Bayard Rustin, who was one of the first people to introduce MLK to non-violent tactics.
Saturday’s MLK breakfast, awards were given to those who exemplify the
character of Rosa Parks by devoting their lives to human rights and inclusion.
Faunce, a University of Idaho law student, was one of the winners of the Rosa
Parks Human Rights Achievement Award.
been involved with human rights work and activism from a Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) rally in 2017 to her work with the recognition of Indigenous
People’s Day in Moscow.
Faunce, is an ally to people of color (POC), she said it’s “our job” as allies
to speak up for POC.
the events that I did participate in, we always tried to center the voices of
the most impacted,” Faunce said. “And let them lead and just be in the
background doing what needed to be done, and what we could do with our
said she wouldn’t be where she is today without the women of color in her life
who taught her how to be an ally.
Stark-Magaña, the associate director of multicultural admissions and Latina,
was another winner of Saturday’s award along with Garrett and Emily Strizich
who important forces in Medicaid expansion in Idaho.
along with Faunce was also shocked at her receiving of the Rosa Parks award.
Stark-Magaña was born in Mexico and found out in her junior year of high school
that she was undocumented.
out that I was undocumented, and my soul crushed,” Stark-Magaña said. “Because
back in the day there was no DACA, there was no opportunity in a sense.”
But Stark-Magaña eventually did receive her green card and was able to attend UI through a lot of hard work.
Stark-Magaña works within the multi-cultural office to recruit students like
“I go back
and recruit (in southern Idaho) and as soon as they see me they’re like, ‘Oh
wait my son can be you?’ And I’m like, ‘No, your son can be better than me,’” Stark-Magaña