Nick Kimble at Harvard Conference
From October 6-9, 2022, Seton Hall sophomore Nicholas (Nick) Kimble participated in the Harvard Public Policy Leadership Conference (PPLC). For over 20 years, the PPLC has brought bright and talented undergraduate students from across the United States to expand on their previous work experience on issues related to public policy and provide them with the mentoring and education to continue that work into the future. By equipping these students with the motivation and drive to address change, PPLC hopes they can become leaders in governments, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, and social enterprises while maintaining a close relationship with their local communities.
The 69 students worked on policy to help their local communities overcome challenges, including grievances indigenous populations face, food insecurity, and language barriers. After the program, Nick wrote a policy memo, not on his field of civic engagement, but on a topic presented during the conference. One of the guest speakers, Megan Minoka Hill, spoke at length on the Kake Peacemaking Circle, a form of restorative justice used within the indigenous communities in Alaska that addresses the underlying issues of crime and conflict. While it can be used for personal conflict, in recent years, different communities used the Circle to reconcile with the trauma the United States caused at a broader level. Nick's memo recommended using this practice within the Black community to help ease and mitigate tensions and provide a practical step to move forward.
During PPLC, Nick tapped into his previous experience and intrinsic desire to learn from those around him. From a young age, Nick saw the merits of civic engagement. As a child, he accompanied his grandmother to the polls and listened as she encouraged her family never to lose hope in the American way of life. This young introduction transitioned into action in high school, as Nick brought civic education to students both inside the classroom and out. During the Trump Administration, Nick saw his fellow students in Edison, NJ, growing weary with the political environment but were determined to learn more and become more active. To help show the good still left in the system, he and a few other students created Edison Civic Change. What started as a town hall for students to learn from local leaders led to parents joining and eventually transformed into a city-wide event that, during the pandemic, became entirely virtual. Nick also worked with Civic Wave Non-Profit, committed to providing civic education access to high school students in New Jersey. Because of the group's work, the New Jersey legislature passed a law requiring students to take a civic education class as part of their high school curriculum.
Nick Kimble with a picture of JFK
In his first year at the School of Diplomacy, the conversations with teachers outside the classroom provided him with additional skills he used throughout the program. He reflected on his conversations with Professor Robert Shaver, who demonstrated how to bring a balanced perspective to political arguments and not let emotions take charge. As Nick explores options for graduate studies, he hopes to continue learning about the lived experiences of individuals across the globe and further the spread of democracy domestically and abroad. Nick is thankful for all the opportunities the school has provided and strongly encourages his fellow students to take a chance on all the opportunities available to them while in school.
Categories: Nation and World