Millennial activist

Booker T. grad goes to Washington, plans a future in public policy.



Recent Booker T. Washington graduate Nathan Levit, right, helps Booker T. teacher John Waldron pass out neighborhood materials in support of Waldron’s campaign for state Senate.

Evan Taylor

It doesn’t take long for Nathan Levit to impress. The recent Booker T. Washington High School graduate has a list of accomplishments long enough to make anyone question how they spent their formative years. 

Two years in Washington, D.C., as a baby left an impression at an early age. At the time, his father, Ken Levit — now the executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation — worked for then-U.S. Sen. David Boren

In his sophomore year in high school, Nathan Levit worked for his first political campaign when Suzanne Schreiber ran for the Tulsa school board in 2014. She won in a landslide. As campaign manager, Levit took charge of social media, engaging volunteers and helping create good strategies.

“That was the base point where it all jumped off,” he says.

Since then, Nathan has been involved in three more campaigns — Mark Barcus’ judicial campaign, Joe Dorman’s campaign for Oklahoma governor and now John Waldron’s campaign for state Senate representing District 39. 

Waldron is a teacher at Booker T., and Levit plays many roles in his  campaign. He is an advisor, provides perspective on the issues, assists with organizing the volunteer effort and helps design the campaign strategy.

“Nathan recites political facts the way some kids recite baseball statistics,” Waldron says. 

He chose the high school student, who he taught as a freshman in government class, for Levit’s experience running campaigns. Waldron says the teen was recommended by professionals.  

Still, the most impressive bullet point on Levit’s resumé is his experience as one of two Oklahomans to represent the state in the 54th annual U.S. Senate Youth Program in March. 

Since it began in 1962, the purpose of the exclusive program has been to inspire young Americans to be involved in public service by allowing them to interact with each of the three branches of government. 

Each school in Oklahoma can nominate one person for the program; those nominated must take a test. The top test takers are interviewed and write an essay before 104 high school juniors and seniors are chosen. 

On each day of the weeklong program, participants meet with luminaries from every point of the political spectrum. 

“One day I met the president and Justice (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg … every day you met someone who could headline an event,” Levit says. 

His close access allowed for plenty of surprises, he says, including an honest exchange with President Barack Obama about closing out his final year in office.

“President Obama was much more candid with us than he is on TV … one thing he said to our group was that he wished mandatory voting was in the Constitution,” Levit recalls. “I don’t think that’s something he would have said to program participants in previous years.”

The Senate Youth Program opened up many doors for a post-collegiate career in D.C., but the young Tulsan doesn’t want to limit himself to just the political sphere. Levit, who will study public policy at Princeton University this fall, wants to work in public service. 

However, he says the program has given him more internship opportunities and connected him to many interesting people from different states.  

“I definitely say this program affirmed my commitment to service in some form,” he says.

The current election cycle has left a strong impression on Levit, especially when it comes to his fellow millennials. 

“I think we’re seeing the largest activist generation since the Vietnam War,” he says. “It seems like we like to voice our opinions, but not at the ballot box.” 

Still, that doesn’t stop him from influencing his peers and making his voice heard in local media.

“I’m part of a small group, Youth for Op-Ed, that is allowed to write op-eds for the Tulsa World,” Levit says. “We’ve had five published. One I wrote was imploring young people to come back to Tulsa. The other was advocating for a student member of the school board.” 

Even though his parents instilled a lot of his political views growing up, Levit has developed his own opinions in the past few years. And he hopes to encourage others to do the same. 

“The truth is that, in terms of youth, not many people vote, much less are involved,” he says. “I feel like it’s my duty to get more people involved.”

 

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June 2018

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Telephone: 405-236-3100
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Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
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400 Civic Center
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
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108 Contemporary
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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41st and Riverside
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415 Couch Dr.
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Telephone: 405-236-3100
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Cost: free

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41st and Riverside Plaza
4100 S. Riverside Dr.
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Sponsor: Friends of the Helmerich Library
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Cost: Free

Where:
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3500 Batfish Rd
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Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
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Cost: Free with admission

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Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

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3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
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View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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This annual FREE new home showcase is presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and sponsored by Samsung Electronics.  This year’s event will feature more than 150...

Cost: FREE

Where:
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Sponsor: Samsung
Contact Name: Nathan Carter

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Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
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Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

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Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
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Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

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Cost: $12

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415 Couch Dr.
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Telephone: 405-236-3100
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Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Telephone: 191-889-56302

More information

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Contact Name: Cindy Barton

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Cost: Free

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Cost: FREE -$20.00

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Sponsor: Wagoner Main Street
Telephone: 918-869-7318
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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Pathways Adult Learning Center
Telephone: 918-859-0060
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Cost: $12

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
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View map »


Telephone: 405-236-3100
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
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3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Muskogee War Memorial Park
3500 Batfish Rd
Muskogee, OK  74403
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Sponsor: Muskogee War Memorial Park
Telephone: 918-682-6294
Contact Name: Brent Trout
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 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
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Legion LIVE! 2018 is a day-long event filled with live music on two stages, broadcast live to troops around the world! FREE and open to the public, the event raises much-needed funds for the...

Cost: FREE

Where:
American Legion Post 1
1120 E 8th Street
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Sponsor: American Legion Post 1
Telephone: 918-809-3745
Contact Name: Kasey Rideout

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This annual FREE new home showcase is presented by the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa and sponsored by Samsung Electronics.  This year’s event will feature more than 150...

Cost: FREE

Where:
, OK


Sponsor: Samsung
Contact Name: Nathan Carter

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Crossing borders are central Consuelo J. Underwood’s artistic practice. In this exhibition inspired by land, politics, and spirit, Underwood speaks to her individual understanding of borders...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E Mathew B. Brady St, Tulsa, OK 74103
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 191-889-56302

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Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

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The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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Opera in the Ozarks, the nationally acclaimed summer music festival and training program for top emerging opera professionals, celebrates its 2018 Season from June 22 to July 20 with nearly...

Cost: $25

Where:
Inspiration Point
16311 Hwy. 62 West
Eureka Springs, AR  72632
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Still I Rise is a dramatic dance-theatre presentation incorporating all elements of Bharatanatyam, some elements of yoga, theatre, spoken word and music. The performance exemplifies the example of...

Cost: $15

Where:
Tulsa Performing Arts Center
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: South Asian Performing Arts Foundation
Telephone: (918) 625 6037
Contact Name: Mohan Kelkar
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Shades of White is a play written by Ilan Kozlowski and directed by Rebecca Ungerman.  For mature audiences.

Cost: $18-$20

Where:
John H. Williams Theatre, Tulsa PAC
110 E. Second St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
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TULtalk


“Sovereignty” comes to Tulsa for a reading

Monday, June 18, see a staged reading of the buzzed-about new play by Oklahoma native Mary Kathryn Nagle.

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QUIZ: Which Tulsa Mural Fits Your Personality?

Tulsa has a plethora of colorful, vibrant murals! But which one should be the backdrop for your next selfie?

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Video: BA Ninja Warrior

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The Fabulous Mid-Life Crisis

The popular cover band is scheduled to bring the good times (and huge crowds) to Summer's Fifth Night in Utica Square on June 7.

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When you’re 4, everything is super

From the editor: Here's to a super-duper June, Tulsa!

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