After spending the summer interning here at the Southern Poverty Law Center one thing has become abundantly clear; this upcoming 2016-2017 school year has a huge opportunity to create meaningful change.
In November, we elect our new president and 88% of all congressional seats. We can vote for people who best represent our beliefs, and empower others to have their voices heard. You can do this by holding a voter registration drive, show the film “Selma Bridge to the Ballot” to educate the community on the importance of voting. If you hold a voter registration drive, SPLC on Campus can provide follow up postcards to remind those you’ve registered to #ShowUpandVote. Check out our Facebook Live video we did over the summer for more voter registration tips! This November our #RegisterShowUpVote2016 campaign can and will be a huge success!
Other way college campuses have always made change is through activism. From writing to your local and federal representative on certain bills, to protesting injustice and hate, our voices as college students makes waves. Just this past year through student-led activism two college Chancellors who were found doing unethical practices resigned, and through nation-wide campus outrage college sexual assault has garnered National attention resulting in new policies. Not to mention one of the main issues presidential platforms are addressing is college-debt-that is because of college students using their voices. Our voices matter and people are listening!
Throughout this summer I researched other social-justice minded college clubs such as the Andrew Goodman Foundation, which focuses on voter registration, OxFam International, a club that addresses poverty and hunger, and Habitat for Humanity, which builds shelters for those in need, to name a few. It amazes how many college clubs are dedicated to standing up to injustice, and taking steps to work to counteract it. I am proud that SPLC on Campus joins these clubs in fighting for justice, and speaking out for equality.
As this school year starts I leave you with one of my favorite quotes, and hope that our hard work echoes the sentiment “There may be times when we are powerless to injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest”- Elie Wiesel
—Ariella Grozbard, SPLC on Campus Intern