Five students, first-year students Lyndsey Saunders, Charles Lewis Jr. and Brianna Brown, and sophomores Jessica Hugee and Le-Roy Battle, presented their idea of civic engagement at the National Campus Leaders Summit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Jan. 27 and 28.
The students were given the opportunity by Kimberly Springer, the associate director of the Center for Student Diversity, who was in contact with the museum’s educational department.
The summit was a gathering of students from all over the U.S. Students first took a tour of the museum and applied the history of the holocaust to issues today, including how it can affect social activism and how to get each campus involved. They also attended leadership workshops.
Battle found the experience to be fulfilling, stating that “seeing people come together is a great feeling.”
On Saturday, the students presented their presentation called, “Who Am I?” The presentation was divided into three parts.
The first involves social media and is open to students, faculty, staff and administration to participate. Springer compared this to the popular social media account “Humans of New York.” She stated that, “we want people to write ‘I am not’ with a stereotype, followed by ‘I am’ with something that people wouldn’t guess because of that stereotype – take a picture of yourself with that and post it on social media.”
“This is about challenging the views of stereotypes and people learning who they are as a person,” Battle added.
The second part is called Microaggressions 101, an informative learning experience about stereotypes. This will be held in March shortly before the third part of “Who Am I?”
The third part is a spoken-word theater production in April about microaggressions. Auditions will be held soon. Auditioners are not required to have acting experience – they just need to know how to read with other people.
“I liked interacting with other schools and learning other campuses’ climates,” stated Hugee.
The greater goal of the Summit according to Springer is to “make us more aware and appreciative of our differences to unite the Mount community.”
The Mount’s Peer Education Advisory Council of Excellence (P.E.A.C.E.) is under the Center for Student Diversity and assists the community by educating about microaggressions and creating a more inclusive environment, not only for the campus, but for the greater community.
Battle would like to see more events and clubs work together to build more of a community, like AMP and BSU did this past weekend. He said, “It would create an environment that helps others lead.”