This spring, a cohort of young, eager fellows built authentic relationships with their communities and empowered their constituents to speak up and show up.
In the western part of the state, Ignite NC fellows at App State led a Student Town Hall in opposition to the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting happening on campus. Their goal was to raise awareness on the regressive actions the BOG has taken since 2010. And to ignite their constituents with probing questions such as- Why do student representatives have no voting power? How could the BOG be more transparent and representative of our campus and communities? & Why are student voices being silenced? How do we hold the BOG and elected officials who enable them accountable?
In Greensboro, NC, students at A&T University were holding space for folks to process and lean on each other amidst many students coming out about experiencing sexual assault on campus. Simoltionusly, Ignite NC fellows, and UNC’s Black Caucus led a series of workshops addressing sexual assault and interpersonal violence at UNC.
In the triangle, Fayetteville State laid the groundwork for a Diversity & Inclusion Center, and Chapel Hill continues to work around expanding gender-neutral language in all university documents, housing, and restrooms.
On a larger scale, our fellows mingled and shared ideas throughout NC and beyond. David, a Communications Fellow at A&T, began a podcast talking with first generation-North American, queer folks about their experiences at these intersections. Appalachian Social Justice Educators held their annual Equity in Action Summit, despite efforts from their administration to shut it down. During the summit, a Triad Fellow, Michale, facilitated an afro-futurist workshop inspired by Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower.
Mary, our Western field organizer, also took a group of fellows to the “Unrig the System Summit” in Nashville, TN. Throughout this summit, folx learned ways to fight to gerrymandering, and restore votes to disenfranchised folxs. Our fellows were part of 36 NC-based attendees in total, making NC the most significant delegation present!