For one of my Spring 2017 classes, African and African American Studies 3089, we studied the history and impact of the Black Lives Matter Movement. It is commonly unknown that the three founders of the movement are three black queer women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. The movement itself, its foundation on intersectionality, and the goals of the movement are also generally misunderstood. For a project for this class, four class members and I interviewed students in the Ohio Union. We found that most of the student population at Ohio State is in support of the movement, but does not understand the founders’ goal of the movement: to re-affirm the value of the black lives in a society which systematically targets and discriminates against the black community.
Many students spoke about society’s perception of violence when asked about the Black Lives Matter Movement. It was also observed that the majority of students suggested the media complicates and alters the true purpose of the movement, making it difficult for the founders to convey their intentions. Numerous students expressed distrust for the police or admitted their own privilege, calling for policy action that should change the criminal justice system. Some students believed there should be reform in the way the justice system trains its police officers, while others thought that the problem lies in the need to have independent prosecutors in cases of police brutality. Overall, my group was satisfied to see support for the Black Lives Matter Movement in such large numbers, but grew a better understanding for the fact that so many individuals misconstrue the movement. We conveyed these observations by creating a video of the interviews we conducted and wrote a subsequent paper explaining our inferences from the video.BLMProject-1n3gd2r
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National Speech & Debate Association
As a member of the National Speech & Debate Association, I participated in Lincoln-Douglas Debate for four years during high school and now coach a current high school debater in Lincoln Douglas. During my 4 years debating, I was the captian of the Whippany Park Debate Team and founder and captain of the Park Regional Debate Team. I founded Park Regional because my high school limited the number of tournaments I was allowed to attend and wanted to attend more as an independent debater. As the manager of the Park Regional Debate Team, I managed tournament registration, funding, and transportation. During my senior year, I placed as a Semi-Finalist at the New Jersey NSDA State Debate Tournament. Currently, I work with a debater who competes for both the Whippany Park and Park Regional Debate teams. I edit and write cases, judge at tournaments, write topic analysis, and give guidance on strategy during tournaments. I hope to remain involved in Lincoln-Douglas debate in the future because I am passionate about argumentation and the issues discussed at tournaments.
I am an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University with a major in Political Science and minor in Economics. As a member of International Affairs Scholars and Morrill Scholars, I am passionate about world politics and social justice. I am on the pre-law track and am planning to attend law school or graduate school. Outside of my academics, I am a member of 8th Floor Improv Comedy Group and Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) in Columbus. Outside of school life, I also enjoy playing intramural beach volleyball and longboarding.
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Since arriving at Ohio State, I have advanced my academic interests by broadening the subjects I am interested in and have a better understanding for my undergraduate and career path. The essential decision I have made during my first year at Ohio State has been my decision, for now, to attend law school after my undergraduate career at Ohio State. This will allow me to strategically plan my undergraduate classes and involvement so that I am prepared to apply to and attend law school. The Political Science Department has allowed me to make this choice in an educated manner by providing me with numerous opportunities to interact with faculty and members of the Mortiz College of Law.
Additionally, the International Affairs Scholars Program has inspired me to choose International Relations as my specialization within my major, Political Science. I have enjoyed every cultural and political event that the program as held, as well as my interactions with the diverse members of my scholars program. I hope to continue finding new ways to experience and understand cultures different from my own. This summer, I will be doing a study abroad through the Political Science Department, the Canadian Parliament Internship. I plan to use this experience to immerse myself into a cultural unique, but not far from my own, before studying abroad for a semester in a country outside of North America. My first year at Ohio State has broadened my interests while giving me the tools to pursue new passions.