The crisis in Flint, Michigan has inspired the students of the Social Justice Coalition of Penn State to take action and provide gallons of water to the Flint community.
Brian Davis (sophomore – Criminology, Psychology, African-American Studies), a member of Black Caucus, provided insight into why the mission was so critical, not only to the residents of Flint, but to the development of the Penn State student body.
Seeking to unify students across campus, Davis stressed the importance of unity.
“Making a difference is critical to all students. We must emphasize with people from all different backgrounds,” Davis commented.
With the disaster being labeled as an example of “environmental racism” by Davis, he reiterates the notion that “social activism” is a pivotal point behind the relief.
It is the responsibility of those that are able – bodied to take action and stand up for those that are unable. Describing leadership as, “being a role model, setting an example, being a voice for the voiceless, taking initiative, and planning a long term vision”, Davis promoted virtues of determination as guidelines for progress.
Looking to diversify the student body in the future, Davis is planning to reach not just the students, but also faculty, staff and the administrative body with the message at hand. Enabling change through policy reformation and creating a welcoming environment to all students of Penn State is a crucial component to the progression of unification across our university, he explained.
The effort to provide relief to the residents of Flint, although a small step, is a step in the right direction. It proves that the student body of Penn State believes in the well being of others, a statement that should resonate from one student to another.
Continuing to take an initiative provides a positive glimpse of what’s to come from the various diverse representative groups here at Happy Valley.
Photo Credit: Brianna Thompson