-Judith Zatkin, MA Volunteer
-Caroline Buck, PE Volunteer
The conference brought so many issues I hear about on the news and in class to life. It is easy to watch protests on TV and read about strikes in newspapers, but it is completely different to come together as a HUGE group of people and spend a weekend taking these issues head on. There are huge changes going on in our country and they all affect each and every one of us. My favorite workshop was one that focused on combating homophobia on campuses. Although the hour was spent talking specifically about homophobia, the way we discussed activism was relevant to the work at SAPAC. The most common reaction I get when I explain what I do at SAPAC to someone who does not know about the organization is something along the lines of, "Really....?" or "Oh.... okay...". People immediately assume that because I call myself a feminist, I must only adhere to all the stereotypes that go along with the label. During this workshop, we talked about the importance of recognizing intersectionality within each and every activist. You do not have to leave any part of you behind during your activism and embracing individuality only makes you stronger. Once you become a part of a movement, it is also important to check yourself and reflect on why you are still involved. With the climate of activism constantly changing, we all must evaluate what part of our cause keeps the little fire inside of us going. This idea really stuck with me because I have been working with feminist issues for a long time and there are so many different aspects that keep me passionate about the issues. It is really exciting to go back in time and remember the things you have accomplished and to look back at how activism has affected your life! Try it! The last thing that stuck out to me was when the speaker asked which school had any form of queer studies and it was only me and one other school who raised their hand. I am so grateful for everything Michigan has to offer and we are so lucky to go to a school that puts human right issues on the forefront of the agenda. I want to go back next year!!
-Lauren McIntosh, NPA Volunteer