Ways to get involved this month

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia via Creative Commons

Nathan Keirn keirnna@gmail.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia via Creative Commons

Gyu Ri Kim, Author

2016 was an eventful year for political and social activists. Movements such as Black Lives Matter and #NoDAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) served to remind government of the rights minorities should have as a part of the people. For those who are interested in renewing the past year’s fight for equality and unification among all races, sexual orientations, and genders, make your voice heard to the new administration and get involved this month. As the outgoing president Barack Obama once said, “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

The Women’s March on Washington will stand for their rights, safety, and health on January 21st, 2017. This march serves to unify women from all over the country in order to remind the new administration of their concerns, as well as stand up for minorities, those who identify as LGBTQ+, and the disabled. “It’s a really great way to express your concerns to the new government and it helps spread awareness about women’s rights so the new President doesn’t promote sexism. [It’s] not against or for Trump, just fighting for our beliefs.” says Junior Katarina Ayala, who plans to attend the march this month.

Attend the Presidential Inauguration on January 20th, 2017. The Swearing In Ceremony will take place in front of the Capitol Building for those who hold tickets, but for those who do not, there will be viewing stations available along the National Mall. The Inaugural Parade will take place from Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the White House, and will be open for all to see. People can witness another era of history starting before their eyes, and watch Obama swear in President-Elect Donald Trump into office. Celebrate democracy this January 20th in DC.

There are many ways for students to get involved in their own communities. One can volunteer for LGBT+ youth centers or participate in a food drive for those in need. In a country that promotes freedom and diversity, give back by donating to global causes that promote equality in places where people may not be allowed to fight for their rights in. Extreme droughts in Ethiopia have greatly increased poverty for many of the 91.72 million people who live there due to the people’s reliance on agriculture, which had been affected by the sudden climate change. By starting a fundraiser with friends or donating even a dollar, one can help a community of families take a step closer towards what students at Battlefield have access to every day, water. “The average distance that women and children in developing communities walk to fetch water is 3.75 miles. The time children spend collecting water keeps them from going to school and getting an education,” states the Thirst Project, an organization that spreads awareness about the dangers of dirty or inaccessible water.

Though it may not seem like much, even pocket change can help save a person’s life. The gift of giving is extraordinary in that both sides receive something unforgettable; a father may finally be able to watch his toddler take her first sip of clean water, and the person who had donated will forever be granted the experience of having saved someone’s life. Many causes are out there for one to donate to, varying from support of women’s rights in the Middle East, to delivering food to starving children in Africa. As the beloved former First Lady Michelle Obama once said, “The fact is, with every friendship you make, and every bond of trust you establish, you are shaping the image of America projected to the rest of the world. That is so important.” Today, help mold America into a country that every citizen may be prideful of by making a stand.