The Cougar Chronicle

Take a stand, use your voice and join a movement to promote social justice

Find your place in the movement, and join hands with others to propel society forward.

Find your place in the movement, and join hands with others to propel society forward.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Find your place in the movement, and join hands with others to propel society forward.

Sara Freitag, Opinion Editor

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A movement.

The eight-letter word encapsulates current and future conditions of an array of people groups.

Without the unity of individuals toward a common cause, we would have had no Women’s Movement nor Civil Rights Movement. I likely would not be writing this piece were it not for the women and men who trail blazed the path and continue to clear the way toward gender equality.

For this, I am beyond grateful. Because my voice has been enabled through the blood, sweat, and tears of my predecessors, I want to pay it forward.

In the wake of 2017’s political rhetoric, which has left people fearing uncertainty of the future, exigency for movement is at hand. During a recent presentation by Alicia Garza, founder of Black Lives Matter, she gave CSUSM an exhortation. She encouraged those of the dominant culture to stand with individuals fighting for justice.

Just as Blacks should not be the only ones advocating “Black Lives Matter,” DACA students and immigrants should not be the only ones pleading with Congress for the opportunity to remain in a country which has been home for as long as they can remember.

Because individuals from all backgrounds – of dominant and minority cultures – have chosen to advocate, change has been implemented. Continued success will only be achieved as more take a stand. In the words of Jose Francisco Ramirez (president of S.T.A.N.D. CSUSM), “everyone needs to unite – to come  together to resist as a group.”  There is power in numbers, and Ramirez’s statement acknowledges this truism.

Amongst the 72,300 previously DACA-protected students enrolled in California’s public universities and community colleges, 8,300 of them are in the CSU system (according to EdSource). Though there is no way to know how many of these individuals are enrolled at CSUSM, Ramirez speculates that we have a decent number, as we are located a mere 48 miles from the border.

As such, realize that you have a voice which may empower the friend who sits next to you in Bio. Participation in a movement could enable your Film Studies classmate to remain in a country they call home, just as you do.

Thanks to California legislation and CSU protections, progress has been made. Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB-21 on Oct. 5, which, among other things, protects DACA students from academic consequences should they receive notice of deportation. However, until more protections are enacted and translated into national legislation, we still have work to do.

I call for a stand. I call for an increase of dominant voices to resound. To advocate along with S.T.A.N.D., which is short for “Standing Together As oNe Dream.” The first step is awareness. Understand the gravity of issues at hand. Realize your ability to have a say in democracy. Then, find your niche and join the movement.

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