Workshop to teach students to be activists for any cause

Kennedy Nolen, Multicultural Reporter

Students can learn how to become an activist for the LGBTQA+ community or any cause at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Martinsville Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Being an activist is more than making signs or going to demonstrations, said Karissa Light, an intern with the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity.

She said the session will encourage students to write letters or make phone calls to politicians and volunteer at agencies, where their will to make a difference can be seen at a higher level.

Light will discuss the history of activism as well as bring ideas from the past and mix them with today’s thoughts.

“I think we are in a time right now where activism is becoming more prominent on college campuses,” Light said. “It is probably a good thing for students to know how to be an activist on campus, but also (know) the safety reasons.”

Light said the session will also be including safety precautions when it comes to being an activist.

Jessica Ward, the coordinator for the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity, said people can be activists for several causes, especially today, no matter what side of the political spectrum they are on.

Ward hosted a similar activism session for faculty and staff at the EIUnity Diversity Conference last semester, which discussed theoretical frameworks.

Activism 101 will be strictly designed for students and will not delve into the theories, she said.

Ward said the staff of the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity wants to meet the needs of students.

“We want to make sure we are providing as much as we can,” Ward said. “That’s why we have extended our SafeZone offerings.”

Light said Activism 101 will be interactive, and she thinks students will really enjoy their time if they choose to come.

As part of LGBTQA+ History Month, the Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity will be hosting Activism 101 along with a slew of other activities.

Some of these include lunch in the center on Monday, pride flag bracelet making on Tuesday, a screening of the film “Moonlight” Thursday Oct. 18, the Student Drag Show Thursday Oct. 26 and the Diva Drag Show Monday Oct. 30 to wrap up the month.

Kennedy Nolen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]