By Sarah Plain
What does AmericaIWill do?
AmericaIWill addresses issues that affect students’ lives and works toward making a change.
AmericaIWill brings students of different ages and fields of study together to talk about current issues that matter to their communities. The organization stresses that students do not have to feel powerless or alone because there are ways to make change and fight for what they care about.
AmericaIWill is an event-focused organization that hosts activities centered around a different topic each semester. Common activities where you can get involved include:
- Monthly community meetings and public group discussions where members come together to discuss the semester’s topic
- Various opportunities to take action and make a change that is related to the topic of the semester
- Advocacy training to teach students ways they can advocate for justice
What do you get out of participating in AmericaIWill?
AmericaIWill is a growing organization, consisting of friendly and personable members. When in meetings, there is an atmosphere where members are able to laugh with each other, but also talk about serious issues that they’re passionate about. The organization empowers students to be the change they want to see in their community by teaching social responsibility and advocating for social good. AmericaIWill believes in “Each one, teach one,” which means that everyone can learn from each other. By conducting meetings where divergent opinions can be voiced, AmericaIWill offers a safe space where members can speak freely about their views. The director of the organization expects members to “throw glitter, not shade,” meaning everyone should be respectful of each other. AmericaIWill strives to create a dynamic of selflessness, diversity, and inclusion within the group.
What does AmericaIWill contribute to the St. Edward’s community?
AmericaIWill believes that power lies in the single action of an individual to do what is moral, to realize their effect on their world, and to use their power for good. Put another way, AmericaIWill seeks to help people recognize the power that they have and use it to make a positive change.
Each semester the members choose a new topic to focus on. For fall 2017, the group focused on US immigration after President Trump tried to rescind DACA in September 2017. Throughout the fall 2017 semester, they have had several events and activities that advocate for immigrants, such as a discussion of what it means to be an immigrant, which was open to all students, faculty, and staff. Several members are directly affected by immigration policies, but all the members care about immigration reform. Each semester the topic is different, and each semester AmericaIWill confronts current issues and works towards social justice.
How can students get involved?