Up until taking this particular class, I did not consider myself to be an activist. Activism from my perspective was only for those who rioted in the streets and made riveting speeches and blog posts and started influential and effective movements. My first step toward feminism and, by extension, activism, began with a political science class I took during my freshman year of college.
At the time, the thought of being an activist was the furthest thing from my mind; I had not decided on a major and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. One day in class we came upon the always touchy topic of abortion. Upon hearing some very sexist and generally problematic comments from some of my peers in the class, I realized how passionate I was about supporting women and working to understand and solve issues that affect them. This is the event that ultimately caused my transfer to UMBC and my decision to declare a Gender and Women’s Studies major. At the time, I did not connect my passion for women’s issues with a possibility to engage in activism because I held activists up on a pedestal. Reading “Grassroots” completely changed my outlook on what and who activists are. Now I can see myself doing activism in the future; I consider myself an activist in training. With the help and guidance I found in “Grassroots,” I feel I have the tools to integrate activism into my everyday life and future. I am very excited to discover resources available to me to make change happen.