Knowingly or unknowingly, we have been a part of it, witnessed it or caused it.
During the Jan. 20, 2022, live webcast “Your Social Impact - How to be a Change Agent Within Your Networks” hosted by the OSU Alumni Association, we asked the audience to share the story of their journey through this prompt – “What is the moment that you were awakened to the idea of social change/social impact?"
Below are their powerful messages, as shared in the Zoom chat:
“I think my earliest memory was in high school (a long time ago) when our American history teacher assigned a secondary book secretly in order to cover how those who did not write history books were affected by what had happened. I am currently trying to impact a national organization, Ladies Homestead Gathering, to encourage more inclusivity. Despite being based in Georgia, it is still predominantly a white charity and organization. Our goal is to encourage more women to be self-sufficient, build a community and connect with those living a self-sufficient lifestyle.” - Cera McIntire, current student
“When I saw a teacher tell a student, ‘I don't care, you need to do what I say’ as the student was trying to let the teacher know why she didn't want to go to assembly right after having had lunch. She needed to use the bathroom and almost had an accident in front of many others. The milk was bad in the cafeteria.” - RP
“My earliest memory of awakening to social change was in 1995. I was 10 years old and we had the first democratic elections in my country (Zambia in Africa) after 30 years of dictatorship. I can recall the big semi-trucks driving around with people campaigning, handing out T-shirts, banners and other merchandise for the opposing party (who went on to win).Living as a child in a dictatorship with global sanctions then transitioning to a democratic was hugely impactful on shaping me as an agent for change as an adult.” - YM
“Not my earliest experience, but certainly the most poignant was while living in London in 2007, and being at my first large-scale peaceful demonstration – it was absolutely amazing to see and feel the power of many voices coming together to stand up for a cause.” - DW
“I grew up in a border town that was largely Latine and financially disadvantaged, so when I went to a private (read: expensive!) university that had very few BIPOCs, it was very eye-opening how people that weren't rich and white were viewed. Ideas that BIPOCs were there due to affirmative action or to be athletes. This is where I first really started noticing inequities and inaccurate social views.” - Celina A.
“The earliest that I can remember that waked the idea to social change to me was a walk out that happened at my high school to protest and stand up in solidarity for all of the school shootings that were happening and to take a part of that was eye opening.” - TB
“I don't know if it's my earliest memory but the first time someone saw something I had written online about being a child abuse survivor and reached out to let me know that up until that moment they thought they were alone in dealing with it. It was a great reminder that I can make a small difference.” - Mike McBride, OSUAA member
A current OSU student, said it best: "Thank you for such a powerful discussion. I’m excited to take the wisdom from today and bring it into my own work and life."