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Ole Miss NAACP Student Chapter Promoting Activism

It’s called Activism 101 and the first-ever event of its kind at Ole Miss had a goal of getting people in the campus community educated about what it means to work together for a cause.  Sponsored by the student chapter of the NAACP, the first workshop also included members of United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS).

“It is important that we collaborate the NAACP with the USAS organization and also understand collective liberation. So, if we take the time out to find a mutual ground,” said Jarmarkus Watson, who belongs to both groups.

USAS is a national student organization fighting for workers’ rights on over 150 campuses worldwide, according to www.usas.org. The site defines collective liberation as “recognizing that all struggles are intimately connected and that we must work together to create the kind of world we know is possible.”

“We must learn to understand each other as a community no matter if you are black or white. We all have oppression, and privileges. So to be collective, you have to keep these things in mind. Different people go through different things depending on their different identities,” said Ole Miss student Jaylon Martin, who attended the workshop.

Ole Miss juniors Watson and Dominique Scott led the event on February 17, which tried to give participants a full understanding of the etiquette of activism and how to make it effective in the community.

“We must rethink how we think about activism. We must really pay attention to it from the collective liberation aspect. Describing privileges and people’s oppression is just the beginning, but to actually understand it are two different things. This is not just a ‘black issue,’ this is universal issue,” said Scott.

Activism 101 may be just the beginning of a series of workshops and events that the NAACP plans on holding on campus.

“There is still more work for us to do,” said NAACP student President Buka Okoye.

Story contributed by journalism student Imani Flowers, izflowers@go.olemiss.edu.

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