Sam Feineh ’19, is from Sacramento, California. He is a part of the Diversity and Outreach team.
On May 24th, SIG and NAACP along with Speaker’s Bureau and the Black Student Union (BSU) hosted a panel discussion titled “Policy and the Path to Justice.” This panel featured three esteemed participants: Charlene Carruthers, DeRay McKesson, and Ben Jealous. E, each of whom has worked tirelessly to promote black justice and activism. As the former President of NAACP, Ben Jealous focused the organization on voting rights and criminal justice reform and oversaw the launch of several national programs on education, health, and environmental justice. As a black and queer activist, Charlene Carruthers strives to create young leaders in marginalized communities to fight for the communities’ interests. Similarly, DeRay McKesson launched Campaign Zero, a policy platform to end police violence. All of these speakers share a similar drive and passion to work for the public interest.
Topics discussed included recent policy initiatives within the movement for racial justice such as North Carolina’s HB2 Bill that banned transgender people from using public bathrooms. We also touched significantly on the importance of tolerating controversial opinions, and how to balance all the competing interests when deciding on an issue. Furthermore, we discussed what organizers could do beyond advocating for legislative change to work in the pursuit of black liberation.
We hoped to leave students mobilized to start brainstorming solutions to the complex problems facing people of color in the US. We know that one panel event is not enough to cover the entirety of the topics we discussed; that is why SIG is committed to diversifying our programming. We realized at the beginning of the year that SIG could reach out to more student groups and grow as a student group, so we created a new committee, Diversity and Outreach, to do just that. We are proud that “Policy and the Path to Justice” came directly out of Diversity and Outreach, and we are committed to sponsoring more events like this one in future years.
— Sam Feineh