What comes to mind when you hear the words: civc engagement?
According to the American Psychological Association, civic engagement is “individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern”. How many times have you been told that you’re “too young” to understand a certain issue or that “you’ll understand it more when you’re older”? As individuals that strive to become educated on the social issues that surround us, it is our duty to utilize our passion and drive to build communities that are equipped to evoke positive change.
In light of President Trump’s latest executive ban that places heavy restrictions on refugees and potential immigrants, the HOUSE BILL NO. 2002 has been proposed by the Virginia General Assembly that aims to place a huge burden on refugee resettlement agencies to redundantly report additional information that is already reported to various state agencies. Essentially, the bill supplements the executive ban and will inevitably make resettlement agencies’ work more difficult.
These agencies work tirelessly to coordinate refugee resettlement and to provide refugees with resources in order to promote sustainable lives. According to Michel Agler, “what refugees need is fame”. By heavily restricting the very organizations involved in making them known and valued, we directly prevent these individuals from rediscovering humanity. What can we do? Utilize your political space and speech and give a voice to those that really need it.
Find Your Representative – Call your representative and let them know that you are against Virginia House Bill 2002. Better yet, have a conversation about what you’re passionate about. Whether it’s about opposing the refugee ban, or how you’re concerned about the extensive climate change, using your voice is not only your right, it is a privilege that so many individuals do not have.
No matter what others tell you, your ideas and your passions matter. Every day is an opportunity for you to use your voice and invoke positive change – what better day to do it than today?