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'Like' to change the world? Get involved.

By Staff Editorial
On March 28, 2013


Making positive changes in the world has never been so easy for students. Opportunities abound for students to influence change on campus, in the community and around the world.

Social activism, whether for women's rights, aid for refugees or the fight against human trafficking, can seem like an intimidating prospect. The problems facing society are vast, varied and hard to comprehend. Statistics can feel distant and can be a poor representation of the very real human suffering that exists around the world and at home.

However, the connectivity of the world has allowed awareness of issues to become increasingly prominent. Movements such as the ultimately unsuccessful Green Revolution in Iran or the Arab Spring have been vastly helped by social media and the ability to share information across borders almost instantly. Even the 24 hour news cycle has helped toward creating a world that is more aware of the challenges faced by societies.

Even though the modern world's accessibility has its benefits, it is far too easy to be overwhelmed by apathy. There is an enormous difference between clicking "like" on Facebook and volunteering time and money toward a cause.

Facebook and other social media platforms, such as Twitter, can help raise awareness of a particular cause. However, it is far too easy to sit in safety and never venture beyond the comfort of the Internet. Moving from merely caring about a cause and taking the next step toward action can be challenging but it is integral. Without the willingness to move beyond a place of comfort, real change can never be achieved.

Taking the next step can be difficult. Fortunately, avenues exist even within the Kirkwood Community College campus. Student organizations and clubs give students the opportunity to become more involved in the community and the global conversation.

For example, the United Nations Association Student Alliance recently raised more than $100 to help the Syrian refugees, donating to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, according to Dr. Jeremy Brigham, social science adjunct instructor.

Kirkwood has also played host to conferences, such as the Beyond Rubies women's convention. Through such events the college has supported or sponsored opportunities for different social groups and encouraged open discussions. These are critical parts of helping to create positive change.

The Corridor area also has ways to encourage social activism through the support of charities and shelters for the underprivileged. By donating time, money or effort toward even local causes, it can help better the world.

While there will always be wrongs to be righted in the world, our ability as students to challenge the status quo should be embraced. By daring to believe in a brighter future, students can change the world.


10 Easy Ways To Give Back

1. Spend time visiting with senior citizens.

2. Donate gently used clothes and shoes to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

3. Give used books to school libraries.

4. Get a haircut and donate to Locks of Love or Beautiful Lengths.

5. Help an elderly neighbor with yard work.

6. Donate old cell phones to women's shelters.

7. Volunteer at a local animal shelter.

8. Become more informed by reading world news.

9. Send a card or care package to a soldier.

10. Vote!

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