Editor’s Summer in Washington, D.C.

Editor Patricia High attends ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute

Toward the end of the 2015-2016 school year I applied for and received a full scholarship for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Summer Advocacy Institute at the prestigious Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C.

During the seven day program there was opportunity to meet students from all across the United States, in addition to learn more about many of today’s pressing social issues. The goal of the ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute is to bring together a diverse group of students from across the country for an intensive program that includes learning what it means to be an advocate and create real change.

Our week was filled with engagement. There were seminars about racial injustices, L.G.B.T. rights, women’s rights as pertaining to abortions, immigration, and policing. There were guest speakers from all over the country, including ACLU President Susan Herman and Executive Director Anthony Romero, whistleblower and patriot Edward Snowden, immigrant rights champion Cristina Jiménez among others.

We visited with Congressional staff on the Hill to discuss legislating the issues of the day. There were meetings with elected officials, lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, journalists, civil rights leaders, and other experts working to defend civil rights and liberties.

In our free time we explored the campus and essentially, the town. We toured national monuments on the Mall, visited the Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of National History, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Capitol Hill, the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, and White House.

I will never forget the people I networked with; they were all amazing people that I hope to work with again in the future. In this day and age it is easy to keep in touch through social media and follow along with what is important to others, to learn what they are advocating for. The ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

For more information visit www.aclu.org, look into your local ACLU office, or follow them on Twitter @ACLU.