What True Courage Looks Like

Today, our second day in Selma, we did our nonviolence training. We started by getting to know each other better through group exercises and discussion of different cultures, values, and the importance of community. We learned about nonviolence and its six principles: 1) nonviolence is the way of life for courageous people, 2) the beloved community is the framework for the future, 3) attack forces of evil, not the persons doing evil, 4) accept suffering without retaliation, for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal, 5) avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external, physical violence, and 6) the universe is on the side of justice. The first principle resonated with me the most because it teaches that nonviolence does not mean passivity or cowardice, but is actually an active resistance to injustice. It takes a lot of inner, mental strength to confront injustice and not react with violence. To me, real courage is having love for all people, even your opponents, while still standing up for what you believe is right (like Dr. King did). Nonviolence teaches us to attack unjust institutions and systems, not the individuals who carry out the injustices that results from these institutions.

The trip so far has been incredibly eye-opening. I have met so many wonderful, brave, and kind people here that are standing up for what they know is right. I have also loved getting to know everyone in our ASB group from Wake Tech. We have a very open-minded group and have learned a lot from each other and the other program leaders. I am very grateful for this opportunity and am looking forward to the rest of the week!

They do not talk about this in the history books…

Shocked, eager, uncomfortable, numb, grateful, and inspired are the main six emotions to describe my first day in Selma, Alabama. To firsthand witness segregation and extreme poverty in person is what brought on these simple yet strong emotions. When groups like “Black Lives Matter” or any group trying to acknowledge a racial issue, you’ll   see some of the blog websites and news stations saying stuff like, “this group is dividing our country” or “your beliefs are what causes division.” NEWS FLASH: There are actual parts of our country that are segregated AND have been segregated. You can’t do something that is already done. We also should not speak on subjects we are ignorant and uneducated about. Watching and actually Selma are two TOTALLY DIFFERENT things. It is absolutely mind-boggling on the impact of visiting Selma in person.

On the other hand, there are people who are trying to unite our country here in Selma. There are parents who have sacrificed their jobs, time, and effort to be a helping hand in the community. There are also the kids of these parents who have stories of what they’ve been through for doing what is humanely right that are breathtaking and inspirational. THIS is what exactly MLK fought for, just like him they are fighting the injustices and inequalities of America, I am bless to have this opportunity to have been able to witness what I miss and experienced what I am experiencing.

Meet our 2015 ASB Team!

GermanGerman Avila is a twenty year old International Student, originally from Colombia, South America. He is expected to graduate from Wake Tech by the Fall semester of 2016. He has been exposed to the medical field and community service throughout his life due to his family’s involvement. For this reason, German has decided to pursue a nursing degree. Martin Luther King is one of the most influential human rights activists there has been , one site German must see is the famous Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King Gave his “I have a Dream Speech”.

JessJessica Bundy is a journalism/communications major and will be graduating from Wake Tech this year. She is excited about coming on the trip because she wants the opportunity to learn something new and to focus on the reality of hunger and homelessness. Jessica attending Spring Break in NYC last year and really enjoyed meeting people and learning a different side of poverty.

 

JeremyJeremy Bryan is in the transfer program at Wake Technical Community college studying to get an associates of science degree. After graduating from Wake Tech in May 2017, he wants to get a BA in Biology and proceed from there to work on a Masters in Nutrition. On the trip he expects to help a lot of people that need help by doing his part in making their lives easier even if it’s not directly. He’d like to go to the Smithsonian, as well as the Holocaust museum, and if Barack is home maybe he can talk the secret service into letting him grab one of DC’s famous “Half Smokes” with us!

JasmeenJasmeen Kaur is an Associates of Science major who is planning on graduating in December 2015. She is most looking forward to the trip to D.C. in order to make friends, explore DC while helping homeless and hungry people. One must thing she would like to do beside helping people is visiting some of places like White house, Lincoln memorial or Washington monument.

 

ChadChad Kibbe is a Student Ambassador at Wake Tech Community College. He is getting his Associate of Arts degree and transferring to NC State University to get his bachelor’s degree in the College of Natural Resources. He will be graduating in 2018. Chad hopes to gain a greater appreciation for what he has and gain the ability to look at life from a different perspective upon serving those that are in greater need of help and service. Along with helping and serving others that are less fortunate, Chad is especially looking forward to visiting the Smithsonian Museum and the Holocaust Museum

AsiaAsia King is working towards her Associate of Arts degree and will be graduating from Wake Tech in December of 2015. Asia volunteers at the Wilmington Street Men’s Shelter and is the Secretary for Phi Beta Lambda here at Wake Tech. She is looking forward to meeting amazing individuals and hearing all of their stories. Her biggest goal while on the trip is to gain a better understanding of the challenges homeless individuals face so that she is better able to assist the homeless community wherever she goes. Asia refuses to leave D.C until she visits Good Stuff Eatery, a restaurant in Capitol Hill.

SarahSarah Elizabeth Grey Kirkland is a Dental Hygiene major who plans on graduating in June 2016. She is hoping to better understand not just how to temporally help someone who experiences hunger and homelessness but instead to find long term solutions. She would like to find a way to place homeless men and woman into jobs that will sustain their living suspense and how to find them places to shower, wash their clothes and prep them for a career until they can find a permanent residence of their own. She absolutely wishes to get see the cathedral or go dancing in D.C.

 

JoscelynJoselyn Ramirez-Mendoza is a Baking and Pastry Arts major who plans on graduating in May 2017. She is looking forward to the knowledge and experience that she will gain with this trip. She does not consider this trip a vacation but considers this as the opportunity to make a small difference in our country. She is truly looking forward to meeting new people and more importantly, getting to know on a personal level the real issues of homelessness. She is such a museum goer but if she had to narrow it down she would choose the Smithsonian museum of American History and the Holocaust museum.

 

BiancaBianca Olivares is an optimist who is very enthusiastic about her studies. She will be graduating from Wake Tech this upcoming May 2015 and will be transferring to Meredith College. Bianca plans to major in Psychology and continue on to graduate school to eventually become a Clinical Child Psychologist.  Bianca is mostly looking forward to experiencing a new perspective of life and learning another way in which to help other people and is planning to share this with others in hopes of spreading awareness and involvement. One thing she must do in D.C. is mainly just explore the area and make memories with great people.

AtifAtif Rafique wants to get his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from UNC Chapel Hill. He will be graduating from Wake Tech in the spring of 2015. The main goal of this trip is to learn about the problems homeless people are facing in our communities. He is looking forward to a great learning experience.

 

 

BaleighBaleigh Scheibner is in the Associate in Arts program and is hoping to graduate in May 2016 and transfer to NC State for Mass Communications.  Baleigh is looking forward to serving others by  giving up her spring break to help the homeless and those in need in Washington D.C. She hopes to gain a better understanding of our country and the need to help those around instead of just passing life by. Her must do thing in Washington would definitely be to go see the memorials especially the Holocaust Museum Memorial!

TravisTravis Suite is a second semester freshman and plans on graduating in 2018. He is planning is current plan is to major in Political Science from Appalachian State University. Travis most looks forward to meeting and talking with people and hearing their stories. He hopes to get a chance to meet the President of the United States, although unlikely. If that does not work out, Travis will be just as excited to get to explore D.C. and visit famous memorials.