At our first Social Work Council meeting of the semester, I received a great response when I proposed to do a voter registration at our next meeting (this Monday, January 30). So I had a reason to go down to the County Tax Office to pick up my first batch of voter registration cards!
You can see here that I also picked up some walk away cards, so if you can't attend the meeting you can still register.
At this meeting we talked about the need for more Service Projects. I contacted Inside Books Project, and I am inviting people to volunteer Sunday, February 5th from 8pm-11pm with me. Please think about volunteering 3 measly hours of your time for a great cause!
One last SWC pitch... we will start t-shirt sales Monday-Thursday from 9am-11am. They are $12 each, payable by cash or check. The shirts are burnt orange and say "Texas Social Work" on the front and have a large Longhorn on the back. HELP OUT SWC and buy a shirt!
I taught my firstMethods of Contraception class. Only two girls came, but it was still an interesting experience. Ladies have to take this class in order to be prescribed birth control at the University Health Clinic (males are still welcome). One of the girls was on her phone the whole time, and did not accept the free condom packs we hand out at the end. It was such a novel experience for me, this whole not being excited about free condoms. After spending a whole semester with peer educators thrilled about sex it was just really interesting. There is a stigma in America that carrying condoms makes you a whore instead of an educated, prepared young adult. (Really, I can't speak for why she wasn't interested. I'm just saying, she was in an MOC; I presume she is sexually active if she wants birth control from our clinic.) Here are some of the posters we use. I hope next time I teach one I can get a picture of all the cool models of vaginas and contraceptives we get to use.
I was the final signature for getting the UT Student Organization "Voices for Reproductive Justice" off the ground. My new friend from voter registration, Liz, who started the VRJ idea, asked me if I was going to Austin City Council to speak out against Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
I had been getting tons of e-mails ALL week from Planned Parenthood and NARAL about coming to City Council to speak out against CPCs. The community outreach coordinator from PP, Dru, sent me a personal e-mail asking. I HATE public speaking as many people do. I sent back an e-mail with something along the lines of, "I've never done this it's scary are they going to talk back to me waaaaahhhhh." She assured me that I would only have to speak for a few minutes and that would be that. I didn't respond.
Instead, I waited until I got home to call my mom. I told her I don't agree with CPCs, but that I was scared to speak! She inquired about what the issue with CPCs is and as I told her I felt more confident. I mean really CPCs are a big waste of public money, funding a fear mongering ideology. After this my mom's response was the best and I will never forget it. She said, "If you believe in what you're saying, you're going to fucking blow them away." THANKS MOM!
But then I didn't want to go again. It's easier to SAY you're going to do something, but actually doing it is quite a bit different. Then Liz asked me on the spot on Thursday... I said I wasn't sure. She called me again and said I should come. So I did!
I wrote out a speech in my car and drove my ass down to Austin City Hall.
When I got there, I saw Dru. The first thing she said was, "We have enough speakers, but still sign in." I said, "Whoa you asked me to speak and now I want to!" (Surprising to me that I felt that way.)
The video isn't on YouTube so I can't upload it here, but here is the link.
I think the whole dialogue is really interesting, but I start speaking at 26:48 if you don't have an hour.
There is a nervous laugh, and maybe not the strongest use of pauses, but it was my first time speaking politically! I did it! Woo! Thanks Dru, Liz, and especially to my beautiful mother. I got a lot of compliments just getting back to my seat. Afterwords, Dru and the rep from Jane's Due Process congratulated me, and that felt awesome.
These are the girls from VRJ, Megan and Liz from left to right. Look at me, smiling like a goofball.
All in all it was a great experience, and I expect myself to do it again.
Before You Leave:
I want to direct you to my friend's son's first activism project. Check out the link for more information about how you can help people in Haiti, and encourage this caring young kid's advocacy.
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