What are young activists thinking about these days in places like Gettysburg, Pennsylvania? What are they passionate about? What issues are they working on? What community organizations are they collaborating with? What are their hopes for the future, for themselves, and for our country?
In search of answers to questions like these, Gettysburg Democracy for America (DFA) will bring together six young campus activists for a panel presentation and discussion on Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 PM in the Community Room at the YWCA in Gettysburg. The public is invited to attend.
“We’re anticipating a great conversation,” said Leon Reed, co-chair of DFA. “There’s a lot to learn from the young, and these young people are already deeply involved in the life of our community, making that doubly true.” The panelists are interested in a broad range of issues including immigration and human rights, food security, electoral reform, criminal justice reform, and economic and environmental sustainability. The panel will be moderated by DFA secretary Will Lane, a part-time Gettysburg College faculty member and host of the online Green Gettysburg Book Club.
Meghan Clark recently graduated from Gettysburg College with a BA in Environmental Studies and a concentration in Environmental Policy and Environmental Justice. After graduation, she returned to campus to join a VISTA project working with the Center for Public Service and the South Mountain Partnership, a conservation organization based in Carlisle. She spends half her time working on campus, helping to further sustainability initiatives on campus and in the community. The other half of her time is devoted to working with the South Mountain Partnership on their State of the Region project which is developing metrics for better understanding the human and environmental health of the region.
Molly Hoffman is a senior Environmental Studies and Public Policy major at Gettysburg College. She works at the Center for Public Service as the Program Coordinator of Partnerships for Sustainability. In this role, she coordinates student volunteers working with environmental organizations in Adams County such as the Adams County Planting Partnership, Gettysburg Foundation, Friends of Micheaux State Forest, Strawberry Hill Nature Preserve, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and many others. She also works with other student leaders on campus to plan environmental education initiatives and advocate for more sustainable policies and programs on campus.
Cynthia Ortiz-Sanchez is a sophomore Economics and Management major offering Adult ESL classes to non-English speakers through the Center for Public Service. She also works with Drive PA Forward, an immigrant rights coalition founded on the basis that everyone, without regard to immigration status, should have access to a driver’s license, a critical resource for families everywhere. Her work with the coalition focuses on education and outreach to new constituencies on campus and in the community who may not be fully aware of the problems the lack of a driver’s license can create.
Antoni Esquivias, a junior public policy and sociology double major and Spanish minor, was only four years old when his family immigrated to Biglerville, Pennsylvania from a small town near the Jalisco capital of Guadalajara, Mexico. His first introduction to Gettysburg College was through the Painted Turtle Farm when his parents began cultivating a plot there. The Center for Public Service, which sponsors Painted Turtle Farm, was a major influencing factor when Esquivias decided to attend Gettysburg College and has been a defining aspect of his co-curricular experience there. Antoni has continued his involvement with Painted Turtle Farm but has always been active with Project Gettysburg Leon, a sister city project between Gettysburg and Leon, Nicaragua.
Adam Doran is a junior at Gettysburg College majoring in political science. He is passionate about electoral reform, foreign policy, and fighting climate change, and is working with the Gettysburg College Democrats in order to facilitate conversation and action regarding these issues.
Brenna Hadley is a junior at Gettysburg College and is double majoring in political science and public policy with a focus in civil and human rights policy. This semester she is president of College Democrats and plans to focus on voter registration and turnout and fostering a democratic community on campus and in the Gettysburg community. She is also personally involved in Adams County politics and is interested in criminal justice reform, environmental protections, and public history.