Mount St. Mary’s University Students to Present at National Summit on Civic Engagement
Five students from Mount St. Mary’s University will present their work on a national stage at the National Campus Leaders Summit later this month. Sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., the summit brings together student leaders from across the country to learn civic engagement.
The students - (pictured L to R) Lyndsey Saunders, C’20, Charles Lewis Jr., C’20, Brianna Brown, C’20, Jessica Hugee, C’19, and Le-Roy Battle, C’19 – were invited to participate in the conference. They are leaders of the Mount’s Peer Education Advisory Council of Excellence (P.E.A.C.E.) P.E.A.C.E. members work with the Center for Student Diversity to create events and promote discussions to foster a welcoming and inclusive campus environment.
The summit will allow the students to examine their work on civic engagement against the backdrop of the Holocaust – a setting that brings into context the importance of their efforts and serves as a reminder that hate, if left unchecked, can have disastrous consequences.
The P.E.A.C.E. leaders will present a project called “Who Am I” at the summit. It examines various microaggressions, and how they relate to those who may be marginalized. Microaggressions are the verbal, behavioral or otherwise offensive actions we have when interacting with others that we may or may not be aware of.
“People forget impact versus intent; because you weren’t intentionally being mean you can still cause harm,” explained Kimberly Springer, assistant director of the Center for Student Diversity and PEACE advisor. “You may not know that this [action] is offensive. Just because you didn’t intend to do something doesn’t make it OK, and doesn’t make you a horrible person. It may have just been a mistake and you can always learn from your mistakes.”
The students will use the feedback they receive on their presentation to help plan an event on the same topic at the Mount later this spring.
Springer is excited the student leaders will get to meet and interact with students from other schools at the summit. She hopes it’s “impactful and eye opening,” and that they learn the tactics and strategies they’re working towards on campus are lessons for the broader community.
“Be the change you want to see,” encouraged Springer. “You can make a difference, you’re not alone in this.”