Volunteering in Little Haiti: Democracy Lives in US— and is under attack.
Posted on 2018-02-11
So, as part of blogging my politics as a graduate student, I think it’s also nice to—every once in awhile—also post about some of the fun things that I get to do in grad school. Something fun that I was able to partake in on February 8th, 2018 as a volunteer— was the “Democracy Lives in Miami” event. Going in, I was unsure of what volunteering would entail, but the event sounded interesting and would give MALOKA (a grad student organization) some CSO points. I volunteered my time from 5 PM to 8:30 PM—mostly signing people up who didn’t initially RSVP to the event, to the event, so that they could attend. I also got to walk around Little Haiti a bit—something that I’ve always wanted to do as a Miami “resident,” which was fun. I also agreed to volunteer in this instance, due to the location.
I also got to watch the event for about an hour after sign-ups and registration ended. It was a panel of concerned citizens—all from different walks of life and party affiliations—who all felt that our Democracy was under threat. It reminded me of how subtle things like fascism can occur—especially in light of negligence by the broader public and academia—under people’s noses. The panelists names are on the pamphlet and each are easily google-able, but essentially we heard the stores of an African American who lived through Jim Crow and knew MLK. A Haitian immigrant whose parents died before she was 15. A rabbi who was 13 in 1942. A daughter of immigrant parents who organizes, mostly women of color housekeepers and nannies, in Miami. A Cuban immigrant who served in the military as a paratrooper and is now a judge (who also enlightened us to the fact that Jimmi Hendrix was also a paratrooper).
I do think that this usually happens as a series, so although this video is a bit older, you can get a gist of the event and why it is held:
Overall, this was an interesting panel with interesting perspectives. I also happened to volunteer at the event in the afternoon after I read about how Donald Trump has ramped up drone strikes by over 200% killing more innocents than Obama did in all 8 years; and also how he wants to have a military parade—apparently for himself—on U.S. soil.
Democracy lives in all of us, and is under attack it seems, every generation. We are the ones that must keep it in check.