Forum promotes civic activism
SEEN seeks to foster empowerment among HBCU students
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 14:09
WNCU 90.7 broadcasted a forum, “SEEN and heard,” Sept. 11 discussing restrictions on voting and voting rights. The Student Engagement and Empowerment Network, a.k.a. SEEN, is a network that brings together students wanting to get active in civic engagement.
SEEN started after multiple conversations with students last year. Jarvis Hall, associate professor of political science and director of the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change, says he wanted to create a network that would bring together historically black colleges and universities.
SEEN gets students involved in social change and civic engagement. “We have reached out to the HBCUs in North Carolina to get on board with us, and so far eight campuses have confirmed their interest,” said Hall. “We hope that the others will be able to as well.”
The title of the forum is based on the motto of the network: “We are seen so we will be heard [on the radio].” “We hope to give students more knowledge, interest, involvement, and civic engagement in the political process,” said Hall.
The Sept. 11 forum was the second installment of a four-part series that will explain activism in the 21st century, and the importance of people, especially students, voting and getting involved with American democracy.
The first installment, which aired Aug. 28, compared today’s activism today with activism of the past. It also considered social justice, youth engagement, and the demographics of voter involvement.
The focus of the second installment was voting rights, civil liberties and privacy invasion by the government. The forum discussed how American rights have changed post-9/11.
The panel included two experts, Anita Earls, founder of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and a civil rights attorney, and Sarah Preston, policy director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Political science junior Alphonso Hughes said the forum inspired students wanting to encourage their communities to vote.
“Having experienced violence and the lack of care that the surrounding neighborhoods have about voting makes me want to become more active in motivating people,” said Hughes.
“I realize that it is important to vote and make your voice heard when it comes to needs that the government isn’t meeting.”
Students interested in getting involved may contact Jarvis Hall at 919-530-7256 or email@example.com.