Inclusion: We Need to Vote!!!

On Tuesday, November 29, 2016 Columbia University’s School of International Affairs hosted a Post- Election event for students, alumni, and faculty of the school, titled “The U.S 2016 Election: What’s Next Now”. The seminar was led by a panel of faculty experts who spoke on the future of Trade, Domestic &Social Policy, Urban Development Issues, and Environment/Climate Change with our new president. Though all of this information was much to take in, what laid heavy on my heart was the concerns regarding Urban Development, and Women’s Rights.

Growing up a young African American woman, within the inner city/urban community; my environment definitely played a big part of my life. From the way I view things, my understanding of life, and even who I am today. Throughout my 28 years; I have lived around people from different cultures, backgrounds, and social statuses, watched my neighborhood go through the growth and development process (small businesses, parks, facilities, clinics, restaurants), and even got to work for the first nonprofit fitness center in the states that provided healthy programs, and an exercise facility  for low income women and children in Dorchester, MA. As a woman I have been able to have free access to women’s preventive and wellness services, and chronic disease management. I have to admit it is rather frightening to know that many of the rights I have as a women, as well as my rights as an inner city resident, could all be written away at the stroke of a pen.

I spoke to Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia (also a panel speaker and professor at Columbia), and he also agrees that the impact this election will have on minorities, and people living within inner cities, frightens him as well. He quotes “Cities face the most impact”. I asked him a question regarding his thoughts on actions people living in urban communities can take to prepare and protect themselves for the future, and the answer he provided was that we  have to “VOTE”.

With this said Friends and Family; in order to make an impact or create some type of change, we cannot just sit back and watch. We have to come together, and get out there and vote for representatives that care and have an understanding of our concerns. We also need to do our best to stay informed, and look for ways to help out in your community. It takes togetherness. Be the change you want to see.

Be Encouraged,