January 16, 2012
(Photo by Sarah Mills ’13)
Danielle Cameron ’14 has made it her life’s mission to increase awareness about diversity and multiculturalism. Whether studying the intersections of identity and race as a sociology major or reevaluating cultural assumptions about the nature and roles of women and men as a women’s studies minor, Cameron is dedicated to enabling others and herself to become self-determining, self-sufficient individuals. Her commitment extends outside of the classroom. She’s the community outreach chair and event coordinator for Spectrum and the o-president of the Social Justice League, as well as being actively involved in the theatre department, Voices for Women, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
During his “I Have a Dream Speech,” King laid out his dream. What is your dream?
My dream is that regardless of race, culture, age, ability, sexual orientation, religion, gender, ethnicity, ideologies, or other personal affiliation, people will all be granted equal human rights, civil rights, and political rights and that those rights are protected. Furthermore, it would be a dream fulfilled if the next generation would grow up knowing that these rights are secured for them and are able to live life to the fullest with this in mind.
How does this dream drive what you’re studying?
As a sociology major, we study the elements of multiculturalism, power, and privilege and how the intersections of identities interact in our multifaceted society. Education about the diversity of our society is the foundation of achieving equal civil and political rights for all in a completely just society.
What do you perceive to be the most pressing issue that your generation should address?
As an activist for social justice, I am a strong believer in equal rights for all. As a citizen of this nation, I find it disheartening to see people of the same sex denied basic civil rights like parental rights, hospital visitation rights, burial rights, and immigration rights.
How are you helping to make justice a reality?
I make it my number one priority to spread information about diversity and multiculturalism on campus and in the greater community. Once people are educated about underserved communities and diverse populations, people are less likely to make misinformed decisions and judgments that could potentially rob individuals of their civil rights. That’s also why I work every day to stay active and mindful of the issues of injustice in our society, so that I can be a part of this generation’s participation in the human rights movement.
How does your vision influence your involvement?
As an executive member of Spectrum, the LGBTQQIAAP organization on campus, co-president of the Social Justice League, and a member of the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), I am able to spread the message of diversity and multiculturalism across campus and work on many initiatives to further the mission of OMA. I have the valuable opportunity to influence and empower fellow students to learn about diverse populations and fight for their right and the rights of all people. I participate in these activities to see my dream come to fruition.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in becoming involved but aren’t sure where to start?
There are 18 active cultural organizations on campus. Students who are interested in learning about their own or different cultures should go to the second floor of Chase Hall and learn how to become involved or check out the OMA website. The Office of Multicultural Affairs is a family welcoming with open arms for any student who wishes to become a champion for diversity, to fight for the rights of all, to enjoy food, festival and fun, and to continue Dr. King’s legacy.
Regardless of the publications that you see in public media, the fight for equality is omnipresent, so please do not hesitate to become involved on campus and in your community. One way to start your impact is to become involved in the newest cultural organization, the Social Justice League, an organization that plans to make waves in this community.
Honoring the life and legacy of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr, MLK Celebration runs January 16-21. Join us in paying homage to King’s work toward equality and economic justice for all people.
By Laura J. Cole
Office of Marketing & Communications
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