After graduation, Lena Wright, ’16 became an organizer with IMPACT, a community organizing project run by a consortium of leading advocacy organizations, including Environment America, U.S. PIRG and Fair Share.  Three months in, she reflects on what she’s learned:

“During my time as a community organizer with IMPACT, I’ve been running a campaign that involves spending half my time at the University of Texas. As you can probably guess, UT is totally different than Beloit in some ways and very similar in others. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the amount of diversity and life experiences that students here bring, as well as radical tendencies that have bigger followings at a 50,000 student university. It’s been a pleasure to experience a much larger campus without having to dive back into academia quite yet. I have participated or organized many protests since getting here, on and off campus. 
 
Austin has a really deeply entrenched progressive community that interacts in complex ways with the rest of the state. As far as organizing goes, it’s a great environment to be in if you are an optimist because there are a TON of issues to work on and people to directly confront here.

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 Collecting petition signatures and signing up volunteers for our campaign.

 

Three months has been a good runway period for figuring out if I like community organizing and IMPACT as an  organization.  These are the conclusions I’ve reached so far: IMPACT is really good at training and puts an emphasis on it. The best learning tool has been out in the field actually running a campaign, but the training we receive throughout the year has come in handy! 
 
Through IMPACT I’ve met some amazing people (one woman in my cohort organized to get the coal-fired power plant on campus at Notre Dame shut down after she showed that there was a peak in spontaneous abortions), and even though we are separated geographically, it helps to have like-minded coworkers to commiserate and remotely chat with. Especially when we’re coming straight out of college.
 

If you’re interested in advocacy as a professional career,  IMPACT is hiring graduating seniors and recent college graduates for two-year commitments beginning in the fall of 2017.  Our next application deadline is January 19th. Although we accept applications on a rolling basis, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible at the following link for these competitive positions. 

If you have questions please contact me at willenelenawright@gmail.com.”

 

 

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