By Callie Jordan, Blue Future Spring for Progress and Change organizer
As a first-generation college student from a working, blue-collar, and politically disengaged family, I was intimidated by what I considered a daunting, exclusionary, and elitist political sphere that I did not see myself represented in and had no idea how to initially navigate.
In the Great Recession of 2007–2008, while I was growing up, my family, like many others, went through many financial hardships. My dad, who once loved being self-employed, had to close his business.
It was constantly reinforced to me that government structures and politics had failed us.
Despite this lack of political socialization, I formed my own opinions.
I saw white cops shooting Black people, school shootings, and the existential threat of climate change, all of which were lingering in my own backyard and community.
When I saw students and young people standing up and speaking out, older generations would remark that they were too idealistic and encourage them to settle in the current reality instead of fighting back and reimagining their futures.
“It’s just the way things are,” they would say.
I knew that actually older generations and lawmakers were just scared.
Young people and students have always been political leaders enacting positive change at the forefront.
When I entered college in the middle of the 2019 election season, I was shocked and inspired to see so many of my peers tabling along campus walk discussing issues, conducting voter registration drives, and hosting debates.
Although I was inheriting a contentious political climate, I suddenly felt that I too was capable of fighting for the changes I wanted to see.
I chose to work with Blue Future because of their commitment to uplifting students’ and young people’s voices in a way that values our lived experiences and contributions.
Blue Future is a special space created for each organizer, no matter previous political experience, skill level, age, or background, to embrace the legacy of student and youth activism and become powerful leaders in their communities.
About Callie; Callie Jordan (she/her) is a second-year student at the University of Mary Washington, where she double majors in Political Science and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.