When Philadelphia protests called, these Temple University students answered.
Temple University freshmen Jacob Kurtz, Kerri Little and Melanie Schupler participated in the Women's March in Philadelphia on January 21, as well as the Philadelphia International Airport protest of Donald Trump's Muslim Ban on January 29.
Fresh U caught up with these three students after the airport protest to ask how it felt to participate in the demonstration. Their responses are as follows:
Jacob Kurtz, TU freshman, Community Development major:
"A lot of times people act like college students are perpetually angry and just want to cause a ruckus. I don't think that is true, I didn't come out today just because I was angry—I came out to protest because I have hope. I have hope that we as a nation can do better. For that to happen though we have to speak out against injustice and denounce hate, I intend to continue to do just that."
Kerri Little, TU freshman, Strategic Communication major:
"I just think seeing validation that so many people care, of all demographics, really makes me feel the nation is more unified than sometimes I believe it is. Seeing older generations fighting for the younger generations, and seeing the range of ages present and marching together, particularly gets me."
Melanie Schupler, TU freshman, Public Health major:
"As an American, as a Jew, and simply as a human I cannot sit by and watch this blatant and frankly disgusting disregard for human rights play out and remain silent. People are people no matter their race, religion, sexuality, gender, and deserve to be treated as such. Many of the people who Trump has banned from entering the U.S. are people who have a life here and are as much a contributing member of society as anyone else. As for the refugees who are fleeing persecution, the mere idea that they are being turned away and sent back to certain death is incomprehensible. I cannot see this happening around me without having the eerie feeling this is history repeating itself, and you would be a fool to ignore that. The similarities to the Jews fleeing Hitler in Europe during the time of WWII are undeniable. I have met some of the most incredible people who come from families that would not exist had their ancestors been sent back to what would have been almost certain death when trying to enter the U.S. like so many others were. I am angry, every American should be angry, every Jew should be angry, and every human should be angry that we have an administration in power who is so dead set on "making America great again" that they fail to see the faults of our history. Donald Trump and the America people would do well to remember those who don't learn from their past are doomed to repeat it. I just hope that the outpouring of love I witnessed at the protest today is enough to open people's eyes so we can avoid repeating the biggest disregard of basic human morality in recent history."
Melanie commented that she also plans on attending the Philadelphia Protest for Humanity on Saturday, February 4.
Even though Jacob, Melanie and Kerri are only first-year students at Temple, they are already making a difference on their campus and in their city. It is a privilege to know these students who stand up for their rights and the rights of others. Jacob, Melanie and Kerri are certainly future world-changers.
Lead Image Credit: Amanda Morrison