Politics are always personal, which is why it is so important to avoid complacency. However, it can be hard to do so when your abilities are undermined because you are "just" a college student. Ormond Derrick, a GenUN LGBT activist, is a perfect example of moving beyond this stereotype to create change. Despite only being a sophomore at the New College of Florida, he has dedicated his time there to being an activist for his community. He exemplifies hope that change will come, and he aspires to “make a world a better place, locally and globally.”
Ormond, who is majoring in political science, always expressed interest in getting more involved in his community. When his public health mentors mentioned the GenUN program, he knew he would be a perfect fit. GenUN is a national initiative to expand political and social youth engagement. This program focuses on advocacy, education and offering a chance for youth to engage in leadership roles.
Being part of the LGBT community, Ormond believed it was essential for him to be an activist in his community. He tells Fresh U that there are “many parallels to fight[ing] for justice here and around the world” and that something has to change. This philosophy is the reason why we should all get involved in any way we can. He believes that we should all “follow our passions, and they don’t always have to be academic.”
As a college student, he understands the struggle to stay politically involved while also keeping up with classwork. Ormond tells Fresh U that “self-care is important [for college students] and that we should sleep and take care of ourselves as often as we can.” To some degree, there is an emotional cost to being politically active. Especially in this current age, when the climate is oftentimes dreary and pessimistic, it is easy for activism to be an emotional burden. For this reason, Ormond’s words are especially important.
Ormond Derrick is more than just a student. He is a passionate activist, using his voice and privilege to advocate for a better world. In a world engulfed in political tension and turmoil, it is easier to stay numb and ignore the countless injustices. Yet, as Ormond shows us, advocacy is important and effective.
Lead Image Credit: Ormond Derrick