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Everyone has something they are passionate about. Your passion may manifest into a hobby or even a career, if you think that particular topic or interest is worthwhile enough.
A big passion of mine that I’ve been able to gear my career toward at Arcadia is social justice. Making this my career focus was pretty easy to do, since the Criminal Justice Department offers two concentrations for a degree: Law Enforcement and Social Justice.
This passion is reflected in much of what I do as an Arcadia student. On Sept. 28, three friends and I set out on an early train to attend Philadelphia’s annual March to End Rape Culture (MTERC). At this event, people gather to hear the stories of survivors and march for two miles around Philadelphia, all the while losing their voices from screaming about the importance of being heard and believed when it comes to sexual assault and rape. My personal favorite chants were “shatter the silence, stop the violence” as well as the simple, but ever relevant, “no means no” and “my body, my choice.”
Being able to participate in this event made me feel empowered and hopeful. As we marched through the streets of Philadelphia, bystanders on the road filmed us, cheered us on, and chanted with us, pumping their fists into the air in solidarity. It felt good to be heard and supported.
Reflecting on the march and the speakers’ stories, I realized that if I hadn’t been close enough to a major city, I would have never been able to experience these feelings, both the humbling ones and the empowering ones. Being so close to Philadelphia is one of the biggest perks that Arcadia has to offer, because no matter what you’re passionate about, you will most likely have an opportunity to pursue that passion in the city of brotherly love.
Arcadia students, specifically members of the Arcadia Social Justice Society, were at the front of the march, holding the banner and fighting for what they believe is right. I think this speaks volumes about the things that Arcadia community members deem valuable, and I am proud that we have so many students willing to take a stand. This MTERC was my first, but will not let it be my last.
Some other events that I have attended are Outfest and Collegefest, but there are many more marches, festivals, and get-togethers that happen in Philadelphia frequently. I highly recommend learning more about and participating in the March to End Rape Culture and its sister event, Take Back The Night. You’ll learn something while being surrounded by positive and understanding people.