This blog post was written by our Paralegal and former Office Assistant Marcie Hampton.
I have always been fascinated by the political process, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized it was something in which I could involve myself directly.
Throughout my life I actively have participated in our democracy on the periphery - by voting, marching, protesting and voicing my opinions. While all of these actions are important (please VOTE!), it has been an amazing personal discovery to discern how I can channel my passion and voice into a career.
When I see unfairness, I feel an obligation to address and hopefully fix it. Unfortunately, this can lead to me becoming distracted and overwhelmed; there are just too many problems that need to be solved. The economy, climate change, police brutality, the school-to-prison pipeline … it’s all just too much! There are so many channels that allow you to affect change – so many wonderful organizations that do such great work on a myriad of issues – I really was lost as to where I should go and what I should do. My desire to fix everything is why the ACLU speaks to my soul.
The ACLU takes on so many battles while simultaneously recognizing how the intersections of race, gender, socioeconomic status, gender identity and sexual orientation play a massive role in the problems we see throughout the country.
The ACLU understands how you can’t talk about ending the war on drugs without also talking about the disproportionate impact it has had on people of color. It recognizes how you can’t talk about voter ID laws without talking about how gender and race play a huge role in the impact on voter rolls. It recognizes if you want to tackle housing or employment opportunity, you have to talk about the LGBTQI+ community and the impact this discrimination has on them. It recognizes how criminal justice reform involves a discussion about poverty in this country and how the justice system is stacked against those with limited resources.
The recognition of these intersections coupled with the scope of the issues the ACLU is willing to take on is why I have admired it for years, and why I feel so honored to be a part of this team. After years of wandering and wondering, I have found a place where I can impact the community directly and help fix the broken systems of our society.