The Secular Student Alliance, a group that is very near and dear to me has an amazing opportunity for student activists. These activists, I might add are some of the most impressive on the planet. As I discuss in my upcoming book, The Secular Activist, individuals often time are the biggest catalyst for change when they decide to get involved in activism. We often think of the big groups when we think about major secular victories, but often times, without these individual activists raising their voices, many secular issues would go unquestioned.
These bright eyed and bushy tailed badasses have never ceased to amaze me with their passion and creativity to create a more secular world!
This month, the Secular Student Alliance has a way to reward their activism in the best way possible: $14,000 worth of scholarships! Cold hard cash to ease the burden of crippling student debt so that these students can do what they do best.
During the month of September, any current SSA student member attending a college or university in the United States has a chance to win one of four $2,500 or four $1,000 scholarships!
That kind of funding can make or break a college activist’s ability to continue their work while still being able to stay alive. Buxi locobone, one of last year’s $2,500 winners for her work fighting for reproductive justice, said of her past year: “It would have taken me two months to earn that amount of money with a second job, only to then funnel half of that into my rent. I can’t quantify how much harder this process of going back to school would have been, or how much longer I would have had to spend on it, without this scholarship.”“It would have taken me two months to earn that amount of money with a second job, only to then funnel half of that into my rent. I can’t quantify how much harder this process of going back to school would have been, or how much longer I would have had to spend on it, without this scholarship.”
So what does the SSA mean by activism? Did you need to get into the news? Did you, as a student, need to put up a billboard or repeal a law? While that’s great, Claudia Allen, SSA Communications Assistant, says it doesn’t have to be that dramatic.
“Activism is any activity that spreads secular values and normalizes secular identity through structured organizing. While activism can include large-scale projects like spreading the word on social issues, education issues, community building, and similar projects, it can also consist of more personal actions like being visibly secular within your community and campus. Actions like these have impact, and so we want to encourage these types of activism!”
SSA will accept applications until September 30. Winners will be chosen and notified by email in October and will be announced by October 31. If you have concerns with being publicly identified as secular, you can let them know on the application – it will not disqualify you from the process!