Morgan Malone is ranked #3 of 69
Young progressive change agent fighting for racial, economic, & restorative justice, through deliberative and participatory practices.
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My political story
At 15, I got involved in politics volunteering, and then interning, for the 2008 Obama campaign. I had always had a passion for community service, but it was through this initial campaign that my love for politics and action through democracy grew. From there I volunteered and interned for more campaigns, jumped into the world of research and democratic practices, and grew into a community organizer. I transitioned from organizing for political campaigns to organizing my college campus and eventually organizing for an elected representative school board in Chicago. I am now at a point where I still organize for my campus and help out on campaigns, but am moving toward furthering intentional participation through advocating for participatory budgeting, urban planning, and deliberative dialogue to create true transparency.
Why I deserve a Netroots Nation Scholarship
I deserve a Netroots Nation scholarship because I believe that to be most useful to others, I should have a diverse and integrated understanding of organizing. That is my goal -- to be useful. I know that my experience at Netroots will give me the opportunity to build my capacity to serve and serve effectively and efficiently. Netroots will give me the opportunity to discover new ways to innovate and contribute to change. I also cannot afford to attend without help on the accommodations and hotel. In May, I'll be a graduate meaning I pay the full registration rate of $325 and the expensive Phoenix hotel accommodations. As a new graduate, I simply cannot afford to pay these expenses but I know that an experience at NN15 will be just the experience I need to further my progressive efforts.
What first inspired me to get involved
I was first inspired to get involved in politics, outside of volunteering and interning on campaigns, after I had diligently interned during a gubernatorial cycle, for a current elected official, day in and day out for three months. Three days before election day, I was able to sit down with him and I asked what he was going to do about a living wage. He looked at me like I had two heads and said "that had nothing do with him, that was federal." I asked him again and he looked me in the eye and told me that, "people are in poverty because of healthcare. Once Medicare is expanded, a living wage won't be as big of a deal." I was infuriated. I'd worked so hard to get this man elected, for him to tell me that an issue I so deeply care about was not an issue he intended to work on. It was in that moment, that I decided that he shouldn't be the one representing me, and that I should be representing myself. I jumped into issue based organizing head on and began focusing on making a career of being a public servant.
The blog post I am most proud of
I am most proud of an action I facilitated on my campus, #BlackoutODU, through a community coalition I mobilized, Generation Forward. Through social media, myself and GenFWD were able to mobilize 350+ students overnight to fight for police accountability and racial justice on a campus that isn’t very politically active. The students were assembled into a peace sign formation where we chanted for Eric Garner, Mike Brown, and held a die-in for 4.5 minutes to symbolize the 4.5 hours Mike Brown lie dead in the street.
More about my political involvement
While there are no local DFA groups in my area, I do make a solid effort to keep up with DFA campaigns and endorsements. I'm currently staying active in my community by working for racial justice and police accountability through the Generation Forward coalition. As a group, we hold bridging the gap events to try and bridge the gap between students and community members, old and young. We also hold demonstrations to bring awareness to unarmed shooting cases that aren't publicized. We are also currently in the midst of a fight for a Black Cultural Center on our campus to further diversity, inclusion, and understanding.
How I've gotten others involved
Through Generation Forward, I've been able to really show our campus administration and the community the power of social media and digital organizing. A simple hashtag and eye catching visuals will bring attention to the most pertinent issues in our community.
Why I think participation in the netroots is important
Participation in Netroots is important because organizing changes and becomes more innovative and transformative everyday. There's always a new way to reach people, tell your story, and connect to further progressive values. It's also important because this work will make you go crazy, if you let it. From long hours, to consistent "no's", to burn out, it's great to have the opportunity to further develop a supportive network of organizers who are fighting for the same issues you are and understand what you go through.
My Twitter manifesto on online activism
#Hashtags + Memes + Catchy Slogan + Solid Content (Progressive Issues) + Likes/RTs/Favs + Clickable Buttons for Donations = online activism.
If I could design a bumper sticker it would say:
PRISON IS NOT JUSTICE.
My wild idea for a cool new action
Restorative Justice is a must! Petition Governor Terry McAuliffe to reinstate the voting rights of all convicted felons upon release.
I am a