As a politically-engaged citizen, I was excited to spend my summer in our nation’s capital. What better place to be an advocate, a learner, and a citizen than in Washington, DC? In our current political climate, a part of me was definitely concerned that there wouldn’t be a place for me to engage in meaningful discussion with others–I was certainly under the impression that DC would be a hub for strong political polarization. However, with WeListen sessions in DC, I found a space to facilitate discussion with others and saw the organization go beyond its campus borders in Ann Arbor.
WeListen is an on-campus student organization hosting biweekly discussions on various topics with the goal of bridging the gap in bipartisanship among students. With these discussions in a non-partisan space, WeListen aims to build empathy across the political spectrum through conversation and listening. I got involved this past school year and was amazed by its quick growth on campus. So when I heard that WeListen was hosting sessions in DC, I knew it would be the perfect place to encourage new faces to join the discussion.
We held a few sessions throughout the summer on topics like immigration and free speech on college campuses. I invited my fellow interns, and the turnout was amazing each time, attracting students from other universities and even some federal employees! I was so impressed that even in DC, other people like myself were looking for a place not just to share their voices, but to hear from others too.
I am so excited to be back on campus soon and jumping back in with WeListen. If you are interested in getting involved, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!