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GMU Bonner student part of historic bill giving students time off to protest

GMU Bonner student part of historic bill giving students time off to protest

When Virginia’s largest school district began allowing students time off to protest in 2019, the backlash was swift and partisan: Conservative critics denounced Fairfax County Public Schools for coddling its too liberal, too sensitive youths and predicted kids would abuse the policy to play hooky. A year later, though, the Virginia General Assembly is poised to pass legislation that will take Fairfax’s policy statewide, permitting more than 680,000 middle and high school students across 130-plus school systems one excused absence every year to “engage in a civic event.” Remarkably for a hyperpartisan era, the historic bill has garnered bipartisan support — and it’s all due to a collaboration between a handful of teenagers from both sides of the aisle. GMU Bonner Student Joshua Lyon, 19, was part of this historic bill.

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Mason students well-positioned to fight for social justice, equity

Mason students well-positioned to fight for social justice, equity

Students living in this era of racial reckoning and political unrest have far more resources at their disposal than social justice advocates had a half-century ago, George Mason University President Gregory Washington told a student panel at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Evening of Reflection on Thursday night.

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Alternative Break Spotlight: Jo-Vivian

Alternative Break Spotlight: Jo-Vivian

Meet Jo-Vivian: I believe knowledge is power. Especially during a time like now, it feels impossible to stand together as a community to continue being involved with social action and justice while we’re social distancing and quarantining. However, we can continue to be involved by reading and becoming more informed, discovering and researching groups with similar interests, and spreading knowledge. There are so many different outlets and organizations that are also trying to bring social justice into the community.

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Alternative Break Spotlight: Erin

Alternative Break Spotlight: Erin

Meet Erin! In her own words about her experience as a participant on the Atlanta Food Justice and Community Activism experience: “I chose the Food Justice and Community Activism alternative break experience because food justice is important to me. It affects every community in one way or another, but often slips under the radar because it isn’t always a visible problem. Through this experience, I learned about the different ways communities address food security inequities head-on while simultaneously overcoming historic roots of the issue. I also discovered ways to apply similar interventions to other communities. Getting involved with social action in any community might seem daunting at first, but the truth is it’s actually pretty simple.

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Alternative Break Spotlight: Amy

Alternative Break Spotlight: Amy

Meet Amy: Trip Leader for Art for Social Change. In her own words from her previous experience as trip leader, "When I first saw SAIL’s Alternative Breaks flyer, I was surprised by the range of social issues that these trips focus on. As I was looking through the options, one particularly caught my attention: Mass Incarceration & Environmental Justice in Camden, New Jersey. As an Environmental and Sustainability Studies major with a concentration in Equity and Environmental Justice, this intersection between the environment and social justice was a perfect match for me."

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