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Kroc School Students Reflect on the 2020 US Election

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Voting booth
The Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice asked our Interns and Practice Fellows to share their thoughts on this past general election. Here is what they had to say:
 

Lisa Sorush; Student in MS in Conflict Management and Resolution and Kroc Practice Fellow

"I felt proud that I used my political and civil rights to vote for the first time during the presidential election. I believe democracy and social justice are significant responsibilities for all citizens. We are at a historical time and critical issues like a pandemic, racial reconciliation, and political divided election. As an immigrant, it was essential to witness the 2020 election results that made history."

Mara Novakovic; Student in MA in Peace and Justice and Kroc Practice Fellow

"The 2020 election was one that held great value and importance to many Americans. Yes, elections and voting have always mattered, however, this year the value of voting seemed to have heightened importance. Covid-19 has created global and domestic challenges for everyone but it has especially shown us the responsibility our leaders have in ensuring our countries combat this unprecedented pandemic. I believe that the outcome of this election represented the voice of the people. Yes, many may be upset with the new elected president, Joe Biden, and vice president, Kamala Harris, but as they have emphasized in their speeches we need to stand united to fight against the issues we are facing on not only a domestic level, but internationally as well. I do not know what to expect in the next upcoming presidency and I don't think a new president will be a "cure all" for the issues we are facing. However, my hope is that change is achieved and that we continue to grow as a country rather than go backward, but, only time will tell."

Marjon Saulon; Student in MA in Social Innovation and Kroc Practice Fellow

"This election taught me about the tireless work of everyday citizens and community members. I learned that amid misinformation and continued polarization, it was the poll workers, volunteers, and local officials who upheld the country's democratic institutions and values during its most historic election in generations. My hope is that students and young leaders in the US and around the world become more civically engaged in the coming years."

Nasema Zeerak; Student in MS in Conflict Management and Resolution and Research Intern

"In a few months, I will have lived in the U.S. under three administrations and have witnessed two presidential elections. The energy around the elections and the sense of citizenship for Americans to exercise their civic duty is impressive. What is also surprising for me is how deeply polarized is this country. Despite the clear indication that the status quo is not working, Americans have still mostly voted across party lines. There are already many challenges threatening American society, it's now time for everyone to decide how to find a common ground and move towards depolarization."

Sophia Ventura-Cruess; Student in MA in Peace and Justice and Kroc Practice Fellow

"My feelings about the recent election are complex. I haven’t been able to easily place my reactions in a fixed box of  either “relief,” “continued cynicism,” “ecstatic hope,” or simply “numbed exhaustion”. Admittedly I am experiencing all those reactions at once. My vote for a Biden-Harris ticket, although not the ticket I envisioned in February 2020,  was an active choice for their administration. I strongly believe that the preservation of any path resembling justice rests on the ousting of the Trump administration. Yet, I am aware that a Biden Presidency is not a catch all solution to the immediate and systemic crises facing our nation. Political leaders with both their symbolic and legitimate power will not be the sole saviors to the issues crippling our country and world. If the past four years have taught me anything it is that grassroots organizing matters so much. Organizing, accomplished by communities of color and leaders like Stacy Abrahams, is what keeps this barely tamed democracy intact. Yes, I have hope for the future. But that hope does not exist stagnantly, rather it is founded on the fundamental belief that real hope is sourced through hard work, persistence, and vision. Going forward, it is clear to me that the work has just begun."

Learn more about the Kroc IPJ's Practice Fellowships here and watch Executive Director Andrew Blum discuss the program here

Contact:

Meagan Maher
meaganmaher@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-7873

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies

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