Protesting through service
Lynchburg Democratic Committee to host service day during commencement
The Lynchburg Democratic Committee (LDC) will be hosting a Day of Action to serve the community May 13 instead of protesting President Donald Trump while he speaks at Liberty University’s Commencement.
First Vice Chair of the LDC and Liberty graduate Maria Childress said the Day of Action is meant to channel the energy that would be put into protesting into something that can help the community, particularly the organizations Trump wants to cut funding to.
“We felt very strongly that Commencement is not the right time to protest,” Childress said.
“Even though we might not agree with the speaker and who the president is, it is not about the speaker — it is about the students. If Trump comes to town for any other occasion, then we can consider protesting, but this is not the time.”
Childress said she as an individual and the LDC have received private messages through Facebook, calls and emails asking for them to organize a protest.
Childress said after the LDC released information about the Day of Action, they received a lot of positive feedback and heard from several local organizations that really wanted to be involved in partnering with them for the day.
The LDC is still seeking to finalize non-profits to partner with for the day.
“The committee has not really had the opportunity to do a full-blown community service project in the last year or so because we have been so busy in election work that we have not had the time to really do community work,”Childress said.
The committee has talked to HumanKind and a few other organizations who have expressed interest, but there were no definite partnerships yet, according to Childress.
“Even though I do not agree with democrats completely on their stances, I think that having the day of action instead of protesting is a good idea because it is going to help those in the community instead of protesting, which could cause harm both physically and emotionally,” Liberty senior Emily Edwards said.
Childress said other activities of the day may include things like painting a wall in an office for somebody or helping a church organize their food pantry.
There will be at least five different projects and site leaders for the day.
Childress said she feels, especially as an alumna, that the LDC has a responsibility to help stand up for the 140 students on campus at Liberty who voted for Hillary Clinton on election day.
“We really want to help people who would be hurt by the current administration’s policies, such as Meals on Wheels and other food banks,” Childress said.
“We thought that a day of action would be a great opportunity to keep people busy and away from campus for the day and get them to focus on members of the community who might be more drastically effected by the agenda of the current White House.”
laughlin is a news reporter.