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Mills students on a mission to Washington D.C.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4th, we saw the historic election of our next President, Barack Obama. Everyone I have spoken with since that day felt that they were experiencing a defining moment in their lives. When Daphne Muse, director of the Women’s Leadership Institute, announced that she would be attending the Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20th, it not only made me excited for her and the amazing insight she would be able to bring back to our Mills community, but it also made me consider the possibility of organizing a contingent of Mills students to attend. This is a unique and important opportunity for community-building among students and for coalition-building across the nation, as the event is predicted to attract a mass convergence of organizations and citizens eager to work together to enact the change that Obama has promised.

For this reason, many students and campus organizations, including the Institute for Civic Leadership, ASMC, the Women’s Leadership Institute, the Black Women’s Collective, Division of Student Life and Alumnae Relations, have joined together to make this vision a reality. We see this opportunity to be a part of the Presidential Inauguration and related events as something that will undoubtedly impact our leadership skills and allow us to bring an invigorated energy and momentum back to our campus community. As an alumna of the Institute for Civic Leadership (ICL), I am proud to apply the skills, confidence and commitment to social change that are deepened through my involvement with the ICL program towards galvanizing the Mills community around this historic opportunity.

I appeal to those organizations and leaders on campus that have the capacity to finance such an initiative to pledge their support. Our goal is to provide the financial and logistical resources for 20 Mills students to attend the inauguration events taking place between Jan. 15 – 20, 2009. This is a large goal to achieve in such a short period of time, but if I have learned one thing about Mills, it is that we are capable of amazing things when done in the service of our passions.

Barack Obama is poised to be the catalyst for sweeping change in our nation. And WE are poised to be the vehicle through which that change is made possible. I call on all of the Mills community to support us in bringing Mills to Washington D.C., and in bringing D.C. back to Mills.

To find out how you can be involved, contact Tracy Peerson-Faye at

-Tracy Peerson-Faye,
Citizen Scholar, 2007-08.
Institute for Civic Leadership