Umi Selah

Details

    Issues Areas:
  • Education Justice

Campus: Florida A&M University - Tallahassee, FL

Fellowship Class Year: 2005

Blueprint: Ensuring Higher Education Access in Florida

YP4 Fellows at Florida A&M University and Florida State University partnered to work on issues of higher education in the state of Florida for their Blueprints for Social Justice. At the time the state was facing the implementation of a "Block Tuition" bill, which would implement significant budget cuts and could force graduation from state universities to occur within four years, thereby preventing students from pursuing work opportunities or internships during their studies. The Florida YP4 Fellows saw this as a crippling blow to public higher education in their state and mobilized to prevent the passage of this legislation. They kicked off their action plan with a Young People For training March 18-19th, 2005 to educate their community about and heighten awareness surrounding this proposed bill. Through trainings on advocacy techniques, Public education issues, the supreme court, and messaging tactics, the YP4 Fellows attempted to show how the Florida legislature has unfairly targeted higher education with disproportionate budget cuts and how these cuts may limit the accessibility of higher education in the state. The students coordinated with local media and partnered with progressive organizations on campus to garner support for their cause and to mobilize students to be a part of their efforts.