I cannot begin to wrap my mind around the fact that my time as an undergraduate student and, consequently, ShoutOut! blogger/editor have come to an end. I’ve been lucky enough to find my feminist community here at JMU, and now I have the task of seeking out a new one when I leave here. If you have yet to find yours, wherever it is you’re reading from, please don’t stop looking. Surround yourselves with those who want the same things you want, and are willing to put in the work in order to get them. Having those people around me during this time has made all the difference.
To my heroic advisors — thank you for being the fearless leaders we needed. Your guidance and advice gave us all the confidence we needed in order to do the best work we could. It’s been an honor and privilege to have worked with and learned from you this semester.
To my fearless co-editors — thank you for everything. Thank you for making me laugh as often as you’ve allowed me to lean on you. Thank you for challenging me as much as you have and sharing this time with me. You’re both going to do such amazing work; I know you don’t need luck, so instead, I’ll simply wish you the absolute best.
And to the brilliant bloggers who’ve guided me just as much as I’ve intended to guide them — you’ve all taught me so much. I hope you are as proud of your work as I am, because you were inspiring. You’ve written with open minds, outstretched arms, and kind hearts. We could not have asked for more from you.
I know my feminism still has a long way to go; it always will. But I never imagined it could have grown as much as it has in this amount of time, and it’s all because of where this amazing collective has taken me.
As NOW President Terry O’Neill shared with us at the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference, “Intersectionality is a practice. The practice is, whatever issue you’re looking at, you look to the margins, and put those in the margins at the center.” I encourage you all to continue sharing your stories and lending the privilege of your voice to others. As this movement moves you forward, make sure you’re pulling others forward with you. There cannot be progress if we leave each other behind.
Take care, ShoutOut! writers and readers. I’m so looking forward to seeing where this incredible blog is headed, and I’m lucky and proud to have been a part of its journey this past year.
All my love,