Following a powerful message by the Rev. Jesse Jackson about equality and the right of all Americans to choose its leaders, dozens of Randolph students flocked to the front of Smith Hall Theatre to register to vote.
Jackson spoke at Randolph Monday afternoon as part of his “Healing and Rebuilding” bus tour of Virginia, which is an effort to reach out to young voters and encourage voter registration. In his remarks, he discussed the importance of the upcoming election for governor in Virginia as well as the senate and congressional elections in 2018. He also shared some of the issues he feels most strongly about, including global warming, affordable health care, and reducing racial tensions.
“People are people,” Jackson said. “Not by race, but by their Behavior. People need people. Everyone—yellow, white, brown, and black—is precious. Everyone matters. Stop the violence and save the kids. When we know better, we do better.”
Jackson said another pressing issue in the upcoming elections is making education both more accessible and affordable. He also urged students to use the education they receive to bring about positive change.
“What makes America great is our right to fight for our rights,” he said.
Brittany Lundy ’19 grew up learning about Jackson and his background as a civil rights activist, and said she felt “an obligation” to come and hear him speak.
“I’m still processing everything I heard, but I was really happy that he emphasized education,” Lundy said. “I feel like it’s easy to talk about promoting peace, but I agreed with him that education is one of the most important issues.”