by Xanthe Yorke
Now that the Good Mule Project has passed, I find myself reflecting on what I learned during the planning process and the event itself. Every year we have student facilitators who help with the preparation. Lucky for me, this year’s facilitators have been involved with the Good Mule in the past, and were as eager and excited as I was to make this year’s program a success. We agreed that now, more than ever, people need to be more informed about issues that are happening everywhere, in regards to social justice. We felt it was important to shed some light on the issues that are often ignored in a place like Wyoming. That’s when we thought of Shaun King. He is one of many prominent voices within the Black Lives Matter movement, and it just so happened that one of the many things he does is travel the country to talk in universities about our role in the New Civil Rights movement as many call it. With that came more stress. Did people even know who he is? Would they be interested in what he has to say? How can we make this event as welcoming as possible for those who aren’t necessarily involved in social justice? It turned out a lot of people knew who he was, and they loved him! So that was set, and our next goal was to recruit people for the Social Justice Summit happening the next day. There, we would discuss how we could take what we already knew about social justice and what we learned during Shaun King’s talk and make a plan of action for the UW community. It was exciting to see almost 250 people during the keynote on Friday, however, Saturday’s event was less successful. Although those who participated in the summit had a lot to say and so many great ideas, I would like to see more people show up to events like these in the future. We need more people to stand up for what they’re passionate about. A small group of people can only do so much. I think activism works best when different people, from different backgrounds come together. In the end, I think my greatest take away is that there are so many of us, in Wyoming, who need a change, and are willing to work for it. I’m excited to see where things go from here, and I’m also excited to see how events like the Good Mule and the Shepard Symposium can change the environment on campus.