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Ohio Student Association is thrilled to announce our next Executive Director: Prentiss Haney!
Prentiss is a member of the OSA family - he started his organizing career as a field organizer for Organizing for America registering students and building campus organizing teams. After the 2012 election, he joined OSA to continue building student power. Since then, Prentiss has played many roles in the organization ranging from training coordinator to regional team lead. He has developed campus teams in two cities, trained hundreds of leaders and has led racial justice and higher education campaigns. In 2016, he joined the staff full time as our Communication Director building up a social media presence and strengthening our internal communication structures.
Prentiss has a deep commitment to Ohio and building the strongest vehicle for young people to learn the skills of resistance and community organizing. Our membership believes in his leadership and is ready to continue to fight for the communities and dignity we deserve especially in the current political moment.
- Stuart, former executive director
Statement from Prentiss
“I remember how it felt the first time I confronted power and won. It was 2013 and a group of us at Wright State had been planning a campaign to end police brutality at black social events on campus. The police had been harassing black student events and using excessive force to end them. Additionally, the university was charging black student thousands of dollars in security cost because black social events were deemed “high-risk” by a racist point-system the university developed.
OSA was there from the beginning. They helped us craft our strategy and mobilize around the issue. However, what I remember most was how OSA rooted our struggle in dignity. When the university and other students couldn't see why it was important to end this type of state violence, OSA did. Ohio Student Association knew that the most marginalized communities deserve respect and power. So when we won, I saw what power looked like. I knew then OSA was the vehicle for me. Now four years later, I am still committed to this fight and I know OSA is the vehicle to unleash powerful youth leaders like me in 2013.
My vision is to make Ohio Student Association the premier youth movement-training and organizing vehicle in Ohio. Young people must shift the political landscape and reimage what is possible. The 2016 election showed us that what we imagined as impossible is, in fact, possible. So let’s not hold back. It’s time for us as young people to reimagine our path to power. Youth engagement in the political process is key to determining our future and not only online but at local governments and universities across Ohio.
OSA is a movement-building organization teaching and practicing the craft of organizing, civic engagement, and creating movement moments. Our strategic method along with traditional organizing styles allows us to have a hybrid experience where youth are creating relational culture, fighting for progressive policies on universities & local governments while launching movement moments that create a collective identity and collective resistance.
I know the power of young people is unlimited. I see it every day in this organization. OSA has transformed my life. I owe it to OSA to continue building the premier youth movement-building organization in Ohio.”
- Prentiss Haney, Executive Director
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Note: This blog was originally posted here on feministcampus.org
On June 11th and 12th, I had the privilege of attending the Ohio Student Association’s Catchin’ Bodies Summit. It was my first experience at an OSA event, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I encountered was a group of dedicated, hardworking, and compassionate people who worked their hardest to make everyone feel welcome. For me, the most uplifting part of the summit was meeting so many people who were not only interested in social justice, but specifically bringing justice to Ohio. As someone who plans on working in Ohio for years to come, it was refreshing to meet people who cared as much about the state as I do.
We started off by breaking into groups to practice resonance. Resonance is where members of the group share their stories, and the other group members acknowledge what parts resonated with them. Part of the challenge for some people is to simply listen to their peers, instead of sharing parts of their stories out of turn. Resonance encourages showing empathy and solidarity with one’s peers without purposely or accidentally one-upping each other. It was a fulfilling experience where I felt safe to share my story, and I could feel validated in my experiences.
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I woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Shawn.
For a moment this morning, I didn't want to get out of the bed. But I was greeted by life giving acts of community care, and I was reminded of Shawn's spirit. I set my intentions today on wanting to live like bro on his best days, happy fearless and free, and certainly full of love.
I was planning on seeing Shawn this Saturday at "Feed the Streets", it hurts that I won't physically get to be with him. But because today I'm choosing to be by happy fearless and free, I'm going to show up and show out for him and our community this Saturday.
Please join us as we support Pursuing Our Dreams and our brother MarShawn McCarrel in their monthly "Feed the Streets" initiative this Saturday February 20, 2016.
"We will be building and giving back to the West side of Columbus. Come out and be the change you want to see. We will be servicing the people that reside in the Franklinton Square/W Broad St. Area. Please meet in the parking lot behind the White Castle. Address is 1539 W Broad St Columbus, OH 43222. #BuildCommunityMoveCommunity"
We know that our brother MarShawn was about that action! And we know that he loved on his people so deep and fiercely. Let's continue his legacy!
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