During the summer of 1964, now known as Freedom Summer, young people from around the nation converged in Mississippi. They registered voters and organized to change the racist and exclusionary government. By the end of the summer four people had been murdered, 80 people had been beaten, 1000 people had been arrested, and 67 churches and small businesses had been bombed, but the people still voted. The tone of the Civil Rights Movement had shifted, and victories like the Voting Rights Act soon followed.
Fifty years later voting rights are being rolled back, young peoples dreams are being crushed by the 'school to prison pipeline,' and student loan debt is crippling our futures. Ohio Student Association is continuing this fight with Freedom Summer 2014, a summer of social justice education, voter engagement, and community celebration. We want to work together to build an Ohio where all young people have the right to a quality education from Pre-K through college.
Although we want everyone in Ohio to have fair access to the ballot, others know that their power rests upon their ability to control and suppress the vote.