To inform and hopefully leave with a smile.

A Few Small Gestures Towards Change, Can Make a Big Difference

Posted by Starr Lee on February 9th, 2016

Elizabeth “Betsy” Jordan is an English major on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus. Rarely seen without a book or coffee in her hands; Jordan is a proud Diversity Advocate and Resident Assistant.

There are many students and peers who look up to her and professors who admire the leadership she demonstrates daily. Junior, Janelle Heidelmeier describes Jordan as “someone who will help anyone academically or personally.”

In December, 2015 Jordan’s love for literature reached beyond the classroom and into the hearts of others. In hopes of helping those in homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and prisons who have little to no access to books, Jordan created a book drive on campus.

Utilizing her creed “Books are expensive, knowledge is priceless.” Jordan employed the use of social media, posters, and email to spread word.

Through these tactics, her drive has already received over 300 donations. This cause is significant to her because “A single book could potentially change someone’s life when they are in a terrible situation, it can help them gain a positive outlook for the future.”

The selection of books donated can help adults and children to expand their minds such as critical thinking, mathematics, history, and other crucial life skills. For Jordan, it is important for others to feel wealthy in knowledge, and have resources that they are able to utilize.

Therefore, she is continuing to work hard for them to have literature options.

However, Jordan’s voice for change does not stop there. She is using her voice to promote diversity and equality on campus.

Jordan comes from a mixed background with a white mother and black father, which has created some racial barriers within her family dynamics.

Her belief is that when one hears negative views on campus regarding race, people should speak up and educate others.

This past November she presented research on privilege within advocacy at a diversity forum entitled “Checking your Privileges at the Door: Boundaries within Advocacy.” The research shed light on the act of respecting the cultures and customs of others; and further, realizing that no matter what you are advocating for there will always be different levels to the privileges one has.

Jordan’s fight for advocacy for others has not gone unnoticed. Anyone can help her cause by donating books to the boxes located in the resident halls on campus and helping be that voice for change.

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