The Mustard Seed

Torrie Shepard is the Marketing and Communications intern at The National Center for Civil and Human Rights.  Standing Room Only is a weekly blog series that follows Torrie’s journey from bystander to upstander. 


The Mustard Seed (Part 1)

THERE WERE TOO MANY VOICE TO COUNT and not enough happening in the amphitheater at the University of Virginia on a chilly, spring night. It was a spattering of students, teachers, and part of the Charlottesville community convening in a town hall to discuss the brutal arrest of Martese Johnson by Virginia Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control officers on March 18th, 2015.

All I could remember was that, if I showed up maybe someone would give me direction on what to do and from that I would make a change. Instead I stood on the sidelines and observed what soon became a confusing protest that, at the time, I believed had done nothing to help anyone. This was the first time I felt that I could have done more but instead decided to be stationary.

Two years later, I graduated and started volunteering. I’ve become more interested in service and intend to start doing better for my environment. Yet, to be honest, I still have a long road ahead of trying to live a service-oriented lifestyle. This is Standing Room Only; a girl seeking a seat with the activists but instead has found herself on the sidelines.