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.
STANDING ROOM ONLY:
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.