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‘CHANGE’ Student offers sound advice

Activist and advocate Cameron Kasky made an impression with those in attendance during his “Be The Change: Tools For a Movement.” The 18-year-old freshman at Columbia University told the crowd at the State University of New York at Fredonia last week that everyday problems are nothing compared to dealing with grief and tragedy.

Kasky was a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., when a former student killed 14 students and injured 17 more in February 2018. While advocating for a safer environment, he also offered some advice for a crowd that is totally connected through social media.

He warned of “slack-tivism,” which is only sharing words to effect real change. “Use the resources you have to gain an understanding of what you’re dealing with,” Kasky said. “When you’re talking to a lawmaker and you’re actually able to cite laws, they listen to you more. Your emotions are important; they’re great for activism. They’re fuel, and they make you human, but they’re not it. You can’t just do it (activism) on emotion. … You need to make the effort to learn about what you’re talking about.”

That, especially during election season, is good advice for everyone.

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