I am the first to admit that at times I can be a bit soft-spoken. I’m definitely not scared to speak my mind, but I also appreciate stepping back and taking in the experiences and discussions that surround me. I’m just not one to raise my voice, but sometimes that is exactly what you need to do. Some situations require you to get angry, get vocal, and get loud. So working in community organizing and attending various rallies and events during my time at OneAmerica has required me to step out of my shell a bit and learn to utilize my voice and truly put power behind it.

One event in particular that I attended with OneAmerica pushed me to scream and to chant and to lend my voice to a group of protestors so that collectively we would be heard. I went downtown to Westlake Park with some co-workers to attend a protest against wage-theft. After getting pumped up with the help of a speech by one of the amazing community organizers in our office, Rahwa, we joined a march around the 4th and Pine intersection (a particularly busy place for cars, buses and pedestrians) and eventually made our way to protest in front of McDonald’s, one of the worst offenders of wage-theft and low wages in general. All the while I yelled and chanted and, for once, let myself get loud without second-guessing myself. When you truly have a message and a cause getting loud isn’t so scary. It is a natural and necessary response to oppression and inequality. Anger and frustration are important emotions that put weight behind actions that can and should inform opinions and even policy. I’m very thankful to OneAmerica for giving me experiences like this one and allowing me the opportunity to explore and balance both my logical work-oriented side and my passionate (and yes sometimes even loud) side. 

Nicole Miller
Duke Student 

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