Sojourner Truth Speaks About Awareness, Advocacy And Action At Civic Engagement And Empowerment Conference

Jeanette Falotico, Staff Writer

“Please go forward and stand for something,” said Sojourner Truth, as portrayed by Lorraine Stone at BCC’s Civic Engagement and Empowerment Conference Oct. 2.

Your performance was “absolutely incredible and powerful. You’re awesome Sojourner and Lorraine,” said Emma Cardillo, an 18-year-old undecided major student from Manalapan.

“Where there’s so much racket, there must be something out of kilter,” said Stone, speaking as Sojourner Truth did at the Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1851.

At the Women’s Convention in 1851, Truth lent her voice to the topic of education and delivered her now-famous speech inspiring awareness, advocacy and action for the rights of women. And this includes the rights for all women.

“That man, he says a woman can’t have as much makes us mad…He say women to be helped in the carriages and lifted over ditches and given the best place everywhere. Well, nobody ever helped me over no mud puddles and, aren’t I a woman?”

Truth was born a slave, became an itinerant preacher, abolitionist, and in the end, a suffragist. She advocated for the freedom of all people. Like Truth, when “we are engaging others, we’re spreading the three A’s; awareness advocacy and action,” said Professor
Jonathan Moschberger, chair of Brookdale’s political science department.

“Awareness is the key first step toward involvement and engagement. Once we become aware, once we become in the know, I think it’s up to us to spread that awareness to others through our advocacy efforts,” said Moschberger, who is also coordinator of BCC’s honors program
and president emeritus of the New Jersey Political Science Association.

“The message is so powerful and inspirational and important for students to hear, and so I thank you for delivering that message to our students,” Moschberger said.

“I want you to understand freedom is not free, remember that, and if you were to have yours, you will stand and fight for it,” Truth (Stone) said.

Take action in your community and apply for a civic engagement grant. A one-time grant of $500 is provided to a Brookdale student or recognized student organization engaged in activities and initiatives connecting to the community, giving back, and using their
education to help make our world a better place. Students who wish to apply for the civic engagement grant click here.
And if you’re already taking action in your community, let us know by clicking here.