I am Khalif Dobson a junior majoring in telecommunications here at Penn State. I came to Penn State from the great city of Philadelphia! (Down the street from Rocky and around the corner from the Liberty bell and the playground Will Smith Played basketball most of his days.)
Philly taught me two things:
First that “The American Dream” often is skewed. For my family, the “American Dream” was simply to excel at our top potential. For others is could be more luxurious or minuscule.
The second, the greatest forum of oppression is to take away what is assumed as given, which boils down to simple human rights.
In Philadelphia, I got my first experience with grass roots organizing working alongside other Philadelphia youth to advocate for adequate funding solutions and transparent officials. For nearly six years I organizing, marched, spoke, and demanded to be heard. More importantly, I learned. I received my first introduction into poverty not in a classroom but on a West Virginian mountain standing alongside a group of all different colors, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and religions. I still recall my first analysis of poverty:
Poverty is colorless, genderless, secular but not faceless.
I had seen the face of American Poverty standing next to me on that mountain.
Why Penn state? Simple. At Penn State I have the resources and access to priceless experiences which have and will continue to contribute greatly to my own personal and intellectual growth. I have been able to satisfy my urge for community organizing and also obtain the discipline that is necessary of a young scholar with my involvement in groups such as THON, Black Student Union, Student Government, and Project Cahir.
Why project Cahir? Because injustice anywhere is a threat to just everywhere! (Dr. MLK). I understand the importance of the issue of poverty. It is my belief that human rights begins and ends with poverty, as poverty hinders a person’s ability to provide for themselves intellectually, financially, and emotionally. I understand there not a single path that will lead to the destruction of poverty. No, poverty ends when there is a movement of the impoverished people across all boarders and lines that have kept them divided, inch by inch, step by step, stride by stride.
Right here and right now it starts. Center County is that mountain in West Virginia, that back road in Mississippi, and that urban corner in Detroit. The people united shall never be __fill in the blank__