What could I possibly say to sum up the events that have taken place today? Day three of the convention proved to be one that surpassed every expectation I could have ever had. To think that, after meeting delegates and being able to share in their experience, there could possibly be more to come seems like a dream turned reality. The third day of the Democratic National Convention opened my eyes to this experience on an entirely different level.
To start, we returned to the hotel of the Democratic Party of Georgia to share in one last breakfast. Contrarily, this breakfast was more than just fresh fruit and five cups of coffee. What I witnessed was something far greater than sharing a meal. In respect to the party delegates, they have been up long hours adamantly supporting a cause that contributes to making significant changes in the lives of Georgians and that of all Americans. The dedication and determination was evident today. They all were tired, but that concern was tertiary to the overarching issues of pushing forward to nominate the president to run for a second term and ensuring that Georgia does all that it can to ensure such. In addition, we were graced with the presence of Jesse Jackson and Mayor Kevin Johnson. These are two great men that offered rousing speeches to motivate us all. After breakfast, we transitioned back into budding researchers and journalists. All over the hotel, we had the chance to conduct interviews, present surveys, and exchange contact information with delegates from the likes of Maine, Minnesota, and Georgia. But this is only where the fun began; I had the chance to be interviewed by a few young journalists who offered me the chance to share my experiences. I sincerely thank them for that. Once breakfast was over, for me, the true experience took shape.
Return me to the streets of Charlotte! Today, my mission was to simply capture as many surveys from activists that I could, but so much more took shape. Dr. DeWitt and Dr. Azriel presented and amazing opportunity for myself and Plamen Mavrov; the Chronicle of Higher Education began to follow us on our search for activists. To have the opportunity to conduct research and share this experience with the Chronicle in Higher Education was truly special. First, it allowed our research to be captured as we walked up the streets of Charlotte. Second, and most important, it allowed me to team up with Plamen and really implant ourselves in the events. Plamen and I scouted for potential protest activity and set off on a quest to gain a true understanding of socio-political activism. We found ourselves helping each other present surveys, we collaborated on where the activists would be, and we pushed each other to get truly immersed in the activities of the street. We followed protestors as the changed locations, exchanged shouts with opposition, and made their voices heard. What better way to understand how grassroots movements shape our society and policy than to experience it first-hand. We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder embedded in a protest taking place outside the convention hall and down the streets of Charlotte. I was honored to share the experience of actively conducting research with such a great person and brilliant mind. For me, the highlight of the day rests upon the fact that Plamen and I had the chance to share in a research experience that only comes once in a lifetime. The credits for today can only be attributed to my appreciation for research that has been fostered to levels beyond my imagination. Today was truly special; my desire to pursue political science and research was expounded by today’s course of events. It was a long day, but one yielding many fruits.