Throughout my life, my mom has constantly urged me to give back to the community. As a College Republican, I walked precincts, made phone calls, and led student coalitions for local, statewide, and national candidates who I believed in. In my free time, I volunteered with special needs preschools, churches, non-profits, and Mexican development projects. This desire to help my community was a driving factor in my education, as it propelled me towards the study of international relations, a degree that empowers young adults to challenge the status quo and advocate for legitimate change across the globe.
In the era of globalization, the small community that my mom urged me to help became much larger than she could have anticipated. With the technological advancements of the past decade, I can speak just as easily with a friend who lives in London on video chat as I can with a neighbor over dinner. As the world continues to get smaller it becomes even easier to engage with fellow young adults who encounter some of the same problems we do everyday in America. This “flatter world” makes the reality of a teenager born into a war torn country, the reality of an American who can glimpse into the Twitter-sphere and read about the atrocities committed by rogue leaders around the world. This idea really resonated with me during the Arab Spring where the international community watched a revolution ignite from Cairo and Damascus to Tripoli and Tunis as Middle Eastern youth broadcasted their bold protests via smartphones.
Until now, this idea of democratization within the MENA region had been all but written off by academics who attributed the quagmire in the Middle East to the rentier state, imperialism, or shallow conceptions of Islam. The possibility for democracy in the Middle East has never seemed so obtainable. By encouraging young adults to make an impact on their community, the vicious cycle of oppression in the region can finally be reversed. With transparency at a record high, courtesy of the social media revolution, tyrants can be held accountable for their actions. After two decades in the classroom, I am extremely excited to help the global community, as a result, I’ve been compelled to join EPIC, an organization dedicated to pursuing better options in Iraq by empowering Iraqi youth.
My name is Chelsey Mullins and I am the Spring 2013 Online and Communication Intern at EPIC. Please feel free to read more about me here!