Lizzy Carson, a sophomore Nursing major/ Reconciliation Studies minor at Bethel University is a student leader who works on issues of social justice both on campus and in the broader community. Over the last two years, she has developed relationships with people of all ages in the Frogtown and Summit-University communities as a tutor, community gardener, and advocate for racial and environmental justice. Through work with the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance, Lizzy has worked to develop a network of local residences that grow fresh produce in communities underserved by the traditional food economy. As a Resident Assistant and leader of the student group European Americans in Solidarity, she has worked tirelessly to help Bethel University to become a more inclusive community.
While I was in high school working for an organization that provides prenatal care, I was in close proximity to those experiencing health and education disparities within my community. Through many relationships and experiences, I saw perpetual cycles of inequity and the impact which it left on communities. With greater awareness, I began seeking ways to take action locally. This past summer, I worked with a partnership between my university and a local community which establishes and maintains urban gardens in order to promote urban farming. On my campus, I assist in leading a program that empowers youth from the same community through tutoring, and mentorship opportunities. I also lead an organization called European Americans in Solidarity, which aims to deconstruct students’ personal racial and cultural identities in an anti-racist manner and to discover the challenges identities create when engaging in social change. Through these engagements, I have sought to address the issues of inequity as it pertains to healthcare and education disparities by advocating for green space in urban areas, pursuing equity within the education system, and organizing space to unpack identity and its implications.