Jasmine Babineaux, a second year student at St. Norbert College, is a leading voice on campus for two student led initiatives: Black Lives Matter and Take Back the Knight. She is passionate about listening to others, educating herself and others, and organizing with others to make sure all voices are heard. She realizes that working with likeminded people is essential to achieving success. She is currently working with a group of students, staff and faculty to host the annual Take Back the Knight open mic event where poetry, readings and performances engage the hearts and minds of the audience to raise awareness around campus issues such as racism, bias, discrimination and sexual assault. Jasmine's inspiration comes from her peers and the world around her. She believes in the notions of "communio" and solidarity, but realizes that it takes much activism to achieve equality.
I remember seeing people from my local community hold protests against the violence in our city growing up. I saw mothers, sisters, cousins, people of all ages speak up against the senseless violence occurring all around us. It didn't hit me that these events affected me so much until my cousin was murdered when we were fourteen years old. I didn't understand why hatred filled the hearts of the young people. As I grew older, I realized that I had to use my voice for the people who didn't have one. I came to believe that most people are a product of their environment, whether it be negative or positive. On campus, I organized a Black Lives Matter demonstration in which many students and faculty stood in solidarity with one another. I am also involved in an event called Take Back the Knight for sexual assault victims and other marginalized groups to come forward to allow their voices to be heard. Because of my passion for spoken word, we encourage people from all backgrounds to be liberated from their painful experiences. Essentially, I hope to encourage people that their liberation is the liberation of us all as people.