Lexi Redmond, a junior at Palm Beach Atlantic University has shown a consistent pattern of involvement. She exemplifies the Palm Beach Atlantic University student who is engaged with both the campus and the wider community around her. As a Peer Mentor, Lexi helped new students acclimate to the pressures of college life and settle into their new community. To her new students, Lexi exhibited a spirit of hospitality. This year, Lexi has expanded her service to two significant roles on campus. She serves as both a Resident Assistant and Refresh Coordinator. As a Resident Assistant, Lexi helped to plan, promote, and implement programming on racial reconciliation. Lexi coordinates "Refresh" programming which is designed to give all 150 student leaders a common leadership language, a common experience, and the opportunity to collaborate. Lexi used this leadership platform to ignite a conversation about racial reconciliation by enlisting a panel to share their experiences. Lexi found a healthy outlet to address a campus issue and the outcome was energizing for the campus student leaders. Her willingness to be a positive "change maker" on the Palm Beach Atlantic University Campus is why I am nominating Lexi Redmond as a 2017 Newman Civic Fellow.
Growing up as a black woman in Baltimore, Maryland, I experienced first-hand the divide between racial groups and the burden often felt by minorities. This summer in the wake of multiple black shootings such as, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I was disturbed by the apathy on social media from friends and classmates. The silence of many people spoke volumes to me letting me know that those people didn't care. Only after the police shootings did others begin to comment on a summer filled with violence. I wanted my campus community to understand that race relations is an issue that affects everyone, especially minority students. I serve as a coordinator of events for student leadership development. I used my position to plan and implement an event in which there was a panel of students who talked openly and honestly about their experiences with race, to an audience of all student leaders. This event brought together specific relationships that had been strained by the racial divide, and it led to many other conversations on campus, both formal and informal. It is my mission to continue to foster these conversations regarding justice and equality on PBA's campus.