Micaela Beatham-Garcia, a junior at Ohio University, is an exemplary student leader dedicated to social change and justice. Throughout her undergraduate years, she has taken every opportunity to facilitate civic education and dialogue among her peers and over the past year extended that work to include the community locally and from across the state. As Director of the American Civil Liberties Union student organization chapter, she is active in bringing together a variety of groups whose political ideologies differ and facilitating dialogue to build common ground and mutual respect. At no time in modern history has this kind of work been so crucially important. Micaela is valued among her peers for her leadership skills, by ACLU state leadership, and Ohio University. Micaela is steadfast in her dedication and motivation to develop and implement approaches that meet the unique needs of the southeast Ohio and Appalachian region, and to do so in a way the brings community members together, creating a sense of agency within others and leading to last positive social change.
Social change is the center of my undergraduate career and a future profession. As a Political Science Pre-Law major, I focus on learning how law and policy effect true justice. Outside of the classroom, I have striven to confront and overcome inequalities, while educating myself and others. Growing up in a bi-cultural household and traveling internationally has forced me to learn to step out of my own intersectional identity to connect with others. From these experiences, I recognize the salient need for collaboration among people of various cultures, religions, identities, and political ideologies. In a time of extreme political polarization, meaningful conversations, pointed action, and civic engagement in our communities are more necessary than ever. During my time as the Director of the ACLU of Ohio University, I have fought to make a space for everyone, regardless of political stances or values, to make a better polis. In an effort to arouse civic engagement, I have spearheaded voter registration initiatives, educational presentations, and fundraisers to address issues of inequality. Only together, can we enact sustainable and equitable systemic change for all. As I work towards a law degree, I hope to continue this work in the legal field.