Sean Freeman, a third year Communication major at John Carroll University has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to community service, advocacy, and civic leadership in the Cleveland community and beyond as a student leader in the Center for Service and Social Action, as a campus convener, and as a community organizer. Sean is involved in the Carroll Ballers Program at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center, tutoring inmates, and leading a civic education program, "We the People" in eighth grade classrooms. Sean has demonstrated a longstanding interest in advocacy related to care for the environment, immigration, and farmworker justice. Sean has led a sustained campus-wide initiative in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). He has organized educational forums on campus, advocacy campaigns in the region, and collective justice actions at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. He has educated and involved over 500 students in CIW's Fair Food campaign. Sean has also been involved in educating the campus on the complexity of issues surrounding immigration as the result of an immersion trip to the U.S./Mexico border. Sean's ability to engage others effectively in advocacy and social action, and his sense of social justice make him a powerful advocate for change.
"You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you didn't know." --William Wilberforce
I have been presented with Wilberforce's dilemma and I try to defy it when encountering suffering in marginalized peoples. Over the past three years, I have been working with middle school students in low income areas, residents at the juvenile detention center, farm workers in Florida, and nonprofit organizations along the U.S./Mexico Border and in El Salvador. Through these experiences, I have garnered strong relationships and a deeper understanding of love but have also been enlightened to the drastic discrepancies in human life.
Through this new understanding, I needed to take action. Working with Cleveland organizations and campus resources, I have taken action by generating panels, organizing demonstrations, and coordinating classroom discussions related to important issues with the incredible help and support of the John Carroll community.
We all have a part to play in ridding injustice from this world, of improving the lives of all people. I have had the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds with many skills and challenges. Their faces, their voices, their kindness and suffering motivate me to never look the other way.