Our first full day of #NASPA19 inspired visions of a promising future
Keynote speaker Amanda Nguyen, founder, and CEO of Rise, like so many student affairs professionals, was able to turn personal passion into a career of driving change. Nguyen’s campaign to empower survivors was born of her own experience as a survivor of rape as an undergrad, and the astonishing legal discrepancies she discovered while trying to advocate for herself. Having already accomplished the unfathomable - a bill unanimously passed through Congress and a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nomination – Nguyen and Rise have turned their attention to victim advocacy on a global scale under the guiding premise that “justice should not depend on geography.”
Nguyen distinguished for #NASPA19 attendees the difference between activism and organizing, saying “activism is straight voltage, organizing is directed energy,” and revealing the source of her motivation: “every time a survivor shares their story with me, it’s like they’re handing me a coal. It’s a weight that I carry but it keeps my fire alive.” She inspired the NASPA family to “believe that we can be something greater—that is how we move forward.”
Other Monday highlights included the first two sessions of SA Speaks
and our Exhibit Hall Grand Opening, engaging attendees with all manner of solutions to empower our work...and, fresh baked cookies.
Monday evening is when the NASPA Annual Conference gets SOCIAL, offering attendees the chance to gather with their regions, constituent groups, and other communities for the informal togetherness time that is so important to strengthening and revitalizing the NASPA family.
Looking forward to Tuesday, #NASPA19!