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Teryn Shipman

Name: Teryn D. Shipman

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Major: Political Science, African-American Studies minor

Favorite book: Kindred- Octavia Butler

Favorite place to eat in Tuscaloosa: Moe’s

What clubs are you involved in?: “I’m involved with D.R.E.A.M., SPLC, and I’m the Assistant Team Leader for Beyond Bama with the Center for Service and Leadership.”

What is your favorite part about your major? “It really meshes well with my interests and possible future career paths. I find myself almost in awe when learning and almost having fun in my major and minor classes.”

How did you get involved with #Bamasits?: “I am friends with a lot of social activists on campus, so when there is an instance of injustice that is especially relevant to our campus and community we mutually decide to act on it. It started off pretty small, but as discussions of it grew so did our group of peers. We are not in any way affiliated with any official organizations here on campus. We are a group of individuals who saw an issue, and decided to speak out on it.”

What do you wish students and UA community members understood about #Bamasits? “I wish that there were more people on campus and in our community [ the ones that oppose us] that really took a minute to step outside of their privilege, no matter their race/ethnicity, and listened and thought about why we are doing this. Often on our campus, students, particularly marginalized groups are told that their experiences are made up or that it really isn’t that bad. But the reality of it is, things are really happening to us both on campus and around the U.S. and I want people to pay attention to that. I fully believe that people have the right to exercise freedom of speech, as do we, and they should choose to do so respectfully. If we look back in the history book at the words, phrases, and threats that minorities esp. African-American received during the Civil Rights Movement, we can see and hear some of the exact same things being said and done to us today, which is startling.”

Do you think #Bamasits has been successful? “Yes, I do think #bamasits has been successful in many ways. It has brought together those who stand up against injustice, and it also has shed light on the real racism that exists on this campus. #Bamasits has showed us that even when we take a stand and exercise our 1st Amendment right, that individuals can spew hate speech and still get a slap on the wrist. This movement is only a continuation of a battle that has been being fought for years and years.” 

What is the best advice you have ever gotten? Continue to follow my dreams and fight against injustice even when it seems as if I am the only one that is doing something like that.  I often wonder why I don’t have many close friends, but I’m beginning to reflect on famous leaders, esp. those during the Civil Right Movement… they didn’t have many close friends and often times people didn’t believe that they could make a change, but with strong Faith and hearing a word from God, they did and so will I.

What advice would you give to freshmen? “Find your passion and get involved in things that are centered around your passion, when you do that, the college experience is so much better, because you’ll enjoy the things that you’re doing and won’t feel that you’re being forced to do something.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? “In five years, I see myself as a major civil rights activist. I want to travel and empower, educate, and serve my community members.”

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Helmi Henkin

Alabama '18

Helmi is a senior at The University of Alabama from Menlo Park, California studying psychology and French. She has been to 78 countries on seven continents! Her favorites are Finland (since that's where her family lives), Bali and Antarctica. When she's not in class or traveling she loves reading, singing and songwriting, and hanging out with friends.
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