I met up with Peyton Mann on a Tuesday afternoon. We were comfortably tucked away in a corner of Questrom Starbucks and immediately struck up a conversation. I had previously met Peyton at a Her Campus meeting, where I found out that I’d be interviewing her for one of my upcoming articles.
Hailing from a suburb just outside of Seattle, WA, Peyton told me she came to Boston University because she wanted to be in a city with a reputable journalism program. She had always loved to write and tackle tough topics (gender inequality around the world, for example) in assignments that she was given at school. To Peyton, journalism is a way for her to continue doing that for a long time. And although she enjoys the familiarity of her home back in Washington, she appreciates the opportunities she’s had at BU to step outside of the sheltered environment that she grew up in.
Peyton pictured above with her dog, Lucy.
I was immediately interested in how Peyton got into feminism and fighting for justice around the world. When I asked her about this, she cited Emma Watson as her inspiration. In 2014, Watson gave a speech to the U.N. about gender inequality and the He For She movement. This was one of the first times that Peyton heard about feminism in such a huge landscape (rather than a smaller concept), and she followed Watson’s work with charity and women, becoming more aware of the problems that women faced.
Peyton eventually joined He For She at BU and loves it because she can discuss feminism and inequality, and do hands-on work with charities around Boston. As someone who wants to use her privilege to help others, Peyton has taken incredible strides towards helping the less fortunate.
Peyton has attended the women’s marches.
When I asked her about her dream job, Peyton smiled and said she wished people could have multiple dream jobs, but has settled on two: either owning her own magazine company for young girls that isn’t about trying to get them to conform to what society thinks is beautiful or working for a non-profit that works with women nationally or internationally. Either way, she wants to be able to see the direct impact of her work, whether that’s through travel or where she lives.
I then asked Peyton about her three core values and told her that she could take her time to think about them -- and she did. I could see that she put careful and delicate thought into her answers: “justice, respect, and love." I understood why she had chosen justice and love, but I asked her to elaborate on respect. She told me that respect was incredibly important, especially today, as people are wildly polarized from each other. There is such a stark division in the United States that people can’t even listen to each other’s opinions because they want the confirmation bias. Peyton told me that when the world doesn’t have respect, people can post things or say things about each other that can be hurtful and not factual, and end up getting nowhere. However, she said, “if we have a certain level of respect, both ‘sides’ will listen to each other and have some common ground."
I was impressed with Peyton’s wisdom that seemed well beyond her years (she’s only a freshman). I can’t wait to see what she does here in her time at Boston University!