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Sofia Palmero: Social Justice Warrior

Name: Sofia Alejandra Palmero

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Carcas, Venezuela

Her Campus (HC): What is your major?

Sofia Palmero (SP): I am a Sociology and Psychology double major, and a Women’s Studies and Criminology double minor.

HC: Why did you choose your majors?

SP: I wanted to understand the social science behind people’s struggle and then know how it affects the individual so I could tie them together.

HC: Are you involved in any campus organizations? If so, which ones and why did you get involved?

SP: Currently I’m involved with Dream Defenders, Students for a Democratic Society, and PRIDE. I joined them all because they work towards creating a better society for queer people/trans people/people of color.

HC: What career field do you plan on going into?

SP: I plan on going to law school and becoming a criminal prosecutor and working with women who have been victims of sexual assault or domestic abuse.

HC: How would you define social justice in your own words?

SP: To me, social justice is creating a world that is safe and fair for everyone and where everyone has an almost equal chance to succeed and be heard.

HC: When did you first realize the importance of social justice?

SP: Sometime around freshman year, I think. I heard a lot about sexual assault and rape culture and I guess it kind of hit me that I wasn’t being treated fairly.

HC: Why do you feel social justice is so important?

SP: I think a lot of people don’t know how oppression actually hurts individuals. There are people getting killed, beat, left homeless, and all kinds of awful things because we have this system to keep them down. And that’s crucial to focus on.

HC: What do you currently do to advance equal rights?

SP: My particular focus is to provide people education and comfort. When I work organizations like DD, PRIDE, and SDS I let people know that there is someone on their side. I am not afraid to call out injustices when I see them on a day to day basis.

HC: What does feminism mean to you?

SP: Feminism means creating a world that is safe for all women (including trans women!), and having equality in genders

HC: Who is your favorite feminist icon?

SP: Right now I am dying over Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. They are women of color leading the trans social justice movement and that’s awesome. Other than that, I’d say my mom!

HC: Do you think attending FSU has made you a more open-minded person?

SP: Definitely. I was completely different before I came here.

HC: What changes would you like to see at FSU?

SP: I’d like to see more being done about racist behavior and harassment at parties and such. Maybe some stricter policies and comprehensive courses.

HC: How do you feel about the FSU Men measure Up campaign?

SP: I think it’s a very misguided campaign. While I’m sure in a survey most dudes would say “Yeah I wouldn’t bother a girl who accused someone of rape” it means “Yeah I won’t bother her if her definition of rape fits into my random-creepy-guy-I-don’t-know-jumps-up-behind-the-bushes definition of rape.” Not to mention, if 78% of guys think a girl doesn’t have to have sex just because she went back home with him, what do the 22% think? That should be 0%!

HC: What are some ways FSU students can get involved in fighting for social justice on campus?

SP: You can start in your every day interactions. If you hear someone make a racist/sexist/transphobic/etc joke, you can just say “dude, that’s not funny”. Or you can get involved with PRIDE, Dream Defenders or SDS! You can talk to me or take sociology classes. You can search some social justice blogs on Tumblr (but be careful, some aren’t as good as you might think). There’s so much you can do!

HC: Do you think the US is advancing or moving backwards when it comes to human rights/social justice and equality?

SP: I think in some ways it’s advancing by beginning to talk about it, but I also see people retaliating just as strongly. These things work slowly so we will have to see.

HC: What is one major change you would like to see in modern American society?

SP: I want the idea of saying something you might maybe think is racist or sexist to be unthinkable and embarrassing.

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