Why You Should Get Involved with TogetherFSU

TogetherFSU is a media project created to draw attention to human rights conservation through written and visual content in the form of articles and videos. With a founding base of support from students within FSU’s International Affairs and English programs, this project has the goal of connecting passionate individuals who seek change through insightful media.

Clayton Morell, founder of TogetherFSU, spoke about how his interest in human rights turned into this project stating, “When I came into contact with Professor Mark Schlakman that was a game changer for me because I didn’t really think outside the box in terms of a way to get involved with what I was doing.” He continued on about the challenges of starting a project that focused on human rights saying, “It was terrifying to start this project because doing justice to these types of issues is a huge responsibility. I just knew that I wanted to see a change in the delivery of important issues with the context that it deserves.” 

Vice President of the Venezuelan Student Association and founding member of Together FSU Andrea Badro described how she got involved saying, “I am an intern at the Human Rights Center, so Professor Schlakman met with me one day and said, ‘I have this student, and I’m going to get you guys in touch’ then I contacted Clayton. The whole thing is what I study because I’m an International Affairs major and a Criminology major, so I am very into human rights. The criminal justice system is broken in some sense, and there are so many things that we have to work on and do better, and the whole project that Clayton has been working on is very incredible, and I love being a part of it.” She continued on the subject asserting, “Human rights is such a broad term, and there are so many injustices, and you’re gonna find something different than I do as a priority, but still it matters, and the fact that we are conveying that to get the topic going is pretty amazing.” 

Image Courtesy: TogetherFSU

Morell commented on Professor Schlakman’s involvement with human rights specifying that “he is working directly with what’s going on with the legislation that’s being passed with Amendment 4 and hearing the inside perspective on that especially when everything is so hyperpartisan is really interesting because basically the general consensus is that the party lines that we have are censoring people’s actual thought process and the rhetoric seems to be divided into party lines but it’s not. People have different ideas for how our systems could work, but at the end of the day a lot of people are trying to do the right thing, but it gets stifled when you have to vote with a certain party. It’s been interesting hearing what he has to say and a lot of it flies over my head still, but I’m trying to get more informed. I just can’t sit back and do nothing about the issues that are going on in the world.” 

Treasurer of TogetherFSU, Andrea Brixius expressed her excitement for this project claiming that "seeing that this project will facilitate an environment where these issues are personified and very emotionally tangible" is exciting. "It’s so easy if it’s not in your forefront: then you could think that it doesn’t matter, but the reality is is that it really does matter.” She went on to speak about her personal goals with this project stating, “I would like to make content that is accessible in a way that makes people realize that it isn’t a burden to get involved and it would be great to put out content that makes these issues digestible in an enjoyable way, even though it is an unenjoyable subject.”

Brixius further explained her excitement for more members saying, “I hope this lets people be a little bit more aware so they can feel more rooted in what’s actually going on. That way, when they do get involved with TogetherFSU, they know what they’re passionate about and they don’t need direction with that. Start keeping your eyes open and don’t be complicit.”

Although the end of the semester is near, you can still get involved with this project as Morell and Brixius are both graduating this Spring with the hope to involve more students before they embark on their individual professional endeavors. Morell commented on his hope for an increase in members noting, “We are looking for people who want to create mindful content and are willing to take on something that’s a little bit outside of their realm. Something that everyone can do is to pursue their own self-awareness. It doesn’t matter whether you are an individual or not, what matters is what existence is like for everyone.”

For more information on TogetherFSU, visit their website to view their content and see how you can get involved. Remember, the fight for human rights does not stop when the semester ends, so neither should you!