“Advocating for the voiceless, and fighting for social justice,” junior McKay Sharpe is striving for global change.
A native of Columbia, S.C., McKay has shown her powerhouse presence on and off of the field. The founder and president of the MHU NAACP and MHU Young Democrats, she also finds time to be secretary of the Social Work Club.
What first attracted McKay to MHU was the opportunity to play soccer, but she quickly realized there was much more to love here. “We are arguably the most beautiful region in the country, and professors are dedicated to educating and putting the best interest of the student first,” she says. “The student body is diverse and offers so much to learn from each other.” Mars Hill is a small town, but it’s just 20 minutes east of everyone’s favorite cesspool of hipsters: Asheville, N.C.
Home to Moral Mondays, a rally dedicated to human rights, McKay found herself among a crowd of people as passionate about equal rights as herself. “It has been such a positive reaction to such horrible politics and social injustices. Instead of North Carolinians sitting back, they have stood up for what is right,” McKay says.
The next step for McKay to bring change was to start a NAACP chapter at our very own university. The formation of the NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, chapter began around the time many voter ID Laws were being introduced. “I was appalled by the recent legislation, as it disproportionately affects minorities, including college students like myself,” McKay says. The NAACP was behind the Moral Mondays in North Carolina. “I was so moved by their involvement and their representation of so many different people who were all affected by the corruption of our state officials.”
McKay founded the NAACP chapter last semester and since then has been making changes throughout campus to bring awareness to this issue. Next spring, McKay plans to graduate and take a year off and potentially work on a campaign before heading to law school. “I have dreams of becoming a lobbyist or working as a legal advisor for a non-profit,” she says. “I think I will always have some part of me stuck in politics, advocating for the voiceless and fighting for social justice.”
Whether it’s on the soccer field or on Capitol Hill, whatever McKay decides to do, we know she’ll find success — and she’ll do it with that trademark genuine smile.