Name: Vashti Hinton
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Major: Political Science
Campus Involvement: Senator for Student Government Association College of Arts & Sciences Department
Relationship Status: Single
What’s the background story on how you got interested in politics?
My parents are pastors. I always enjoyed giving back. They come from the disenfranchised background of inter-city Baltimore. They come from a place where blacks are oppressed. They lived in that state. I have watched them and thought if my parents can make it, anyone can make it. I think how many more folks that are disenfranchised are there who don’t have the tools to get out? How can I make it more accessible for them? What can I do to make that process easier for people? It makes people happy to someone advocating for them.
What activities did you participate in when you were younger?
We would work at a soup kitchens and do things of that nature all the time.
When did you know that you fell in love with politics?
I took Poli-150, Introduction to Political Science, with Professor Derek Smith and it changed my whole perspective. At that point, I fell in love with politics. I fell in love with power structures. I fell in love with learning about this system. I saw how complex it really was.
When did it all become full circle for you?
During this past year, I just took off. First of all, I love to read and I met people who had the same mindset I do. I always wanted to find solutions. How do we help our people? How do we make our people succeed or embrace themselves? How to help them tap into that king or queen in them? A part of that is getting involved in our communities.
What do you thing one problem that is hindering progressiveness?
Sometimes I feel like there is disconnect because people are so busy and don’t try to pay attention.
What keeps you motivated?
I am a Christian. Jesus came to set the captives free. He came so we might live again. I think it part of us inherently to help people. The Bible says “Love thy neighbor as thy self.” For me that’s loving “thy neighbor” when I’m fighting and advocating, so I can teach my brother or sister what I know.
What organizations are you or have been a part of?
A lot. Well last year, I was a member of the Elections Committee, HBCU Political Action Alliance, the Greensboro Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Bombshells in Business, and Model United Nations. I currently am the third Vice-President for the Youth and College Division of the NAACP over North Carolina. It’s very stressful, but our chapter presidents are great. I didn’t think I was going to win because I was the new girl. I ran for junior class president and lost, but I got support and encouragement from others in this organization (NAACP) to run, so I did.
Anything else exciting?
I am an intern for Ignite North Carolina and Bree Newsome is one of the directors. I was so nervous when she came to campus to speak at the Student Government Association’s “Stay Woke” event. I told myself I better not do anything wrong.
Did you organize an event recently on campus?
Yes. I helped organize and plan the “Movement of Change” series. This event was needed to raise awareness and start the conversation of black liberation in America. Students really appreciate having a conservation like this. Contrary to most beliefs, students do care.
Have you ever been arrested?
Yeah. I have been in handcuffs twice but only arrested once. It was definitely a life changing moment. When you get engaged in that type of thing you really wonder if it’s worth it, that day I said yes. That day we were talking about the increase for the minimum wage. We were going to talk to the speaker of the house, we had an appointment and everything. They wouldn’t let us and they crazy thing is we saw him go into his office. The staff kept on saying he wasn’t there. Security came out and we continued to protest. We weren’t leaving until we saw him.
Did you get training for something like that?
So we did have training but I didn’t go. I didn’t think I was going to need it. I’m happy I did though.
So, what are the career goals for Vashti Hinton?
I hope to go to law school and become an international civil rights lawyer or maybe even work for the United Nations. I want to do something that deals with policies.