Major of the Month: Mica Standing Soldier
Hometown: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
"As an English major, I've learned how to write
and articulate myself with confidence. It's also an
incredible feeling to read something and place it
within a historical context. It opens up a new idea
of the past that can't be achieved any other way."
I have been active with social justice organizing from a young age. I've been a part of the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group as a task force leader and Chair, and now serve as the graphic design intern for the statewide organization. I mentored at the Minnesota Internship Center charter high school and am the founder of the Coalition Against Mass Incarceration. For the last three years, I served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Take Back the Night Twin Cities.
Last spring, I attended the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University Program with my colleague Carter Christensen (Political Science). The conference is a gathering place for students, professors, topic experts, and celebrities to come together and discuss the development of innovative solutions to pressing global challenges. Students create their own Commitments to Action that address issues on campus, in local communities, and around the world; nearly $2 million in funding has been awarded to these commitment-makers since 2008. Carter and I presented our initiative ARTCY (Arts Recognition of Twin Cities Youth), which focuses on improving arts engagement programs in schools with students from disadvantaged communities. Using social change as a touchstone for literary and arts education, ARTCY provides students the opportunity to collaborate, create, and implement a variety of projects within their communities—which are then showcased in a public event with community members and officials.
This fall, I was invited to attend the South By South Lawn Festival at the White House, an event promoting civic engagement with leaders and change makers from all over the world. My experience at SXSL was about engaging with people who are demanding justice and change through intersectional pathways. Although a lot of the attendees worked at local levels with their communities, some were either prominent Twitter personalities, CEOs/founders of organizations, or celebrities. It was difficult at times to maintain composure.
What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?