Gender and Women's Studies and Africana Studies Double Major
St. Louis, Missouri
This summer, Allie Fry interned for CODEPINK: Women for Peace,
a women-initiated peace activism organization based in Washington, D.C.
Her responsibilities included researching and blogging about their campaigns, updating followers via social media, designing graphics for the campaigns, protesting, helping orchestrate acts of civil disobedience, attending Senate hearings, and lobbying representatives. She received funding from the Hirsch-Zucker Endowed Fund for Non-Profit Internships.
Describe your day-to-day experiences.
The politics of CODEPINK's campaigns are very immediate, so there is never a dull day at the office, and rarely does the work day remain in the office. Most days involved some form of direct action or protest, often in collaboration with other activist groups like Veterans for Peace, Amnesty International, or Schools of America Watch. When in the office, we worked on research and outreach.
How did you learn about this opportunity?
During the summer of 2012 I saw Laura Mills '11 disrupt Paul Ryan's speech at the Republican National Convention. She was holding a large sign that read "Vagina: if you can't say it, don't legislate it." As soon as I saw her, I knew I wanted to be involved in the kind of direct action that she was doing. I got in touch with her to ask about her experiences and decided to apply.
Can you cite an example of how your in-classroom and/or out-of-the-classroom experiences at Knox have benefited you in the internship?
Working as a leader in SASS definitely helped me develop the skills I needed to navigate full-time activism. Being a leader in SASS has been very fulfilling for me but also very demanding. I was aware going into this internship that campaigning for any issue is never easy. For example, last spring SASS organized a Know Your IX campaign, which aimed to make students aware of their rights under Title IX to a safe learning environment free from sexual discrimination, harassment, and all forms of sexual violence. When you believe in something that strongly, you're willing to exhaust yourself, and most of the time, people are preoccupied or don't want to be bothered. But it's worth it for those few productive interactions. Activism isn't easy, and SASS prepared me to be patient, to check in with myself and my colleagues, and celebrate victories, however small.
What was the best part of your internship?
It's really hard to pick just one thing. I had many unforgettable experiences with CODEPINK. Two events stand out in my memory: a protest to close Guantanamo in front of the White House (Allie Fry, center, pictured below) and attending Chelsea Manning's trial.