By Jeff Bash
Youngstown State University’s NAACP is helping bring relief to the victims of the Flint, Michigan water crisis by having a lip sync battle known as “Sing for Flint” to raise awareness and funds for the city.
The event, “Sing for Flint,” will be a lip-synch battle planned by the NAACP. Proceeds are planned to go to other universities and schools who are suffering from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
YSU’s local youth chapter of the NAACP has been working to expand their recruitment and build a school-wide effort to combat social injustice. Victoria Shaffer, a senior political science major and current president of the NAACP youth chapter, is interested in collaborating with student leadership to build a coalition that could bolster support to combat social injustice.
“Being the president of the NAACP is a challenge; however it is a fun challenge. The difficult part of running the organization is getting everyone involved,” Shaffer said. “So that’s why our group has taken the initiative to try and get more organizations to unify to help us for our lip sync battle. I want it to be about other organizations as well, not just the NAACP.”
Shaffer argues that community involvement shouldn’t start with the government but with people. Being a resident of Michigan, she wants to see positive change locally that will spread hopefulness and charity to other regions.
Speaking personally about living only an hour away from Flint, Shaffer related memories of her time in the region. She spoke of her involvement with the Boys and Girls Club of America and how it inspired her toward community involvement. Now she hopes to expand the influence of student organizations on campus through unifying efforts.
Ashley Orr, the Student Government Association president, echoed the sentiments of Shaffer and expressed her excitement for the collaboration.
“I think utilizing other organizations through collaboration is key. SGA is excited to advertise for them and the event,” Orr said. “I see collaboration as unity — that is, how can we work together to accomplish our goals — this time, the NAACP Lip Sync, which I think will be awesome.”
The student government has been working to increase communications and synergy between organizations since the beginning of Orr’s term as president.
“Student government offers a variety of services for student groups and their events; we can fund them, advertise for them and attend them,” Orr said.
Kimiya Flowers, a junior telecommunications major, has been closely working with Shaffer to help construct and coordinate the event. Flowers has been collaborating with other student groups attempting to gain supporters for the project and hopes that students from all walks of life will join the groups’ efforts.
“You know, I think one thing that needs to be said is that the NAACP is not just for African American students,” Flowers said. “It’s for anyone who wants social justice and to help build a greater community.”
Flowers and Shaffer’s event ideas culminate into an event fully catered and entertained by different individuals and organizations competing to be the top performers for a good cause.