FEARLESS FRIDAY: Jerome Clarke

Today is Fearless Friday and we’re honoring the magnificent Jerome Clarke ’17!

Originally from Philadelphia, (aka the “city of Bromance”), Jerome is currently a Junior at Gettysburg College and is involved in countless activities and clubs, many of them geared towards social justice.

If you’ve had the pleasure of having a conversation with Jerome, you’re bound to leave the discussion feeling inspired. His passion and drive to make the world a better place is contagious. To begin, Jerome is a former CPS coordinator who worked with migrant education programs in the local community. This, for him, was a “million times meaningful” because close family members of his are undocumented persons; therefore, seeing how immigration affects the community and taking steps to better the situations of migrants, especially young students, is very important to him. With his work as a CPS coordinator, Jerome was able to realize that he has a knack for organizing. With this newfound skill in hand, Jerome went on to organize and lead an immersion trip to Syracuse to witness the resilient activism of the Onondaga Nation.

This immersion trip was life-changing for Jerome because it changed how the thinks about justice. After visiting Syracuse and having discussions with the Onondaga, Jerome realized that one must historicize injustices in order to take steps to solve them. The neglect and struggle indigenous peoples all over the world have endured began to take the focus of Jerome’s social justice prerogative. With this in mind, Jerome started to examine how the nature of capitalism, over the span of history, has played a huge role in the displacement and mistreatment of indigenous peoples in the United States.

Jerome sought to get more involved with the Gettysburg Anti-Capitalist Collective (GACC) as a result. While formal titles are not encouraged in GACC, Jerome hesitantly refers to himself as an “organizer” within the group; he manages relations with the student senate, arranges discussions with other on-campus political groups, and helps in mobilizing the creativity and passion within GACC. Jerome devotes himself to the idea of everyone having his/her/their own say. He wants to make sure all persons, whether it’s a large-scale debate or an intimate discussion amongst few, have space to have a creative and argumentative voice.

When asked what inspires him, Jerome has a response that more people should have. That is, he’s “totally motivated by ideals: justice, equity, and preparing the way for others to be themselves.” He wholly dedicates himself to making sure future students of color that come to Gettysburg have a safe, encouraging, and supportive place to be grow into their full potential.

Jerome overthinks. He views his privilege as a Gettysburg student as an exception. Many of his friends and family back in Philadelphia did not and might not have the opportunities that he has. With his fervent passion to change the structures in American society that make sure minority groups cannot succeed, Jerome strives to seek radical alternatives to achieve equity. He focuses on paving a way for those who are displaced and discouraged to succeed. As he so eloquently presents it, his life’s goal is to “prepare the way for other people to live full, fulfilling lives away from the torment, anxieties, and exploitative after-effects of the capitalist-driven world.”

Keep being rad, Jerome (in the sense of being awesome and also politically radical)! Thanks for your dedication to solving social justice issues!

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