Activist LaTosha Brown speaks to App State students about a reimagined America

Zoey Sigmon, Reporter

App State hosted LaTosha Brown Monday as part of the University Forum Lecture Series, to speak about her vision of a radically reimagined America.

The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts welcomed students and faculty to Brown’s talk about civic engagement and voting rights, according to the Lecture Series website. Brown, a co-founder of the Black Votes Matter Group, activist and musician, shared her message of love and the value of humanity with those in attendance. Brown believes Americans could reform the nation by centering these principles.  

Brown started her speech by asking the audience to think about three questions framing her presentation. What might America look like without racism? If the audience believed all human beings were valued and respected, and if the nation centered the love of humanity in all of their policy-making decisions?

“There has never been anything that has been brought into existence into the physical world that wasn’t first envisioned,” Brown said. 

Brown said while the question of imagining an America without racism is not often asked, it should be considered. 

“We will never get there if we’re not taking the time to ask ourselves that question and to ponder on the possibilities. We will constantly be in this cycle where we are responding to what already exists,” Brown said. 

As an advocate for change, Brown said Americans should strive for the “radical reimagination” of America’s future as a nation. She encouraged citizens to shift their ideals and redefine themselves as founders of a new nation. 

“You have a responsibility to, if you really love this nation, if you really love humanity, to speak in such a way that you are calling us to our greater and higher selves,” Brown said.  

Phillip Ardoin, head of the Department of Government and Justice Studies, selected Molly Thomas, a graduate student, to make opening remarks for Brown’s speech. Thomas said there is great significance in having speakers like Brown come to App State. 

“I think that it’s important, especially in this super polarized time, to listen to Ms. Brown’s work and advocate for a loving, humane approach to reimagining the future of America and the world,” Thomas said. 

Alex Lorente, an international student from Spain, also voiced his support for Brown’s work.

“We need to stand up. We have the power for change, but if no one does anything about it, things are never going to change,” Lorente said. “We need to fight for what we believe in and bound together to push it forward.” 

Brown said her goal for sharing her message was to provide perspective and share her thoughts and experiences to promote the possibilities for change. 

“I’m hoping that from my talk today, if nothing else, to pierce their thinking about how we center humanity because ultimately my message is how can we build a world, systems, and governments that center the love of humanity and become a value for us,” Brown said.

Those interested in learning more about Brown and her work can visit her website and the Black Voters Matter Group’s website.