MBS graduate Perri Easley ’19, now a freshman at Wesleyan University, returned to campus on Tuesday, January 14th to speak to Upper School students about several important issues leading up to the 2020 election.
Easley’s visit was made possible by the Wesleyan Engage 2020 Initiative, an effort to support student learning via civic engagement and liberal arts education.
“Politics can be polarizing, but I really wanted to educate the students about government in a general way and encourage participation in the process regardless of political affiliation,” said Easley, who focused her presentation on three areas — the U.S. Census, the Electoral College, and voter suppression.
“When the Census comes in the mail, please don’t throw it away,” Easley told the students. “The majority of legislative and political action in this country is a direct result of the Census.”
Easley also offered an overview of the Electoral College system and spoke about how it has factored into several recent elections including 2016. She also discussed voter suppression and the ways that voters, often minorities, have been systematically discouraged from participating in elections. She concluded her presentation by encouraging all students to become more active, increase their awareness of the issues, and register to vote.
After Upper School Meeting, teachers Joe Locandro and Kate Muttick and students from the “U.S. Politics: Beyond 2016” class set up a table in the Dining Hall to register eligible students to vote.
At Wesleyan, Easley actively participates in a number of activities with a focus on social justice, foreign language, civic engagement, and community service. She serves on the board for the Wesleyan Democrats and works for the University's Fries Center for Global Studies. She also uses her spare time as a proponent of mental health awareness, volunteering for organizations such as the Crisis Textline and participating in mental wellness speaking engagements.
Through her work as a Channel Kindness reporter with Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation, she has written articles pertaining to her personal mental health journey, and also submitted vlogs pertaining to areas of youth positivity in her immediate community. Easley recently participated in an online panel with BTWF President, Cynthia Germanotta, discussing mental health during the holiday season and was a featured Storyteller at the 2019 Peace of Mind Storytellers Event in Providence, Rhode Island. At Wesleyan, she plans to study French, Film, Political Science, and continue her mental health advocacy.
At MBS, Easley was inducted into the Cum Laude Society for academic excellence and she received the Frederick Cross Remington Service Award, which is presented to a senior in recognition of his/her caring service to others, a demonstrated concern for fairness, and compassion for individuals in need.
“It’s wonderful being back at MBS – it’s a great place to be,” said Easley. “MBS provides a lot of flexibility to nurture its students’ talents and it is a great complement to my Wesleyan education; I feel really well-prepared and made the Dean’s List last fall. There are amazing resources here at MBS and so much support and backing for students.”