Tahirah Amatul-Wadud attracted an engaged group of both students and staff on Monday afternoon in Marsh Memorial Chapel. Both groups were attentive and responsive to what she had to say. Her visit to Springfield College was part of a voter awareness campaign that is focused on helping to empower the younger generation to vote.
Amatul-Wadud is an African-American Muslim attorney specializing in domestic relations and civil rights in Springfield. She has been a community advocate since 1991 where she joined with Springfield’s Maple Hill Six Corners Neighborhood Council. During her visit, she shared her story of running as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Massachusetts’ First Congressional District this past September.
She chose to run for Congress, because through her work as a lawyer, she became more aware of the condition of the people within the district, and she felt that the current congressional representative was not responsive to the typical day to day person.
Amatul-Wadud believes it is important for young people to vote, because they can influence how policies are shaped. Students votes do matter.
“Consistency in voting makes the elected official feel accountable to you and for you, and that right now is how our system is most significant,” said Amatul-Wadud.
She plans to continue visiting more schools and host events to connect to young people and speak to them about the importance of voting. She understands that people can find voting to be a burden, whether it’s because they don’t have the transportation to their designated voting spot, or sometimes they aren’t aware of an election. Amatul-Wadud thinks with education, time, love, and commitment, an entire community can be brought to the fold of civic engagement, and with time, more people will start to vote.
Photo courtesy of Tahirah Amatul-Wadud