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Joshua Everett

Class of: 2015
Hometown: Leeds, AL
School: College of Arts and Science
Major(s): Public Policy Studies, Communication Studies

“I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”  Joshua Everett tries to live by this utterance of the revolutionary Malcolm X. From a young age, he's been interested in social justice. Coming from an area that's seen marches, church bombings, and Klan violence, Everett has always been fascinated with the process of social change. While that interest budded here and there in his early life, it was cultivated on Vanderbilt's campus.

Everett's first experience with organizing for social activism came on the heels of the Travyon Martin shooting. Students on campus wanted to organize a campaign to raise awareness about the Travyon Martin shooting, the Stand Your Ground Law, and the dangers of racial profiling. This experience was transformative for Josh because he was able to see the impact that social action could have on the social consciousness. The experience galvanized him to explore the depths of social misery and its causes.

This led Josh to discover OUR Vanderbilt, a nonprofit organization of students, workers, faculty, alumni, community members, and faith members all united for economic justice on Vanderbilt's campus. OUR Vanderbilt knows the power in numbers when it comes to winning tangible victories for economic justice. Josh was able to be involved with Justice for Dining Workers which was organized around the issues of a living wage and summer employment. Working with OUR Vanderbilt taught Josh the importance of building relationships when struggling for justice. He also learned that there is no leadership style more effective than being a servant to those he intends to lead.

Josh later developed an analysis of the criminal justice system that was inspired by hearing Michele Alexander speak for the first time. He became more deeply involved in prison issues through his work with Vanderbilt Prison Project and Gideon’s Army, a local nonprofit dedicated to abolishing the school-to-prison pipeline. With a perspective that's constantly growing, Josh Everett enjoys working with the Ingram Scholars to address the needs of not only the Vanderbilt or Nashville community, but the community of the country and the world at large. Joshua Everett understands that revolution is not a one-time event and dedicates his life for the struggle for a better world.