This post was written by Hub member and Sustainable Economies Law Center Intern Erin Byers. Erin is a third year law student at Golden Gate University and hopes to use her law degree to combat poverty by changing the exploitative structure of the current capitalist economy. She is a native Virginian and hopes to reproduce some of the radical advocacy work she sees in the Bay Area back in her home state.
As a Virginian, I have been in many situations that have harshly exposed me to the reality that poverty in this country is widespread and, far too often, inescapable. Thankfully, through my education, I was also exposed to the academic discipline of political economy which taught me how to question the assumptions we, as a society, make about our economy and which taught me that with courage and creativity change is possible.
Therefore, I decided to go to law school in order to become an advocate for those entrenched in poverty. Additionally, I decided that, while in law school, I should expose myself to the most outside the box (dare I say radical?) thinking about the economy and about how to challenge the exploitative capitalist structure. As part of this education, I am working as an intern for the Sustainable Economies Law Center and trying to develop resources for individuals and organizations who wish to participate in an alternative economy by issuing and administering local currencies.
This is where the Hub comes in. It is full of advocates and activists. I receive emails constantly about the exciting and inspiring causes Hub members are promoting and the events they are holding in furtherance of that promotion. The atmosphere is completely open and friendly. We listen to music and help ourselves to coffee and tea all day long. It encourages discussion which fosters cooperation and synergy among advocates and activists of a plethora of social issues. Consequently, it provides a great environment for someone who wants to learn how to be an advocate, contribute to the community and hopefully, change the world for the better.
It is so incredibly important to see this advocacy and activism on a daily basis because, without this exposure, it is very easy to get lost in your daily routine and forget about why you do work for the community in the first place. This is especially true of law school where so many hours are spent in the library that one is afraid they will melt if exposed to the sun. Therefore, the Hub has strengthened my resolve to fight against poverty and change the economic structure for two main reasons. First, it has provided a casual environment where I feel like I am doing good and interesting advocacy rather than actually “working.” Secondly, the excitement and synergy in the air has given me inspiration enough to feel optimistic about the possibility of achieving my goals.