By Kyla Thomas — 

The Engage Lead Serve Board’s event “Activate U” highlighted different advocacy strategies for students Feb. 9. This was it’s third consecutive year.

This year’s theme was “Finding Your Fit.” Elshadai Smith-Mensah, senior marketing major and director of this year’s event, said it was chosen to help students find what sort of advocacy they would want to do.

“Activate U is a conference brought to the student body and really the Louisville community, just about finding ways to get involved in leadership and development,” Smith-Mensah said.

“We noticed that a lot of students come to campus and they want to get plugged in and they want to do something, but they don’t necessarily know how to do it,” she said. 

There were many break-out sessions with speakers from around campus and the Louisville community. They featured topics like animal welfare, green initiatives and human prosperity Smith-Mensah said.

In one session students discussed ways people in Louisville can volunteer and help refugees. Sherry Stanley from The Backside Learning Center, and John Koehlinger from Kentucky Refugee Ministries both told how they help refugees in the area by providing jobs, housing and English as a Second Language classes.

For Smith-Mensah, the importance of having different sessions was to ensure there was something for everyone.

“Not everyone is the same, so we have everything from slam poetry to meditation. We worked really hard to make this conference as personalized as possible,” she said.


Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal