Flint, MI–This presidential election will be the first one Ashley McIntosh is eligible to vote in, and she can’t wait.
“This election is the election of my lifetime,” said the 21-year-old. “This my first time voting and I’ll be damned if I’m never voting again.”
She’s also on a mission to make sure everyone else who is eligible to vote, votes too.
This Saturday, Oct. 17, McIntosh will be a part of a student-led initiative to drop off voting information at 21,000 doors in Flint.
More than 100 volunteers will take to the streets delivering voting literature about how and where to vote.
“The most important thing to do right now is vote,” she said. “We control the seeds of our country. We can’t control how they grow, but we can control how we plant them.”
She will be stationed at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint, where there will be breakfast and training provided for volunteers before they go off on their routes handing out voting information.
The United States Senator from Michigan Gary Peters and Congressman Dan Kildee will be at the Latinx Technology and Community Center, as guest speakers.
To sign up to volunteer you can scan the QR code on the flyer, or email McIntosh at email@example.com.
This is far from her first time working for social change.
McIntosh has been volunteering with her mom on political campaigns since she was a little kid.
In high school, she volunteered with fellow students to feed the homeless and also to bring awareness to the water crisis happening in her hometown, Detroit.
Now, a junior at University of Michigan-Flint, McIntosh is dedicated to social justice in many forms.
She’s what she calls a “triple threat,” double major in criminal justice and sociology, and getting a minor in computer science.
She writes poetry about her experiences as a young, Black, and queer woman impacted by systemic racism.
She also organizes and participates in events to help her community.
“When I got to college, I got into this because I want to be the change I want to see, and really impact my community around me,” she said. “I try to be involved as much as possible in uplifting myself and the people around me.”
In August, she organized a market for Black-owned businesses and last month, she organized a protest for the Black Lives Matter movement and registered attendees to vote.
She said all of her work falls under the category of human rights.
“If I gotta fight for human rights until I die, I’ll fight for human rights until I die,” she said. “I don’t wanna have my children experiencing systemic racism in this world, I’ll fight for that with every bone in my body.”
She said it’s important for young people not to be discouraged and have hope for the future.
“As a student, a young person, and a Black woman, sometimes I’m looked down upon for participating in political talk,” she said. “But what’s happening right now will impact me. You have to make hope happen.”