Cover image: Terlynn Westphal
Alex Anderson was born in Bronx, New York. She moved to Utah when she was 15, where she saw a full sky of stars for the very first time. She now attends Utah State University Eastern, where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in political science. Alex serves on the Eastern Utah Student Association as the executive vice president, where she strives everyday to create positive change on and off campus.
Q: In what ways do you want to impact the world? What kind of change do you strive to create?
A: “I think I offer a unique point of view to many ‘either or’ type of questions. I am half black half white, I have lived in both the east and west coast of the United States from the ghetto of New York City to the suburbs of Utah. These experiences have allowed me to see many problems from different sides because I have seen how different Americans live across the country.
I want people to look beyond their personal views, and see how the other side lives. I found that this was most challenging after the 2016 election, when it took me months to stop being angry and try to understand why people voted the way they voted. This gave me a more positive outlook on the country as a whole. Trying to understand others views and opinions doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, it just allows for a basic understanding of each other’s principles which allows for better discussions on hot issues. This is where bipartisanship stems from, people understanding each other and coming to an agreement.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?
A: “In five years I hope to still be in pursuit of my degrees in psychology, hopefully living in some city somewhere in a crappy apartment with my best friends. I am not usually a patient person much like many millennials but I’m of the belief that life takes time because if it happened any faster it would be boring. So although five years could be a long time for many things, in the context of a life plan five years is nearly a blip.”
Q: What do you think is the biggest issue facing our country today, and how can we attempt to solve it?
A: “I have three words or you; GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. Not only is global climate change the biggest issue facing the USA, it is the biggest issue facing the world. The solution to this problem is also very simple: clean, renewable, recyclable energy. Listen, coal is dead and will continue to die because the fact is clean energy is a great business. It’s safer, cheaper and better for the environment. The first country to stabilize clean energy in its economy and have a real foothold in the field will be the next leader of the free market.”
Q: How has being a millennial either benefitted or challenged you?
A: “There is a consensus among my generation that we shouldn’t have to fight for basic human rights anymore. Gay marriage shouldn’t have been a challenge, and the idea of neo-Nazis in 2017 is preposterous. But this consensus also has a very real drawback, although we shouldn’t have to fight for basic human rights we still do. Racism and systematic oppression didn’t just disappear because millennials decided it was wrong, we still have to fight and should continue this fight for as long as it takes.”
Q: What advice would you like to give to anyone also striving to create change within their own community?
A: “Take it one day at a time, having a big picture idea is great but you can only get there by doing the everyday work that needs to get done.”
Millennials Making Moves is a series that highlights young people working to make positive change within their communities, and the world as a whole. If you would like to nominate someone you know to be featured here, please e-mail Ashtyn at firstname.lastname@example.org