Activist alum Feminista Jones returns to her roots

Daily Pennsylvanian
February 19, 2015

Yesterday evening, Penn alumna Feminista Jones spoke at the Kelly Writers House’s Feminism/s series. Feminista is a social worker, black feminist and community activist. She has over 44,000 followers on Twitter and is responsible for creating hashtags that sparked global attention like #YouOkSis to address street harassment and the National Moment of Silence #NMOS14 to address issues of police brutality.

The Daily Pennsylvanian: Why did you choose Penn and what was your time at Penn like?

Feminista Jones: Well, I had actually taken a year off from college before coming to Penn and my high school guidance counselor helped me figure out where I was going to go and she was like, “Penn would be great for you,” so I decided to come here. I ended up double majoring in Africana Studies and Sociology, and I did some minor work in English and Women’s Studies. My time here was really life changing. I know this sounds really cliche to say, but I feel like I found myself here. I got involved with a lot of activist causes, particularly for affirmative action.

DP: Activism is an important part of Penn’s culture here, there are lots of groups like SOUL, who have had rallies and have also gotten some viral media attention. How would you compare the activism culture while you were at Penn to how it is today?

FJ: I think that even 20 years before I came, there was a huge culture of activism here at Penn, which kind of laid the groundwork for us. I love what I see here. I love that people as young as 17, 18, freshmen that are coming in, they’re like, “This is what we want to happen, this is the change we want to see, and we’re going to take steps to do that.” ... Today’s generation has social media, they have all of these other ways to get it out there. Back then, we didn’t have all of this, so nobody knew what we were doing unless it got written about in local newspapers, but now the world can see what they’re doing, so I think that’s probably the biggest difference.

Read the full article here.