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Hello!

I hope all is well and that Mother’s Day proved relaxing for all readers of this newsletter. Several of our chapters have already entered into summer, but for those still edging down towards the end of the term, we’re all extremely proud of the tremendous work you have all put in between obligations to political action and obligations to your education. Both are equally important if we are to see BridgeUSA’s mission carried forward in the broader fabric of American political life. Summer is just around the corner, and BridgeUSA is excited to use the newfound time in many of our lives to ramp up our efforts towards a more constructive culture of political engagement on the campuses that many of us – for three months, at least—will be leaving. Hopefully we can all return invigorated to continue our collective effort!

Best,
John Rider, Manu Meel, Jonathan Ampalloor, Ross Irwin, and Christian McGrew

Bridge ND Hosts Environmentalism-Oriented Discussion

BridgeND recently hosted a successful screening of “The Burden” accompanied by an expert-led panel discussion regarding one’s obligation towards the collective effort at sustainable consumption and participation in American life. The event sought to offer a framing of the issue of sustainability and climate change mitigation as a point of national security consideration. The panel was led by experts in the field of sustainability and political practice, including former mayor of Indianapolis Greg Ballard.
 

BridgeTulane Co-Hosts Immigration, Gun Policy Events

BridgeTulane recently co-hosted events centered around two hot-button political issues: gun legislation and immigration. The latter event, held in conjunction with locally-based Congreso de Jornaleros, featured undocumented civil rights leaders representing immigrant workers involved in the rebuilding of
New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The event centered around the political impact of collective lobbying in representation of immigrant laborers and their families. The former event, on gun violence, offered a forum focused around the discourses of gun violence and school safety, specifically centering around the normalization of violence and school shootings in contemporary American political culture.
 

Articles for Consideration

Rural counties declaring themselves gun rights ‘sanctuaries’
This brief articled offered by The New York Post highlights an interesting cooption of the rhetoric of “sanctuary cities” by conservative gun-right activists in the state of Illinois. The piece details a choice by Effingham County, among others, to appropriate the phrasing -- commonly associate with cities like
Chicago which have come out in defiance of more stringent immigration regulation under the Trump presidency—for the purpose of “[protecting]… Second Amendment rights,” in the words of David Campbell, vice chairman of the aforementioned Effingham County Board.

Liberals, You’re Not as Smart as You Think
This piece, offered by the New York Times, explores the claim that totalizing liberal truth claims in politics may serve to further hamper Democratic political efficacy in the upcoming 2018 election season. This piece comes at an interesting time in which, as the author points out, President Trump’s approval ratings have seen an uptick all the while Trump-allied seats are being flipped blue. This piece offers a cogent analysis of some communicative barriers which may bar Democrats from seeing their political
goals realized in deeply held red territory, as well as some serious underlying problems in communication and empathetic political practice that will inform whatever 2018’s election brings.

Can Protest Art Get Its Mojo Back?
The Atlantic offers, with this piece, an analysis of aesthetic-resistance of left leaning media producers and productions, offering a relatively objective at-times- critique, other-times- praise, of the passivity of political resistance lobbied from the left at the Trump presidency, from music to movies to television. It
is a long read compared to other articles this newsletter has offered in the past, but it is well worth reading through the end; what questions might this piece raise towards our own practice of cultural consumption and production as a political practice?

Forthcoming issues will feature student voices and chapter profiles.  We look forward to changing the American political climate with you all, one week at a time!
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