Tell us a bit about yourself
I am a 19 year old college student transferring to the University of Central Florida this fall. I have also been planning a concert to benefit a homeless shelter in my hometown, Melbourne, Florida called Christ Is The Answer Rescue Mission with 5 of my friends. They are an amazing organization that gives job training, clothes, and meals to all of the men that stay there. I also work at the Pop Century Resort at Disney World in Orlando.
What inspired you to become a creative activist?
The beginning of my inspirations to become a voice for those who go ignored started when I was going into eighth grade. I was at a church camp and heard about this guy, Zach Hunter, who started an abolitionist organization when he was 12. At the time, I didn’t even know there was still slavery. As time went on, I began hearing more about injustices and read books by David Platt, Francis Chan, Zach Hunter, Kyle Idleman, and Max Lucado and they challenged me to live out a more active faith. Just recently, I was challenged by a teacher to change the way I look at homeless people and that really challenged me to work on the benefit concert.
What does being a creative activist mean to you?
To me, being a creative activist is being alive. God has gifted each of us with talents and he has touched us all for certain causes. Matthew 9:37-38 says, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” We are the answers to the questions we are asking. Being a creative activist is using what you have to help those that don’t have. Being a creative activist is being a voice for those who have voices, but are being ignored. Being a creative activist is following God’s call for your life when He calls you. You don’t have to wait till you’re smarter, better, faster, or stronger.
What is one way you have learned to do justice in your everyday life?
The first major step to doing justice daily is prayer. You have to wake up and say, “God, I have no idea what is going to happen today and how you want to use me, but give me the strength and discernment to know when I am being called.” After that, it sounds cheesy, but I ask, “What would Jesus do?” a lot. Doing justice daily is being kingdom minded. These things can be as simple as helping with groceries or babysitting for free or being a shoulder to cry on. At the end of the day, we’re serving God by serving His people and I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
What is your favorite project, resource, or act:ion that you’ve created or been involved in so far?
My favorite act:ion would definitely have to be the one I put up for Earth Day, “Turn off the tap!” I really love it because I got to incorporate helping others (by donating to one of my favorite organizations, Blood:Water Mission) and conserving water. In Florida, we’re having this huge problem with water because of the hurricanes and we’re in a huge water battle with Georgia and Tennessee, so in some small part, I feel like I’m helping. I only saved $10 over the month, but I’m definitely going to continue and keep donating to Blood:Water Mission because it adds up after a while.
To see some of the work Ashley has done, check out her profile on the ACT:S site!