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Junior Tyler Reighn leads the Nov. 11 2015 protest against campus racism and President Tom Rochon. Amanda Den Hartog/The Ithacan

Activism has always been a way to draw attention to pressing social issues. Whether through marches, rallies, sit-ins, or campaigns, history has shown that there are many ways marginalized groups can advocate for their rights.

2017 has been no different. Following the unprecedented and shocking election of Donald Trump in November, many members of marginalized communities have conducted protest movements and actions to advocate for their rights and raise awareness about the ways a Trump presidency would impact their lives. There was the Women’s March in January, the Day Without Immigrants in March, the March for Science in April. Activists marched for feminism, for Muslims, immigrants rights, for black lives, for the environment.

The environment was no different in Ithaca, as many marches and protest movements have taken place in the past few months. But not every protest movement was conducted in opposition to Trump — some actions were taken just for the sake of increasing awareness.

Throughout the past few weeks, Ithaca Week has published stories focusing on activism in the Ithaca community. Our stories show that activism is a broad definition — it is not just organizing protests or marches or rallies. Sometimes activism can be more subtle, it can be in the form of a business or it can become a natural party of a person’s lifestyle. Our stories cover a wide range of subjects, from sexual assault to environmentalism to race and topics in between. And behind each form of activism is a face and a name: a person driving the issue forward just from their own passion toward the issue.

While the topics vary widely from story to story, it is clear that activism plays a large role in shaping the fabric of the Ithaca community. Activism is a force that is present in our everyday lives, it can affect the way we see the world and the way we conduct ourselves. But there is one commonality in all these stories: We need activism because it amplifies our voices into a collective unit, demanding attention from anyone who is willing to listen.

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