A Chat with Keynote Speaker Alyssa Bradford

By Eva Malis

Tell me more about your work:

I’m a community organizer and a solution-based activist, currently organizing solution-based action against human trafficking. It’s so misconstrued, people think that it’s just sex slavery, so I’m working on that. I’m involved with the San Diego chapter of Affirm Gabnet, which is a women of color organization. We raise awareness on the war on women—hypersexualization and the lots of cruelties being done to women in different countries. I’m on a leadership group for STARS—Surviving Together And Reaching Success—which educates the public on human trafficking. I also work with Take Back the Night, where we organize rallies and marches locally. I’m connected with the Artisan Hub but not really working for them, met them through a friend. I mostly have ideas, talk to people, and do it myself.

 How do your goals align with CSSC?

Environmental justice is a really big thing and involves social justice as well. It involves water, air, and food, and goes to the frontline communities that are getting impacted. Activism is activism no matter what you do! No matter if its fighting the war on women, police brutality, or environmental justice. People are coming together to raise voices on issues that need to be talked about, need to be brought up! I’m a solution-based activist. We’ve got to start talking about solutions in our community. When people see the problem, they think they can’t do it by themselves, so they might as well be a bystander. I think we need to have people start thinking about solutions, because you can have a good solution and others may disagree with you but you need to take action yourself regardless.

 What are you most excited for at convergence? Do you have any expectations?

I’m kinda excited, kinda nervous, since I’m doing a lot of things—a keynote speaker, speaking on a panel, and the open mic! This is one of my really first big speaking engagements! I’m really excited and nervous to get out there and do it. I’m really excited to get out there and meet new people. This is the third time I’ll be leaving San Diego, and I’m pretty happy to be leaving again. I don’t like to have a lot of expectations, I just go up there and I live it up because all we can live is today! I’m hoping for people to hear my speech on human trafficking and talking about sex slavery, and understand what I’m doing here. I have been doing activism for some time now and it’s really my passion, what makes me breathe. I have that pressure on myself to speak well, but I’m going to speak from my heart.

What do you hope to get out of convergence?

Just growth, which is ever inevitable. Every new situation and place brings inevitable growth. I hope to be educated about more things so I can take that back to my community and educate and bring that back to somebody else! Ever since going to New York for PCM (that was a huge trip!) I opened up to the power of myself and my true purpose, came back and got my priorities straight. It was powerful and it was healing—the power of the people, the power of myself, the individual, within the community and what you can do with that, how healing it is! I can’t wait to be open again and go out there and have a good time! Basically: I’m new to speaking in a big crowd, and I’m really jumping full on into this. I’m excited, honored, and blessed to have the opportunity to come and do this for myself! CSSC is giving me an opportunity to grow. I’m just really happy for that. All I have to say is nothing but thanks!

Posted in California Student Sustainability Coalition Magazine, CSSC News, Featured News and tagged , .