Meet Fiana! Our Lead Fellow!

Georgia Shift gives marginalized young people a seat at the table of democracy through electoral action, hands-on advocacy and education, and civic media programs. We envision a Georgia where marginalized young people of color are the fundamental driver of political impact and public policy at every level of government in an unbridled democracy.We offer a few paid fellowship and internship opportunities throughout the year. Meet Fiana Arbab, our Lead Policy Fellow who has lead most of our state legislative planning this summer and helped professionally develop our other fellows.  Fiana Arbab identifies as a Bangladeshi Muslim American and is a proud feminist. Before relocating to Georgia, she formerly served as the Statewise Youth Organizer for the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. In 2017, Fiana graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a double major in Women’s and Gender Studies and Psychology, and a minor in Sociology. Currently, she serves on several Michigan-based nonprofit boards including Women’s March Michigan, Michigan Student Power Alliance and Rising Voices of Asian American Families. Fiana will be obtaining a Master of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame starting in August 2019. She hopes to continue doing work that uplifts marginalized and oppressed groups through an intersectional transnational feminist analyisis, transformative collective organizing, and operating in the global development sector one day.  Why is civic engagement important to you? “Civic engagement to me is the most accessible first step towards building collective political power for marginalized communities. Vulnerable communities have obstacles to having their voices heard due to historical trauma, inaccess to political information, and deprivation of capital (like generational poverty, working... read more

Meet Woojin! Our Policy Research Fellow!

Georgia Shift gives marginalized young people a seat at the table of democracy through electoral action, hands-on advocacy and education, and civic media programs. We envision a Georgia where marginalized young people of color are the fundamental driver of political impact and public policy at every level of government in an unbridled democracy. We offer paid fellowship and internship opportunities throughout the year. Meet Woojin Kang, our Policy Research Fellow, who has taken on local and statewide policy projects. Woojin is an Augusta, GA native. Currently, she’s a rising senior at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School, where she participates in various clubs such as science club, NAHS, and Beta club. In addition, Woojin is an active volunteer with the Augusta Red Cross Youth board and hopes to continue her activities as a volunteer for years to come. She is an avid volunteer and is passionate about  being able to support her community. Despite not having any prior experience in political and social advocacy, her passion for learning new skills and serving her community, has driven her passion for creating change for the betterment of her community. She has excelled in all her projects at Georgia Shift. Why is civic engagement important to you? “I believe civic engagement is a way for under-represented people to have their voices heard – to express their perspective and have their input thoughtfully considered. It allows common people, like me, to be able to speak out against issues within their community without having the threat and fear of hatred hindering you. Even aside from directly addressing issues within our society, civic engagement allows you... read more

Meet Summa! Our Community Outreach Fellow!

Georgia Shift gives marginalized young people a seat at the table of democracy through electoral action, hands-on advocacy and education, and civic media programs. We envision a Georgia where marginalized young people of color are the fundamental driver of political impact and public policy, at every level of government in an unbridled democracy. We offer a few paid fellowship and internship opportunities throughout the year. Meet Summa Jones, our Community Outreach fellow, who has boldly analyzed gaps in our education system, led an increase in community partnerships, and who has helped us in organizing internal projects Summa Jones is a native of Barnwell, South Carolina, but has recently relocated to Augusta, GA. Currently, she’s a junior at USC Aiken, majoring in Fine Arts with a minor in Communications. Growing up in a small town exposed to Summa various degrees of bias, particularly in the school system. She realized trends in disparities and injustice done to many students/families who have lower income, families who have less formal education, and for those whom are systemically misinformed/have less ease of access to information. This has motivated her to find methods to raise awareness on what’s going on in their community.  Why is civic engagement important to you? “Civic engagement is important to me, because I’ve seen how lack of knowledge affects multiple generations of people of color. I hate to see people go without the education and resources they need to improve their lives and the lives of their families.”  What’s one thing you want people to know about you? “I want people to know I am passionate about changing the way... read more

Meet Sam Pilgreen! Our Field Event Fellow!

            As an organization with a mission to give marginalized youth a seat at the table of democracy, Georgia Shift aims to build relationships with a variety of individuals. In many efforts to understand the local community and our audience’s needs, we want to hear your stories. For the month of June, we want to highlight Samira “Sam” Pilgreen, our new Field Event Fellow.             Sam was born in Spain, but has spent majority of their life in Atlanta, GA. Currently, they are studying at Augusta University (AU), pursuing a Bachelors of Art in Communications degree.  At AU, Sam stands as the president of the LAMBDA Alliance, the university’s gay-straight alliance. This organization “makes an effort to promote equality, increase gender/sexuality minority awareness, and disperse information on LGBTQ+ issues that affect communities.” In addition, Sam currently works as the Field Event Fellow here at Georgia Shift. They hope to raise voter turnout in the Augusta area, but mostly want to bring awareness of helpful resources to the local LGBTQ+ community.  Why is civic engagement important to you? “The biggest reason is reaching out to those who feel excluded or feel that there isn’t someone on a grander scale that can help them with their personal issues. It’s also about helping those who aren’t actively engaging in civic duty realize that there’s someone in their same demographic who is trying to make a difference on a larger scale. A lot of LGBTQ+ people are sometimes told that because of who they are, they won’t succeed. Therefore, seeing someone else within their community achieve the things they wish they could gives them the courage... read more

Meet Kiana Harrison! Our Digital Organizer!

What inspired you to get involved with civic engagement? It’s important that individuals who look like me are represented, advocated for, and simply respected. The lack of this in everyday life is what has pushed me to get involved in civc engagement. Despite the differences, our voices deserved to be heard, especially when it comes to things that affect our well-being. Civic engagement gives me the opportunity to stand up for what’s right, the unheard and ignored, and myself. If you could meet any historical figure, who would you choose and why? Hands down, I would want to meet Eartha Kitt. I do not need to say anything else. How do you recharge? Honestly, just some quiet, alone time is the perfect way for me to recharge, especially after a hectic day. What are three things still left on your bucket list? Visit all 7 continentsVisit all 50 statesFinish learning Spanish and French If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? To be able to do any and everything at the snap of my finger. Snapshot Bio I’m a Georgia native, where I attended Davidson Fine Arts and fully submerged myself into the arts. After my high school graduation, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in business marketing at USC Aiken. My passion for the arts, travel, and diversity has led me to do digital work at Georgia Shift. Currently, I have my own interests in women’s prison reform and women facing homelessness. Truthfully, I believe that Georgia Shift is the next huge step in my career and giving back to my... read more

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #11

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  April 6, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our eleventh and final edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea all session long so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened this last week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that surely stirred the pot.    🔹Do or Die: Young People’s Last 2019 Lobby Day Recap– Pictures and quick rundown of our event on Sine Die!  Piping Hot IssuesThis past Tuesday was Sine Die and as always it was a day full of running around from one chamber to the other under the Gold Dome. The day started early and finished late with last minute committee meetings and of course the eventful floor votes, but we got you covered. Here are the bills that made the most buzz 🐝: SB 15 (Policing Public School Students) had an amendment in the House and at the end passed the Senate (Yea 42 – Nay 11) and it is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The “Keeping Georgia’s Schools Safe Act” will require require schools to designate a school safety coordinator who works with local law enforcement to report suspected “violent criminal activity.” We will say that it was cleaned up to remove student profiles, but it is still problematic for surveillance and reporting reasons. Like we previously mentioned, the bill takes into account all security measures for the building, but does nothing to actually help students.  SB 92 (End to revoking professional licenses for loan... read more

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #10

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  March 30, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our tenth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    🔹Call to Action –Call your legislators and let them know it’s urgent and important to stop this bill!🔹Next Event – Do or Die: Young People’s Last 2019 Lobby Day: Come lobby with us the last day of this session!  Piping Hot IssuesThis past week was the last full week of the 2019 legislative session and with Sine Die next Tuesday, it was a busy one under the Gold Dome. The committees were long and the floor votes even longer but we got you covered. Here are the bills making the most buzz 🐝: HB 213 (Hemp farming) passed the Senate this week (45 Yes – 6 No) and it is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This is another step forward in finally legalizing issuing permits to grow and sell Hemp in the state of Georgia.  HB 218 (Extend eligibility for HOPE) passed the Senate this week (47 Yes – 5 No) and it is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. The eligibility of students receiving HOPE will now be extended from 7 to 10 years after graduating from high school. HB 324 (Medical marijuana manufacturing) passed the passed the Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs committee this week. Hopes to make it legal for you to possess, manufacture and distribute low THC oil as long as... read more

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #9

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  March 23, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our ninth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    🔹Call to Action –Call your legislators and let them know it’s urgent and important to pass this bill!🔹Next Event – Do or Die: Young People’s Last 2019 Lobby Day: Come lobby with us the last day of this session!  Piping Hot Issues The week after Crossover Day is always a little slower pace than the rest. However, that did not stop this week from having its share of action under the Gold Dome. To keep you up to date, we have provided below a quick recap of the status of the bills making the most buzz 🐝: SB 92 (End to revoking professional licenses for loan defaults) was referred to the House Appropriations Committee. Currently in it’s Second Reading. This bill prevents the state from suspending your state-issued professional licenses if you default on government-backed student loans.SB 15 (Policing Public School Students) was referred to the House Education Committee. Currently in it’s Second Reading. This bill aims to increase student safety in schools by establishing new positions called “school safety coaches,” volunteers who are defined in the bill as “former members of the armed forces, a law-enforcement agency or a fire department.” The bill takes into account all security measures for the building, but does nothing... read more

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #8

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  March 16, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our eighth edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    🔹Mujeres at the Capitol Recap– Pictures and quick rundown of our event on Crossover Day! 🔹The MARTA Referendum– The vote to expand MARTA into Gwinnett County is happening now until March 19.   🔹Call to Action –Raise The Age Bill:  Call the House Juvenile Justice Committee and let them know it’s urgent and important to pass this bill! Piping Hot IssuesThe week after Crossover Day is always a little slower pace than the rest. However, that did not stop this week from having its share of action under the Gold Dome. To keep you up to date, we have provided below a quick recap of the status of the bills making the most buzz 🐝:  SB 92 passed the Senate. This bill prevents the state from suspending your state-issued professional licenses if you default on government-backed student loans. SB 15 passed the Senate. This bill aims to increase student safety in schools by establishing new positions called “school safety coaches,” volunteers who are defined in the bill as “former members of the armed forces, a law-enforcement agency or a fire department.” The bill takes into account all security measures for the building, but does nothing to actually help students. SB 161 passed the Senate. Grades given to a student by... read more

Gold Dome Tea Newsletter #7

Your weekly source of fresh tea poured out of the Gold Dome!  March 9, 2019Welcome back Tea Sippers! This is our seventh edition of the 2019 Gold Dome Tea newsletter. We brought the tea so we hope you brought your cups, as we will be giving you the inside scoop of all the most juicy things that happened in this week under the Gold Dome! 👀 In this week’s issue of Gold Dome Tea we will tackle:🔹Piping Hot Issues – Quick rundown of the piping hot issues that will surely stir the pot.    🔹The MARTA Referendum– The vote to expand MARTA into Gwinnett County is happening now until March 19.   🔹Annual Young People’s Day of Change Recap– Pictures and quick rundown of our event on Crossover Day! 🔹Call to Action –Raise The Age Bill:  Call the House Juvenile Justice Committee and let them know it’s urgent and important to pass this bill! Piping Hot IssuesThe madness that Crossover Day brings to the Gold Dome was felt this whole week, taking the peak this past Thursday with an almost all day session. More citizens are coming to committees meetings, which makes them longer and most of them are booked at the same time, so we kept our eyes and ears open this week to keep you up to date. We are now at 581 bills in the House and 236 bills in the Senate. Here are some of the bills making the most buzz 🐝: Update on SB 92: Professional licenses and Defaulting on your student loans This bill would prevent the state from suspending your state-issued professional licenses if you default on government-backed student loans. The great news is that SB 92 passed the Senate yesterday with a vote of (51-0)! This is exciting because we did not... read more