Nationally recognized social activist Sandra Fluke to speak at Northern

Amanda Monthei

As an attorney and social justice activist, 31-year-old Sandra Fluke has been one of the foremost female voices in the increasingly complex discussion regarding women’s rights issues, namely contraceptive coverage in the Affordable Healthcare Act.

Fluke, who graduated from Cornell University in 2003 and is a recent law graduate of Georgetown University, will be sharing her story — as well as tips for Northern students to engage in their own social advocacies — on Wednesday, March 20 as a part of Northern’s ongoing celebration of Women’s History Month.

“She’s representative of a very important discussion that I think a lot of college students and political policy makers are having right now,” said Mark Surrell, co-president of Platform Personalities, the organization that will be hosting the event. “It’s just about not leaving anyone behind or forgetting anyone’s rights, which is what she’s talking about, specifically women’s rights and how women need to be properly represented if we’re going to have a fair and democratic health care program.”

Fluke was first ushered into the spotlight of modern American policy when she was invited to speak at a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing in February 2012. Her testimony at the hearing challenged the current policies — and the legislators that create them — that deny contraceptive coverage at universities and other religiously affiliated organization like her alma mater Georgetown.

“I think her just being a social justice advocate and speaking out on behalf of women’s rights and being young herself will help her relate to NMU students,” said Rachel Harris, advisor of Platform Personalities. “I think that what she is talking about is really relative — she’s young and engaged and making a difference. She’s really making a name for herself.”

Fluke was also invited to speak at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in September, where she discussed the illogical bipartisanship of the current contraceptive coverage discussion.

Beyond that, however, Fluke is quite simply a young activist that is doing what she feels is necessary, and students who are interested in social activism and advocacy will surely be engaged by what she has to say, according to Surrell.

The event will be held from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. The cost is free for students and $2 for the general public.