Hi! My name is Taylor Miller and I’m a rising senior majoring in Public Policy with a minor in Environmental Science and Policy and a certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. I decided to apply to the Moxie program for many reasons, but my summer 2016 internship really solidified my desire in becoming involved in women’s activism.
I have never been one to speak my mind and I would describe myself as a wallflower. Growing up with this type of personality challenged me to find ways to make a difference. In my opinion, nothing is wrong with having this introverted personality. I usually get criticized for it, but I have accepted that it’s okay. Now, this doesn’t mean that I am completely silent everywhere I go, I speak my mind when and where I please, but growing up with this sort of pensive approach, think first, talk second, has really helped me hone in on what I want to do in life.
I must admit that I had very little knowledge of social justice and women’s activism so I applied to Moxie optimistic, but worried because I felt my lack of experience in the field would be detrimental. Along with my introverted personality I thought that it would be nearly impossible for me to be an activist or social justice warrior. However, I knew that the goals of Moxie, such as observing and practicing feminist social change, would be beneficial to me. Going back to my summer 2015 internship I realized that I wanted to become involved in women’s activism because of the lack of support and knowledge that that Native American had access to concerning issues like assault and violence against women and children. During my 2016 internship I attended brownbag lunches at various law firms and there was one woman who attended and brought up the Violence against Women act and the Indian Child Welfare Act. I had no prior knowledge of the two, but I began to do my own research and discovered that Native American women suffer domestic violence and sexual assault at higher rates than other racial groups. This did not surprise me, I began to wonder why, and concluded that, as I mentioned earlier, the lack of knowledge and resources available to Native American women was also detrimental to me because I did not know of these two important legal acts.
So, as I was searching for internships and thinking about what I wanted to do for my crucial junior summer, I stumbled across the DukeEngage NYC program and decided that I needed to put aside my insecurities of being an introvert and put my passion first, advocating for Native American people in any capacity and environment. I know I made the right decision by applying to this program and I’m excited to work with an amazing organization like Legal Momentum.