As Brooke Nolte, a senior sociology major puts it, “It’s one thing to sit in class and learn about the injustices in the world; it’s another to actively engage in addressing those issues.”
As a grassroots advocacy intern with Micah Challenge USA, an organization that pursues justice on behalf of the world’s poor, Brooke reaches out to colleges, churches and individuals to encourage them to join the fight against global poverty. Micah Challenge USA organizes campaigns and events that educate, bring awareness and foster action for the cause. It’s a pursuit Brooke will continue upon graduating from George Fox in December, as she’s been offered a paid position on the organization’s core advocacy team.
Recently we sat down with Brooke to ask about her passion for the world’s poor and to reflect on her George Fox experience.
Q: Tell us about Micah Challenge USA.
A: Micah Challenge USA is part of a global Christian campaign that addresses the issues of extreme poverty and advocates for a more just world. Partnering with 50 other Micah Challenges throughout the world, as well as other organizations such as the Salvation Army, Compassion and World Vision, we work toward eliminating extreme poverty by addressing issues at the political and systemic levels. That is a huge task and one that we cannot do on our own, which is why we engage in transformational advocacy. We encourage people to engage in advocacy that isn’t just a one-time thing, but something that is transformative and impactful, long term.
Q: What is it you will be doing for the organization?
A: I will continue to make connections with individuals and communities that have shown interest in our work, as well as those responding to the Live Justly book we wrote. Much of what I will do is engage in conversation with people, via email and phone, as they go through the book. And this spring, I also plan to lead a group of George Fox students through the book, which is an in-depth scriptural and practical study to help us live more justly in several specific aspects of our lives.
I will also reach out to Christian universities throughout the nation and hope to be present at several events like conferences and festivals, both nationally and locally. Much of my job will consist of engaging in conversation with people about issues of justice and helping to develop ways we can actively advocate for positive change.
Q: What do you love most about working at Micah Challenge USA?
A: I think that to sit in class and have your heart broken about issues such as racism, gender inequality, poverty, class stratification and other injustices is just the beginning. What is the point of gaining knowledge and awareness if we don’t actually do anything with it? So I love that Micah Challenge has challenged me to actually address the issues I have become so passionate about and has pushed me to use my voice to speak out against injustice and to speak up for those who have had their voices taken away.
Q: How did you hear about George Fox and what drew you to the school?
A: I actually found George Fox on Google! I was looking for nursing schools in Oregon after my first term at Western Oregon University and came across Fox. I was looking to transfer from Western, and upon reading Fox’s nursing program’s mission statement, I knew I wanted to come here.
Interestingly enough, even though the nursing program is what initially attracted me to Fox, I am not finishing as a nursing major. I think it was the school’s emphasis on the desire to have Christ at the center of everything that really attracted me. When I was looking to transfer, my faith and relationship with Jesus had become a priority for the first time in my life, so I wanted to surround myself with a community that encouraged my walk with God to flourish. And I have not been disappointed.
Q: How has the university prepared you for your chosen career path?
A: The classes I have taken here, as well as the relationships I have created in this community, have made a significant impact on the path I am pursuing. My mind, heart and eyes have been opened to so many issues that take place throughout the world, and I believe a large part of that awareness has happened due to discussions and lectures that have taken place here.
During my time at Fox, my heart has been broken many times, and I have been inspired and encouraged to do something in response. The faculty here are empowering and truly invest in the students, which has made a huge impact on my life, as well as the way I view my abilities to work for good in the world.