UTSA senior passionate about policy change ready for graduation

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SAN ANTONIO – A college senior has accomplished several goals during her collegiate career at the University of Texas at San Antonio, but one she is most proud of is her passion for change.

Raven Douglas, a political science major who is minoring in legal studies, started her years at UTSA in a different major.

“I originally started as a business major, but then I had a passion for policy and law so I changed my major as a freshman to political science,” Douglas said. “I didn’t know where it would take me, but I was just very passionate about that.”

Douglas said she loves the university, but it was the Honors College that made her experience phenomenal.

“I got to participate in the Bill Archer Fellowship program, which sends 40 students to Washington D.C., to live, learn and intern at the Capitol,” Douglas said. “I also interned with the Texas Legislative Internship Program, where I worked under the state representative.”

Outside of participating in internships and programs, Douglas crafted her honors thesis around a topic she found very important.

“I wrote this thesis on the impact of the Texas voter ID law and its impact on communities of color during the 2014 midterm elections,” Douglas said.

Douglas said her thesis was her biggest accomplishment.

“First, it allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” Douglas said. “I've always been aware of how law and policy affects people based off the color of your skin or your sex or sexual orientation or just who you are. One of my passions is voter engagement and with race, so I wanted to see how this bill was impacting my community.”

Douglas said the concern around the bill was something she wanted to address.

“After that bill was in place, the concern was that over half a million Texans didn’t have a photo ID to vote and most being in low-income black and Latino voters,” Douglas said. “Through a number of court cases, the law isn’t as strict as it was, but it was concerning that regular people were being turned away from voting, especially people of color.”

Outside of working a busy schedule in and out of the classroom, Douglas said she has enjoyed her free time as well.

“I love concerts,” Douglas said. “I think of myself as a concert guru. I also love brunch with my family and friends, so I will miss that.”

Douglas said she is looking forward to enjoying the fruits of being a college grad.

“I am just ready to not have to go to class,” Douglas said. “I love class and I love UTSA, but not having to do homework and not having to go to bed early because of an 8 o’clock class.”

Most of all, Douglas said she is very grateful to come from a family with phenomenal women.

“I am very prideful because my parents have worked hard enough just so me and my siblings can do what we wanted to do in life,” Douglas said. “The fact that they are proud of me is so great. My family, my mother, my aunts are all my role models, so to have them there at my graduation just makes me feel good.”

Douglas said after graduation she will work in leadership development with Mobilize, Organize, Vote, Empower San Antonio, or MOVE. She said she wants those who have met her to remember her energy and the legacy she has left behind. She also encourages every student to keep working and pushing to reach their dreams.  

About the Author:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.