Creating social change: Ty Abdul-Karim ’18

Creating Social Change

Sociology major and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies minor Ty Abdul-Karim '18 talks about bringing groups together in order to create social change.
Ty Abdul-Karim 18 and friends kneeling on football field

Gettysburg College fosters meaningful relationships and interactions that expand beyond the campus community. Immediately feeling at home at Gettysburg College and wanting to share that feeling, Ty Abdul-Karim ’18 created a community in which other students could find their place.

Watch the video.

“The Fellaship” is creating lasting friendships amongst students with the mindset that, despite our unique and different experiences, we can all find similarities and relate to one another.

Abdul-Karim was inspired to create this group for African American men on campus after reflecting on concepts that he learned in sociology classes. These courses have simultaneously fueled his passion for the subject and allowed him to be more forward-thinking.

Video Transcript:

You know, everybody’s trying to make friends, everybody is trying to find their own way,and you just kind of—you go where you go where you feel comfortable and at Gettysburg there were a lot of places where I felt comfortable.

Sociology is cool for me because I feel as though like I can sit down with a theory text and read it and then look up at the world and just be like “oh that’s what’s going on, oh that’s what’s going on here.”

Not only thinking about, you know, the world and the social systems that are at play and how different people relate to each other, and, you know, what biases people might have and all that stuff but also trying to figure out how you can promote some kind of social change.

I created the Fellaship as a way to bring people together because there are people in a bunch of different spheres—like I might be a football player, somebody else might be involved in theater, and somebody else might be a physics major— just knowing thatthere are other people out there who kind of understand what you’re going through and can relate to your experiences, you know everybody has different experiences but there, you know, there’s patterns to the chaos.

Bringing everyone together in a space where they can sit down and look each other in the eye, and have conversations about things that really matter, offer advice, you know, and support that’s real big for African Americans on this campus.

Just the bonds that people create, it’s what I live for—creating memories,creating bonds that will last beyond our time at Gettysburg.

- Ty Abdul-Karim