by Jordan Rubinfeld
After learning about the food bank, we went back on the bus and continued our adventure by making our way to Boulder. On the way to Boulder we observed the majestic Rocky Mountains firsthand and it really made me appreciate the natural beauty of earth. Once we arrived in Boulder, we had a discussion about how the past few days have been so incredibly emotional and how it impacted us. We have covered a lot of heavy topics and it was so nice to reflect on and share our thoughts and feelings. After our reflection, we were able to explore Pearl Street. It was so much fun to just hang out and laugh with friends, do some shopping, eat some pizza, and of course have some Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream! After our Pearl Street excursion, we went to the Boulder JCC and had a Yoga lesson with Lara! It was really hard, but it was also relaxing and so nice to clear my mind. Lara taught us how to connect with our bodies on a spiritual level. Yoga is a great way to distract us from all of the stress and pressures of life. After Yoga, we celebrated Anna’s birthday! We ate chocolate cake and then made our way to the bus to go on a 2 hour ride to Laramie, Wyoming where we ate dinner!
In Laramie Wyoming we learned about Matthew Shepard who was murdered and tortured in Laramie in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. It was very captivating and informative to hear about his story which is known as the most notorious anti-gay hate crime in America. Matthew was not buried until 2018 because his parents thought his grave would be vandalized, due to the anti-gay protest at the time. Something interesting that I learned was that in 2009, an act called the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr Hate Crime Prevention Act was passed by President Obama. This act expanded the definition of hate crimes, to include crimes based on sexual orientation. It was first denied by President Bush. Although things have progressed since 1998, the battle to achieve equality is still not over and it is up to everyone to fight for it.
Dinner was delicious and some friends and I walked up a Wyoming Bridge. This journey has been a life-changing experience and I feel so lucky to be able to have this privilege. Each day is arming me with strategies and resources to address important issues such as gender equality, reproductive issues, and racial issues. Today was a great day and I cannot wait to see what comes next!