You might have heard of Emma Sulkowicz.

Back in October 2014, Emma's performance art project inspired college students across the nation to carry mattresses for a day to show their support for survivors of campus sexual assault.

It was called Carry That Weight Day of Action.


April 13, 2015, was a second day of action.

Image via Facebook

Why are these college kids protesting so much? Wasn't that first protest enough?

Actually, no. Far from it. There are so many reasons we need to keep talking about rape and sexual assault on campus. But one of them is particularly shocking:

106 colleges and universities have fallen short of helping survivors.

As of April 6, 2015, 106 colleges and universities were under investigation for violating Title IX because of how they handled cases of sexual assault on their campuses.

Unfortunately, far too many colleges care more about P.R. than survivors.

In early 2015, theaters began showing the documentary "The Hunting Ground." The film highlights the accounts of survivors whose colleges told them to stay quiet about their assaults or denied them justice. We may never know how many victims have experience this same injustice, but their stories are far too common.

So rather than wondering why college students have to protest so darn much or assuming they're youngsters making a big deal out of nothing, let's wonder why survivors still have to run into their perpetrators as they walk from class to class.

And let's show some support for the young people who are trying to make change happen on their college campuses.

We don't have to be college students to help them carry that weight — literally and figuratively.

For some people, every day is Independence Day. For Janis Shinwari, this will be his first 4th of July as an American citizen. And boy, he earned it.

"If I was in Afghanistan—if I didn't come here, I wouldn't be alive now. I would be dead." Shinwari told CNN Heroes in 2018. Shinwari risked his life for nine years serving as a translator for U.S. forces in his native country of Afghanistan. He risked his life everyday knowing that should he be caught by the Taliban, the consequences would be severe. "If the Taliban catch you, they will torture you in front of your kids and families and make a film of you." Shinwari said. "Then [they'll] send it to other translators as a warning message to stop working with the American forces."

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