By Alicia Shurter
Occupy Tampa

15 January 2012

MLK Interfaith Prayer Service

I was asked to speak today about the events that led me here and what continues to keep me here.

Two years ago I left my home in Nashville. I was sitting in my apartment after work and realized there had to be more. More to experience, more to learn, much more beyond the boundaries of this place I was raised. I gave myself three days to prepare and I left on the fourth. I wanted to start from the ground up.

I arrived in Tampa and did what I thought was expected of me. I got a job and an apartment and months later found myself feeling exactly how I felt back home, that there was still something more.

I realized that I’ve always felt this way and I came to the conclusion it wasn’t me I should focus on. Growing up I’ve always had a strong opinion about how our society works and what we as a whole can do to focus on a solution.

This world is full of people who are begging for a change but don’t know where to start. And that’s why I’m here and we are why many more people will join this movement. As long as we continue to educate, speak out, and stay unified, there will be a great change, and I anticipate experiencing this change with everyone here and everyone that has not yet arrived.