/Letter to the editor: Montevallo needs to change, or it is going to die 
Graphic by Layrssa Molina-Becerra, Graphic designer.

Letter to the editor: Montevallo needs to change, or it is going to die 

By Josie Daisy; UM Alum, secretary of the Montevallo Legacy Project and SLIDE Art Collective co-organizer 

I’m frustrated with Montevallo’s epidemic of apathy.  

The post college pressure of deciding my path is huge, but my decision to stay or leave Montevallo is an even larger one.  

I’m a lesbian trans woman. I’m a musician and experimental artist. I’m a LGBTQ+, reproductive and racial justice advocate. Why would I stay in Montevallo, or even Alabama? I am not represented or valued here. 

I want to find somewhere where I can plant my seeds. I want to live somewhere where I can blossom. I want to discover a community where all of our dreams bear fruit.  

I was then challenged by community member Elvie Schooley during a panel.  

What if I stopped dreaming of life in another town? What if I brought my dreams to fruition in Montevallo? 

I’m sick of waiting for change to just happen. 

The stars feel aligned, and I’m slowly realizing our place in Montevallo’s wheel of fortune. The wheel is gonna keep turning, and we have to decide now that we will push it forward.  

How do we address the ripples in our town after segregation and enslavement? 

How are we handling the racism and bigotry that still exists in our town?  

How is our city preventing gentrification?  

Why doesn’t the city represent the most essential group of people in the town, BIPOC and queer folk?  

How is UM addressing the lack of gender inclusive housing and bathrooms? 

What is UM to do with the empty and stagnant King House, once a plantation where campus now lies?  

How are we recording and preserving dying queer voices and stories?  
How is UM handling the state legislature’s active attack on black education and trans youth?  

How is UM’s curriculum addressing the dying need of higher education in the internet’s free world of information?  

How is UM taking advantage of its resources to connect students with urgent research and work happening in its own town? 

How is SGA taking advantage of their resources and time to create a better UM?  

How are we showing up for students and youth who feel disempowered and voiceless?  

How do we handle the disconnect between the city, the university, and its students? 

Why aren’t these issues a priority?  

How much longer does Montevallo have until people stop caring?  

How can we dream of a better Montevallo?  

I say none of this to disregard the important work currently happening in town. But where is our dialogue outside of chats at the grocery store and kiki’s behind closed doors? Where is our organizing? How are we filling the gaps that we see everyday? Who is deciding the answers to our issues?  

Why am I having to ask these questions when I attended a supposedly progressive liberal arts college?  

Maybe Montevallo isn’t apathetic, maybe we just feel hopeless. I feel repressed and depressed when I lie and say that everything is fine, and I wonder if you feel the same. 

I can’t do this alone, and I need your help. We need a connection of people who don’t care for the status quo, and are passionate about helping their neighbor. We need community.  

Please reach out to montevallolegacy@gmail.com if you are passionate about making change. How can you use your talents, power, and privileges to move the needle? Here’s to a better Montevallo, One Montevallo.   

Josie Daisy
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