Allison Gilmore, a change on the ‘hill’

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Allison Gilmore, a change on the ‘hill’

Brittany Van Pelt

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Allison Gilmore realized she had a passion for politics right before the election of President Trump in 2016. Initially an international studies student, Gilmore realized the need for more Black communicators in media; she understood the lack of visibility and changed her major.

After seeing President Trump’s vibrant and intentional attacks on the press, through what he deems as “fake news,”  she decided to change her major to journalism immediately and never looked back.

“I’m passionate about politics because I believe that it is the only real way to change anything in America. Yes, it does take some time and you may not witness it, but being alive to watch bills get passed or overthrown is amazing. Being able to have a hand in History feels so good,” she said.

Gillmore is a junior journalism and mass communications student from St. Louis, Missouri. This summer she is interning with North Carolina Congressman G.K. Butterfield in Washington, D.C. through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF).

There are hundreds of interns on the “hill” with some offices having as many as 18 students, but being a CBCF intern with a member makes you stand out. There is a huge network associated with it. I love being surrounded by intelligent, young black people who are passionate about similar issues and love politics. I don’t always get that every day at N.C. A&T,” Gilmore said.

Established in 1971, the CBCF prides itself on the commitment towards “ensuring that African Americans and other marginalized communities in the United States have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.”

The organization’s agenda includes a prevalent policy to the Black community such as criminal justice reform, educational equity, voter suppression, minority business council, and foreign supports of Africa.

In the current Congress, the CBCF has one of it’s highest member representation in both houses in its history and accumulates for a fourth of the House Democratic Caucus overall.

Gilmore’s first-morning duty is to gather news clippings to send to the congressman’s staff. After that, her day may vary and is usually never the same as the previous one. Gilmore takes pride in the flexibility and spontaneity of her internship.  

She stated that most times she is attending and writing briefs and memos for staffers or jotting down talking points for a speech for the congressman. Gilmore is currently working on various projects that relate to North Carolina like Durham’s gentrification and the effects of Hurricane Matthew on the eastern coast of North Carolina.

Gilmore is a highly active student on campus. This upcoming school year, she will be Editor of theWord for the A&T Register, junior class president, an ambassador for the University Honors Program, and co-event coordinator for Midwest Aggies.

She plans on continuing to enhance her political education this fall by working with N.C. Senator Gladys Robinson on her campaign for re-election.

Not only has Gilmore’s passion for politics been ignited through her internship but her love for journalism as well. She is often inspired by the consistent news coverage she is around and the many professional journalists she comes into contact with on a daily basis.

“I often walk past reporters and say to myself “I can’t wait until that’s me,” she said.

Gilmore credits her internship for opening networking doors that will help her towards her political aspirations. She aspires to one day become the U.S. Ambassador to Germany. She plans on learning more about this process through attending Foreign Affairs briefings with the hope of shadowing the committee’s office.

“For starters, I’ve been learning German for the past 8 years and I have visited on occasion. I feel for the country. The issues they have but also the progressions they have made are very intriguing to me,” she said.

Gilmore credits her department with the persistence of getting involved early on. She is grateful that they have instilled in her the importance of working hard and grinding until you get to the top.  

She hopes that her internship with CBC will open up doors for other N.C. A&T students. Her advice to others would be to never be afraid to apply yourself.

Gilmore describes herself as “ a young woman with a purpose and a voice that will be heard.” Even though she has only just started to take the necessary steps towards the big leagues, her passion, and dedication to change our society precede her. She will truly one day be a name that people will never be able to forget.