Greetings from Denver! My name is Rachel Price, and I am a Wartburg student currently studying at Wartburg West. I am double-majoring in Religion and Peace and Justice, and I have an internship which takes place partially at the Rocky Mountain Synod office – ECLA, and partially at Colorado Impact: Center for Economic Prosperity. Thus far, I have greatly enjoyed both opportunities and I’m learning worlds of new information about advocacy work, government processes, and the wider church.
There are many bits and pieces of my Denver life which have really stuck with me in the last month, and surely those pieces, the things I’ve found most valuable, are the things which may be most worth discussing now. For example, most everything in our area is accessible by foot, and surely by bike. In my hometown, we have to drive 30 minutes just to find a Wal-Mart, but I’ve been here for almost a month, and I still have three quarters of a tank of gas in my car. There’s great fro-yo everywhere, and intriguing restaurants everywhere I look. Shopping or hanging out at the 16th St. Mall can happen just a few blocks away, and so can a visit to the Capitol Building and Civic Park.
Another perk is the friendliness of those who live in the city. I’ve noticed that a vast majority of people around here are more than willing to engage in friendly conversation in a line at a store, walking down the sidewalk, etc. People aren’t so reserved, and it’s great to get to know people from many varying cultures and backgrounds. I’ve experienced many different festivals which exhibit many different cultures while in Denver, as well. The way I see it, this city sort of exemplifies the “melting pot” trend that people normally attribute to the United States; however, because it’s so much more condensed in a city than an entire country, the truth in that title is very visible here. I’ve met people already who come from many other places and with whom the only visible things I may have in common are the humanity and dignity which are inherent to each of us (of course, that’s a large quality to share with a person).
This brings me to my final and most favorite part of my experience thus far: People do justice. Sure, there are many different ways in which a person could “do justice,” but I’m talking about the type of social justice which unites people with one another and lets people maintain their own dignity and humanity regardless of any cultural, racial, economic, sexual, or gender-related differences between a person and the cultural “norm.” (What is normal, anyway?) Everywhere I look, there is an organization or group of people willing to dedicate themselves to doing justice in order to have a more united, more fulfilling community, and that, surely, is the greatest thing I’ve seen yet.