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The New Guard

Saying Yes to YAF

By

Jasmyn Jordan

May 29, 2024

The first semester of my freshman year was a complete disaster. I couldn’t stand my majors, struggled to make friends, and my grades were a far cry from my high school achievements. Determined to make the second semester a total turnaround, I spent winter break crafting a list of organizations to get involved with. Young Americans for Freedom immediately caught my eye.

I had been very impressed with the  Iowa YAF chapter since they brought Vice President Mike Pence to campus in November 2021. When I returned to school, I decided to go to their first meeting of the year. I was anxious about attending this meeting because I had never been around conservative individuals before other than my family members. The Left often perpetuates stereotypes about conservatives being racist, close-minded, intolerant, and prejudiced, which made me a bit anxious. Contrary to these stereotypes, the YAF chapter welcomed me with open arms. For the first time, I felt like I belonged on campus.  

After attending that meeting, I was hooked. From then on, I dove headfirst into the chapter’s exciting activities. I attended as many of Iowa YAF’s tabling events, social outings, meetings, and guest lectures as I could. Each day was a new adventure, filled with passionate discussions, debates, inspiring speakers, and the chance to connect with like-minded individuals who have become some of my closest friends. In March, I decided to join the chapter’s leadership team. I spent hours perfecting my presentation to showcase my passion for the role. My hard work paid off when I was elected to the board! 

The first project I helped lead was bringing Kellyanne Conway to campus for an event. While I was assisting with the promotion of this event, some students did not like that I, as a black woman, was supporting it. They doxxed me to a group chat of hundreds of students. I was verbally attacked over a span of several hours and was called a “token”, “bigot”, “white supremacist”, and many other profane terms. I was also sent hundreds of spam text messages. Other black students who I thought were my friends treated me as an outcast, claiming that my involvement with a conservative organization made them uncomfortable and afraid. I ignored these absurdities because they are all untrue and focused on my academics and ensuring that the event was a success.

When Kellyanne took questions after her lecture, I asked, “As a black woman that is the Secretary of the YAF chapter here, I have been harassed, ostracized, and called a bigot and white supremacist.  I was wondering what advice you have for getting historically marginalized groups such as women and people of color more interested and involved in the conservative movement?” Her reply is something that I’ll never forget. “You don’t let people define who you are because God made you and He had a plan for you. Whoever God made, no other man or woman can cancel. You have every right to stand up and express your opinions, and join this wonderful group and in this case be an officer of the group, be its secretary. I don’t know if I can give you advice beyond what you’re doing and who you are.  You’re showing it, you’re living it. You’re not just checking a box saying I’m a black conservative, I’m a female conservative. You’re saying join us, come, speak.”

I was at one of my lowest points in life and undecided on my future until I joined Iowa Young Americans for Freedom. Rising through the ranks of Young Americans for Freedom as a member, secretary, vice-chairwoman, chairwoman, and now national chairwoman has helped me to become more ideologically engaged and further develop my beliefs and values. Doing so inspired me to change my major to political science and international relations on the pre-law track and increase my interest in law school.

I have met my closest friends through this organization. I have also met and spoken with my favorite public figures like Matt Walsh and Tori Hope Peterson who inspire me to continue pursuing God and conservatism. Iowa YAF has motivated me to work for candidates and organizations that share my values. I interned on and volunteered for four political campaigns this election year and I am currently writing for two conservative news outlets. Even though I continue to experience harassment and bullying from students and staff members–which I simply brush off–I am confident that God will use those experiences for a greater purpose. Whenever I need consolation and confirmation about my identity, I re-listen to Kellyanne Conway’s encouraging and uplifting message and know that I’m doing the right thing.

YOU can become the voice of freedom on your high school or college campus. Start a YAF chapter today!

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About

About Us

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