By Victoria Ebner
For The Diamondback

Former democratic Ohio state Senator Nina Turner spoke to a group of students Wednesday on the importance of mobilizing millennials in "progressive organizing."

The event was hosted by Our Revolution, a national-level progressive movement, which originated in support of Senator Bernie Sanders' (D-Vt.) presidential campaign. This discussion with about 50 students and other community members kicked off the semester for the University of Maryland's Our Revolution chapter, as students addressed political issues and expressed their commitment to progressive changes.

"We need to keep the pressure [and] keep up the heat," said Turner, who also serves as the national president of Our Revolution.

Chris Walkup, a public policy graduate student and president of this university's chapter, agreed and said the group aims to "promote progressive policy not only at the national level, but at the local, county and state level as well."

"Each generation becomes more progressive, more woke, and more open-minded than before," Walkup said. "Our generation in particular is burdened with systemic racism, sexism, basically any -ism is felt acutely by our generation."

During Turner's speech she denounced college debt, and pushed for access to health care. Students responded with desire and curiosity to get more involved off-campus as well.

"I want young people to know that their voice matters, and it matters right now," Turner said. "I want them to know that they can be instrumental in shaping the future."

Freshman Rachel Harvey, an aerospace engineering major, said she these issues are very important to her. Other students there were in agreement with Harvey.

"I'm very passionate about making higher education more affordable, and about fixing racial and immigration issues," Harvey said.

Turner urged students to use their education to speak out against modern-day injustices, calling them to action as she said, "You could be the 21st century freedom riders."

"To be able to go to college and get this type of education means that in some ways, you are gifted," she said. "Use that cache and that voice to make a difference."

This university's chapter of Our Revolution plans to continue discussions around progressive politics, Walkup said. Next week the group will co-host a forum, "Immigration and the Fight for Justice," which features Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh.

The event will be Sept. 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Colony Ballroom in Stamp Student Union.