N.C. Central University students gathered in the Alfonso Elder Student Union Sept. 13 to meet and greet actress Tatyana M. Ali.
Currently on the campaign trail for Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, Ali visited NCCU to speak to students and members of the community about Obama’s message of change and hope.
The actress, who gained fame as Ashley Banks on the 90’s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has been traveling as a spokeswoman for the Obama campaign since January.
Her first stop as a campaign representative was in Iowa before the primaries.
Ali admitted she was surprised when Obama won the state, though she had hoped for such an outcome.
Since Iowa, she has traveled all across the country.
She said HBCUs were one of her targeted audiences.
She also visited Shaw University in Raleigh on Sept. 13.
Ali also has spent time going door-to-door registering voters.
She said she tries to recruit voters and volunteers everywhere she goes.
Ali said she chose to campaign for Senator Obama because she “likes what he stands for and what he talks about.”
His position on education and the fact that Obama was a community organizer particularly struck home with the soft-spoken Brooklyn, New York native.
As the daughter of immigrants, Ali was raised by the standards that have drawn many to Senator Obama — the belief that America is a place where hopes and dreams can always become reality.
English freshman Bishari Cooper said she was moved by Ali’s speech.
“It was full of passion,” Cooper said.
“I’m already involved with campaigning, but she inspired me to talk to more people everywhere I go.”
Ali described her experience working for the Obama-Biden campaign, which was her first time ever volunteering for any campaign, as “incredible,”and “a really beautiful thing.”