Photo by Casey Gomez

On Oct. 2, John Legend came to campus as part of a tour across metro Atlanta universities to promote Stacey Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign. 

The Technique was able to privately field Legend questions after his talk concluded.

Technique: Out of the slate of issues that Abrams’s campaign addresses, what do you feel are the most important issues to you, and what particularly drew you to this election, to come to Georgia to help push for Stacey?

Legend: Well, out of the ones I mentioned today that I think are important, I think making higher education affordable and debt-free for Georgians is going to be a huge deal for so many people. So many people are dealing with debt from college and it’s a really difficult thing to do because we tell everyone that you need to go to college to have upward mobility and be part of the American dream, but it’s so unaffordable for so many people. And they’re saddled with debt for such a long time that it’s really difficult for them to thrive. So I think that’s a big deal. 

I think expanding Medicare for 500,000 Georgians is a massive thing. Just think what having 500,000 more people with access to healthcare will mean for this state. I think it will mean the quality of life will improve significantly. And I think it’s important that she’s going to reform the criminal justice system. All of those things I think are critical. She cares so much about investing in education. She cares so much about investing in Georgia, and making sure Georgia is on the right path. I think she’s going to do a great job for the state, and I’m happy to support her.

Technique: As the first African American [nominee of a major party for governor], what do you feel that means for the future of Georgia, and also for like the country, in terms of having more diverse people [inside of state government]?

Legend: Well, I think [what] we’re seeing here in Georgia, here in Florida and other places around the country, we’re seeing more candidates of color elevating to some of the highest positions as nominees in the state. I think that’s another sign of progress for the country.  I think the country is becoming more inclusive despite, you know, losing charge. I think the country is becoming more inclusive and more diverse, and I think that’s a great thing for the country.

Technique: What important issues do you feel like students have the ability to tackle in the future, in terms of their personal activism, just as their role as students?

Legend: Well,  I think that each student is going to have to determine what they’re passionate about. I think there are plenty of issues to care about: we should care about environment, we should care about criminal justice reform, we should care about healthcare. There’s all kind of issues people can get excited about. 

And I think it’s up to the person to figure out what that is for them, and then take that passion and turn it into action. Do something. 

Whether it’s protesting, whether it’s campaigning, getting other people out to vote. The minimum I think to do is voting. And then beyond that, getting other people out to vote, and making your voice heard in other ways I think is important too.