Sidebar Title

Dillon Harvey


Major: Critical Race & Sexuality Studies
Minor: Legal Studies

What is your IIM about?
The goal of pursuing a major in Critical Race & Sexuality Studies is to study race and sexuality on a critical level where
nothing is taken for granted as a given, but instead heavily scrutinized and analyzed to see how such constructions
came to exist and to whose benefit. Using intersectionality as an analytical framework, I seek to understand processes
which craft individual and group identities that determine political and legal rights, freedoms, and privileges in our

When and how did you begin the IIM process?
Prior to coming to Brandeis, I was convinced that I would be a Politics major and Legal Studies minor. My ideal plan
was to study the law, particularly with a focus on fields that represent groups which are often disenfranchised and
marginalized, such as Civil Rights or Employment law. After a decent legal career I would transition to politics and
run for an office. To be expected, that vision has changed a bit after coming to Brandeis and learning that there are
more options out there which allow me to represent and help the communities I care about beyond a tradition public
servant role.

I have always had the desire to understand and defend persons who may not be capable of advocating for themselves.
Not everyone enjoys being vocal and facing issues in a confrontational manner, but from a young age I have enjoyed
playing “lawyer” for my friends or myself if the opportunity presented itself. Taking a firm stance and proving a
point is an amazing feeling, as well as necessary when someone challenges you. Unfortunately, groups that are not
normative within society have the burden of challenging the system in hopes of achieving equal and equitable access
and security.

As for the IIM process, I first considered it my freshman year, initially with the intention of pursuing Politics,
Philosophy, and Law (PPL). After taking courses that honed in specifically on my interests, race and sexuality, I
decided that I wanted to focus critically on those topics instead of PPL. Through conversations with numerous
professors, I learned that I could turn my passions into a field of study here at Brandeis by doing some research and
careful planning. Combining my professors’ knowledge, the counseling of academic advisors, and the support of IIM
UDR’s, I was able to design the perfect major for me.

How are you pursuing the IIM outside of the classroom?
My IIM is constantly affecting how I navigate the world around me. I have learned to be more critical of the way
people and the media use certain societal norms and stereotypes in various ways to appeal to certain audiences for
gain and good favor. It has been fascinating discovering how race, class, gender and sexuality permeate fields such as
politics, music, and capitalism in the most furtive ways.

In addition, my IIM greatly complements my activist pursuits. I enjoy working on racial and LGBTQ social justice
initiatives and projects that aim to make society more equal and equitable for these marginalized identities. Acquiring
the historical and analytical knowledge offered by this university is a privilege many members of this society do not
have access to and I find using what I learn imperative to creating positive change in the world. Some avenues I have
taken to be a part of creating change include serving as the Triskelion General Coordinator for the year of 2012-2013
and participating in the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network Progressive Policy Fellowship during the summer of