Spring 2008

These grants have been awarded to student- and/or faculty/staff-initiated projects that address issues of identity, pluralism and unity.

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Opening Ceremony
Recipient: Yume Kim
Brandeis Asian American Student Association
A celebration to start Asian Pacific American Heritage Month featuring the comic Eliot Chang, a student speaker from Tufts University, and the Japanese Student Association band, Super Going!. It has been a long-time tradition at Brandeis to commemorate the contributions and achievements of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  In recent years, we have extended what was originally a one-week long celebration to a month filled with a variety of events and activities that educate and entertain the Asian Pacific American community, as well as the greater Brandeis community, about the histories, traditions, and cultures of our ancestors.  The events also address current issues relevant to the Asian American community. 

Recipients: Sheldon Best and Ryan McElhaney
While this play is very much about mental health, it is also about race, privilege, and ethnocentricity in the diagnosis of mental disorders among other issues. This play was mounted through the Free Play Theater Cooperative in the hopes of raising a dialogue about these issues and encouraging viewers to ask how race functions in our society and how race is perceived by the privileged and unprivileged. Most people concur that race is a social construction; all the same, it is a social construction that has very real ramifications, many of which people overlook with potentially devastating consequences.

Coffee Project Appreciation Station
Recipients: Kaitlin Schofield and Hannah Zangwill
The campus and facilities of Brandeis University are maintained by a dedicated group of workers who help to ensure we enjoy a clean, attractive and functioning institution. However, we feel the important roles that the janitorial and facilities staffs fill are seldom publicly acknowledged and appreciated by a majority of the Brandeis community. The goal of this project is to increase awareness of the individuals that work alongside students and faculty as well as show appreciation for these workers and their roles on campus. We aim to provide coffee for the janitorial staff and interested students before work shifts begin while fostering a communication exchange between students and Brandeis staff.

Collaborative Process Project
Recipients: Rebecca Webber and Amanda Brown
Seven seniors in the theater department have combined forces to do the nearly impossible: write a play from their communal minds. This original experiment in performance, composition, and collaboration explores the concept of what it means to be without time. Witness the intensity of theater in the moment.

Culture X 2008
Recipients: Ameeka Pannu and Debra Cho
Culture X is Brandeis’ biggest annual intercultural show, and as always, features traditional and modern dances, bands, skits, spoken word, and other displays of talent. This year, we plan on asking several groups to unite to put on fusion acts, along with giving many groups the opportunity to participate.

Holi 2008
Recipients: Kamolika Roy and Nithya Setty
South East Asian Student Association
An ancient Hindu festival commemorating the coming of spring and the triumph of good over evil through the throwing of color. Traditionally, people throw colored powder and water at one another as a means of expressing the joy that is evoked by the season. The story of Holi originates with Lord Krishna, the famous blue god of the Hindu faith. Truly a visual spectacle of diversity and vibrancy, Holi 2008 is bound to unite the Brandeis community in this huge, once-a-year color fight.

Homies in Harmony II: Music, Food and More with Jewish and Muslim Students
Recipients: Jeremy Heyman and Farisha Mohammed
A program designed to foster friendships between Jewish and Muslim students on campus. Ethnic/religious musical performances form the center of the program. Vegetarian, Kosher ethnic foods will be served as a snack.

IF Sculpture
Recipients: Esti Schloss and Jessica Kent
The IF sculpture captures a new image of interfaith involvement, challenges and accomplishments at Brandeis. The sculpture encompasses our visions for the future of positive possibility for interfaith understanding, engagement and cooperation.

Mandy Carter Visit
Recipient: Scott Frost
Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the 2006 recipient of the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders Spirit of Justice Award, Mandy Carter presented and talked with students about coalition building, activism on campus, and her experience as an African American, lesbian social justice activist.

The ELL Book
Recipients: Julia Belagorudsky and Ellie Klausner
ELL Program
The ELL initiative publishes a book every spring with a particular theme that highlights the efforts of the learners and tutors throughout the semester. Each learner is able to submit a story worked on with their tutors for the book. The book is then distributed to the Brandeis community as a way of displaying the hard work that both the tutors and the learners put into the ELL program.

Urtexts: The Undergraduate Journal of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Studies at Brandeis
Recipients: Binyamin Kagedgan and Faraz Mahmood
Urtexts is a student-run academic journal presenting the research of Brandeis University undergraduates in the field of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic studies. Urtexts aims to encourage and engender the serious academic study of these three religions, and to enable Brandeis students in the field to share their research with their peers and the entire Brandeis community. Urtexts also aims to use the study of religion as a unifying force between adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Welcome to Our Refugee Camp
Recipients: Walaa Sbeit and Ryan McElhaney
A break from traditional theater form, the audience will be taken on a “tour” around Spingold Balcony, which has been transformed into a Palestinian refugee camp. Issues such as identity, peace, ownership, and violence will be explored.