Fall 2008

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

Activist Resource Training
Recipients: Katie Schofield and Claire Charny
The Activist Resource Center
The Activist Resource Center (ARC) is hosting a series of workshops spanning the course of the semester to train all campus activists in the areas of pluralism, diversity, privilege, recruitment, effective political action, and community organizing. These workshops and trainings will be open to the entire Brandeis community, from activists for peace and democracy to equal rights to religious causes. The goals of this project are to energize, motivate, train and thus build coalitions among activist student groups on campus, as well as teaching skills, ideas, and pluralistic values.

Annual Campus Wide Iftar 2008
Recipient: Quizilbash
Muslim Student Association
Eid-ul-fitr is the festival that marks the end of  the month of Ramadan. On this day of celebration, the new moon is sighted and Muslims wear new clothes, cook delicacies and visit their loved ones to greet them with gifts and sweets. Eid-ul-fitr is an auspicious day with important religious significance. It celebrates the virtues of forgiveness, moral victory, peace, brotherhood and unity. Devotees who go on fasts in the month of Ramadan feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The Muslim Student Association will be celebrating EID with their fellow brothers and sisters who are away from their family to give them love and support and enjoy the blessing of EID. There will be a Henna artist, music, and good food.

Brandeis Open Arms Open Mic Series
Recipient: Jason Henry Simon-Bierenbaum
B.O.M.S. is a spoken word oriented weekly open mic series at Brandeis that will feature nationally recognized poets from the Boston, Worcester, and Providence areas as well as nationally touring poets. The goals of this project are to create a safe space for artistic communication in an entertaining form, weekly on campus. 

Brandeis Playback Theatre Society
Recipient: Etta King
Brandeis Playback Theatre Society
This is the perfect opportunity for Brandeis students, staff and faculty to learn more about the practice and performance of Playback Theatre! Join Brandeis Playback Theatre Society and members of Hudson River Playback Theatre for a day of improvisational theatre, games, music, learning and fun! Food provided. RSVP Etta King, Technical Director, ettak@brandeis.edu.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2008
Recipient: Adriel Orozco
Culminating a month-long celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month, LATINO U.S.A.:Presencia e Identidad is the month's Main Event. The night will be filled with dance groups showcasing the mixture of Latin identity with those present in the United States, such as Indian-Latin fusions, Hip Hop and traditional dances. The show will also have skits questioning the limits of identity, a student band, and much more! Authentic Latin American food will be served for free after the show!!

Iftars in Residence
Recipients: Ashley Skipwith and Anum Irfan Khan
Muslim Students Association
A series of events during which each of the quad staffs hosts Iftars, working with the Muslim Students Association to raise campus awareness about Ramadan, while also providing sustenance for the members of the Brandeis community. This program will foster networking between residents, MSA members, and other members of the community, as well as provide a more thoughtful understanding of Ramadan and the Muslim faith.

Interfaith Intercultural Friday Night Dinner
Recipients: James Fleishman and Gabriella Wertman
This project is an attempt to bring students from different parts of campus together, literally "at one table" to share a good meal and spark conversations about diversity at Brandeis and beyond. We are going to reach out to other clubs, such as Mixed Heritage Club and Playback Theatre, to co-sponsor the event and help lead discussions.

Global Affairs Table
Recipients: Benjamin Gorelick and Jonah Seligman
This project aims to address the need for greater international understanding and dialogue. With current relevant topics from around the world brought to the table by the scholars from those regions, the Brandeis community will be exposed to what will become a self-sustaining Brandeis tradition of promoting understanding of many diverse international identities. This project will bring together faculty with related research and interests, staff, graduate and undergraduate students in the spirit of open discussion and willingness to share insight.

Mela: Retracing our Roots
Recipients: Priyal Patel and Richa Sahay
South East Asian Students Association
The South East Asian Students Association, as per tradition, is hosting our annual culture show, Mela 2008, this fall. This show consists of an eclectic mix of acts such as dances, band performances, poetry recitations, skits, a fashion show and a slide show to bring to Brandeis a taste of the culture of the 8 countries of South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Philosophical Love
Recipients: Justin Becker and Arielle Siverstein-Tapp
"Philosophical Love" is a dance piece that examines and discusses the issues the gay community faces in China but also stands as a mouthpiece for any disenfranchised group unable to live in an open, free and accepting environment. It follows the story of two male lovers and the obstacles they face trying to be together. The piece will bring together both Modern Chinese and Modern Western songs with Hip Hop, Modern, Ballroom, West African and Chinese dance. After the event, a discussion shall take place led by the creator of the piece, Justin Becker. He will talk about his experiences in China and open the forum as talk-back.

Sexualities Discussion Group
Recipient: Alison Better
Our group meets to discuss issues in sexualities on a weekly basis. Topics are selected 2 weeks in advance, with meetings typically being led by students who have particular interest in the week's topic. Since everyone has sexuality, this group transcends the scope of current LGBT issues on campus, and we seek to approach matters in an academic manner.

Spoken & Heard: Crowning the Illest Collegiate Poet
Recipients: Shaina Gilbert and Taisha Sturdivant
Come enjoy powerful and inspiring spoken-word poetry performed by some of the finest collegiate poets in Massachusetts as they compete to be crowned “the Illest Collegiate Poet” and for the opportunity to perform alongside world renowned poets at VOCAL 2009 here at Brandeis.

Untangling the Web: Different Perspectives to Achieve Health Parity
Recipient: Sandyha Nambudripad
FIMRC members will share their experiences volunteering in two impoverished Peruvian clinics as well as discuss the similarities and differences between the Costa Rican project sites members have assisted in previous years. During this time we will also facilitate a discussion between professors and scholars well-versed in areas that have an impact on global health. We will analyze the problem of disparities in international health through the perspectives of these various areas of expertise and discuss the importance all these schools of study have on global health issues. We will also demonstrate how melding these perspectives together to get a holistic view of global health can lead to new avenues that can be taken to facilitate change.