Talya Kahan '13
My name is Talya Kahan and I graduated with majors in Sociology and Politics in May 2012. (I can't believe it's been that long already!) I minored in SJSP and HSSP. While at Brandeis, I was involved in a number of student organizations and initiatives dealing with issues ranging from poverty alleviation to ways of addressing the health and housing disparities of low income Waltham residents. In the summer of 2011, I participated in the SJSP-affiliated Justice Brandeis Semester program "Civil Rights and Racial Justice in Mississippi." We spent eight weeks in Mississippi uncovering and organizing thousands of records that documented the systematic ways in which segregation was upheld through various institutions, in support of an ongoing initiative spearheaded by the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation, a leading restorative justice organization in the state. Soon after graduation, I returned to Mississippi to work as a counselor at the Summer Youth Institute, which aims to provide high school students with leadership and community building tools to create change in their local communities, and formally joined the Winter Institute in August 2012, when I was hired as a Research Associate. I'm moving to London in the fall, to pursue an MSc. in Human Rights from the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Molly Schneider '11
I'm from Princeton, N.J. I majored in sociology and had a double double minor in the Social Justice and Social Policy Program and African and Afro-American studies. I have worked with Community Change Inc., a non-profit in Boston and the only organization in Massachusetts to focus specifically on combating structural racism and creating awareness of white privilege. I am spending my summer engaging youth in racial reconciliation, community building, and leadership developmentat the William Winter Institute in Oxford, Mississippi. I will be entering the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration this fall.
Through my work, I have started to look at racism through a different lens, have learned the importance of picking and choosing your battles and, above all, I have learned to have patience when dealing with people who view life differently than I do.
Becky Sniderman '10
I am from Barrington, R.I. I completed a double major in sociology and philosophy, and I also completed the minors for the Health: Science, Society, and Policy Program and the Social Justice and Social Policy Program. During the summer of 2008, I was able to experience the beneficial opportunity of working as a development and communications intern at Alternatives for Community and Environment. ACE is located in Roxbury, Mass. and is a nonprofit organization focused on environmental justice within both the local Boston area and Massachusetts at large. ACE is a community-oriented organization that seeks to empower local residents to demand environmental justice based on everyone’s right to a healthy, clean and productive environment.
I began working at Facing History and Ourselves in January 2013 as the Development Coordinator for the New England region. In my role at Facing History, a non-profit that believes that education is the key to combating bigotry and nurturing democracy, I am in charge of planning and executing local fundraising and community events. Prior to working at Facing History, I was an Executive Assistant at Family Equality Council, an organization that works to ensure equality for families with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. During my time at Family Equality, in addition to providing administrative support to the Executive Office, I was also the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and served as the Coordinator for the Internship Program.
I was accepted into the prestigious Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar Program in the summer of 2010. I lived with 11 other recent graduates at Howard University and worked in Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes-Norton's office learning about legislation that addresses healthcare inequity. As an undergraduate, I served as the first Undergraduate Department Representative for the SJSP minor program. I believe that this interdisciplinary minor is an excellent course of study for any Brandeis student and that the courses I took as part of the minor directly helped me pursue a career related to my passion for social justice and impacting the lives of others.
Annalyce Shufelt '11
I was one of the Undergraduate Departmental Representatives for the 2009-10 school year. I completed a double-major in politics and history, and of course a minor in the Social Justice and Social Policy Program. Since May of 2008, I have been a legislative intern in Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray's constituent services office. My main responsibility is to correspond with constituents, whether it be in person, over the phone, or through written mail. I also take notes at hearings and briefings, and then summarize them in memos to Murray. Most recently, though, my time has been spent mainly working on Murray's active role in her district (Plymouth and Barnstable), from trying to revamp her Web site and creating a paper version of her newsletter, to sending welcome letters to families who move into the district.
Sahar Massachi '11
Most friends of Sahar Massachi would be taken unaware by the fact that he's a Computer Science major, but the SJSP minor wouldn't surprise any of them. The founder and editor of campus publication InnermostParts.org, a gentleman, and a scholar, he spent the summer working for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, recruiting support for a "Next Generation of Talent" initiative and plotting advocacy campaigns. Coming out of this internship, he has decided to seek a more holistic approach to organizing, a more balanced approach to life, and a more inspiring vision for the future.