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'DEIS Impact events by topical category (click topic to view list)

Arts, Exhibititions and Screenings
Faith and Social Justice
Identity, Race and Gender
Intergenerational Justice
Society, Culture and Leadership
Students in Action

2016 Summary of Events


Download the full schedule booklet [PDF] and the one page (double-sided) schedule of events [PDF]!

Multiday Events

Diversity on Display: Perspectives in Diversity Relations

Display: Friday, Jan. 29-Sunday, Feb. 7, All day
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium
Event: Saturday, Feb. 6, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Diversity on DisplayThis display presented the narrative of diversity on the Brandeis campus. Photos taken by Beth Belaineh, event organizer, featured people of color in intricately composed photoshots representing what is expected from diversity. Within the intimate discussion, diversity becomes complicated, bringing out connotations of marketing, deception, and systematic truths within Brandeis. Nonetheless, through diversity and the struggles to humanely present diversity generated unity, resilience, futility, and aspirations to the Brandeis community. To realize true diversity, everyone must relinquish the underlying false commercialism of diversity. The presentation created a space to critique and reflect on how to unbuild and rebuild a diversity that truly embodies the essence of humanity.
Summary by Yeng Her, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Brandeis Student Union, Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, Brandeis Black Student Organization (BBSO), and Brandeis African Student Organization (BASO)
For more information: Bethlehem S. Belaineh,

Reframing Mass Atrocities

Friday, Jan. 29-Sunday, Feb. 7, All day
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Reframing Mass AtrocitiesThis display had a few different parts, which were mostly made of pieces of paper with text. One part told the stories of two people who took action to help those targeted by atrocities. One was Dr. Denis Mukwege, a doctor in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who treats women who have been sexually assaulted by forces fighting in the country’s conflict. The other was Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who protected many Hungarian Jews from being captured during the Holocaust. Quotes from both people were displayed. There were also several flyers from the national organization STAND (which Brandeis STAND is a chapter of), with information about different current conflicts around the world that have caused human rights violations. These included the conflicts in Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Burma, and Darfur. There was also information about the U.S.’s Atrocities Prevention Board, a U.S. government body that works to prevent atrocities in other countries. The display talked about the Atrocities Prevention Board’s record of helping to settle conflicts in Burundi and the Central African Republic. It mentioned that the board may be disbanded when a new president takes office, unless it is approved by Congress. There was a call to action for a photo campaign that STAND is doing, for which students can take a photo expressing support and send it to Brandeis STAND’s Facebook page. Around the borders of the display, there were many photos that students – from different colleges in the U.S., including Brandeis – had taken for this campaign. In them, the students held pieces of paper that said “I STAND for atrocities prevention because…”, with their reasons written in.
Summary by Devon Kennedy, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: STAND: the student-led movement to end mass atrocities
For more information: Jessica Goldstein,

Relearning Gender: Memorial to Transgender and Nonbinary Activists

Friday, Jan. 29-Sunday, Feb. 7, All day
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Relearning GenderThis display sought to "dismantle and disprove various misconceptions about the history of gender" through a display of photos and information on American activists from the LGBT+ community throughout history. They believe in the importance of education in effectively fighting prejudices and misconceptions that face transgender and nonbinary people.
Summary by Lindsay Mitnik, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Quiz Bowl Team
For more information: Katarina Weessies,

Social Justice Through 3D Technology, Art, and Science

Exhibit: Thursday, Jan. 28-Sunday, Feb. 7, All Day
Workshop: Sunday, Jan. 31, 3:00-6:00 p.m. in the MakerLab
Mezzanine/Green Room, Farber Library

3D ArtTechnologies such as 3D printing can revolutionize access and inclusivity in today's world. For example, event organizer Daniela Dimitrova made a 3D replica of "Square Reflections", a sculpture by Louise Nevelson, to make it more accessible for the visually impaired. While someone who is visually impaired can't touch the original sculpture, they can touch the 3D replica, making the art more accessible to all. In addition, the Brandeis Prostheses Club is working on making prostheses for children who need to use their muscles so they don't atrophy, but can't afford $10,000 - $50,000 for a regular prosthesis each time they grow. Furthermore, the Virtual Reality Club is using gaming technology to make 3D interactive virtual "tours" of the Rose Art Museum, particularly for those who live in rural areas and can't afford to visit an art museum. These technologies, like any other tools, can be used for good or ill -- either taking piracy to a new level (as 3D printers can make it possible to do home manufacturing of any copyrighted item), or making prostheses, art and museum experiences more accessible for all.

Sponsored by: Virtual Reality and Game Development Club (DeisVR), 3D Printing Club (Deis3D), MakerLab, and Brandeis Prostheses Club
For more information: Daniela Dimitrova,


Wednesday, January 27

’DEIS Impact Kickoff Party

Wednesday, Jan. 27, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

KickoffThis event kicked off the ‘DEIS Impact Festival with a fun and informative event. The kick-off featured top performance groups on campus including Brandeis Bhangra, Company B, and more. 'DEIS Impact event coordinators were be in attendance, so all attendees could learn about the various events happening during the week. 

Thursday, January 28

Writing Workshop: Combating Oppression Through Spoken Word Poetry

Thursday, Jan. 28, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Location: Intercultural Center

Writing WorkshopThis workshop was about the intersection between poetry and personal story. Independently hosted by Talia Franks '18 and Danni Tang '19, it was born of a desire to share poetry's potential to transform our pain into power. The workshop was a safe space where workshoppers could explore different forms of poetry and fuse what they learned and experienced into art, whatever that might be to them. Workshoppers brainstormed painful situations in their lives from the past few years, then wrote a haiku about one of those circumstances. Following this, they listened to a poem by Terrance Hayes and viewed another - "Black Life" by Kelli Amirah - prompting a free write session. Workshoppers left with the beginnings of some amazing poems on a variety of situations - from health to loss to personal relationships.
Summary by Danni Tang, 'DEIS Impacter

Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Brandeis Intercultural Center
For more information: Talia Franks,

Fund Your Social Justice Summer Internship!

Thursday, Jan. 28, 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Hiatt Career Center Conference Room

The WOW Internship Program is one of the hallmarks of Hiatt's support for undergraduate internships particularly in social justice related fields. Jackie Blesso, one of the coordinators of the program, led an information session to brief students who may be interested in applying for funds to help them complete their internship this summer.
Summary by Ziyang Chen, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Hiatt Career Center
For more information: Jackie Blesso,

Breaking Binary: A Post-It Discussion on Being Genderqueer

Thursday, Jan. 28, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Gender and Sexuality Center, Usdan Student Center

Breaking BinaryBreaking Binary was an open forum on what the gender binary is, what non-binary identities are, and how we can be more inclusive in our everyday lives. The Queer Policy Alliance hosted, beginning with a Post-It exhibit that attendees created detailing gender stereotypes for men and women that they have encountered in American society. The Post-Its activity, along with the music video "Little Game" by Benny, fueled a discussion among students and faculty about gender stereotypes, the gender binary, and pronoun use outside of "he" and "she" (for example, "they"). Attendees asked and answered each other's questions about how to be sensitive to people whose genders are not simply male or female. It was a great opportunity for dialogue about how often non-binary people are excluded and burdened in the classroom and at work!
Summary by Danni Tang, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Triskelion and Queer Policy Alliance

Louis D. Brandeis, The Supreme Court and American Democracy
Featuring remarks by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court of the United States

Thursday, Jan. 28, 5:00 p.m.
Shapiro Gymnasium, Gosman Sports and Convocation Center

Read the article in The Justice newspaper and the article in BrandeisNow. 

Part of "Louis D. Brandeis 100: Then and Now:" a semest

er-long celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of Justice Brandeis’ nomination and appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. 


Friday, January 29

A Talk about Justice: Racial and Criminal Inequality within the Criminal Justice System

Friday, January 29, 10:30 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

A Talk About JusticeA group of students and faculty united to learn about the inequalities within the justice system in America. To start things off, a TED talk titled “We need to talk about an injustice” by NYU professor Bryan Stevenson was screened. Stevenson argued that as a country we are unwilling to commit ourselves to go through a process of truth and reconciliation. Our country has had a long history of racial inequality and discrimination, yet Stevenson maintains that we have not had the opportunity to understand what it all means, because we have not made an effort to talk about it. The TED talk presented many facts and figures that demonstrated how unfair our criminal justice system can be towards racial minorities, especially African Americans. The screening of the TED talk was followed by a sit-down of students and faculty present in an effort to discuss the inequalities within our criminal justice system and the reason behind the existence of those inequalities. Towards the end of the discussion, students and faculty were presented with a small activity. The activity consisted of reading several real-life criminal cases and guessing the sentencing that was awarded to each offender. The activity was meant to display the difference between how Caucasians and racial minorities, like African Americans, were punished by our criminal justice system.
Summary by Jennifer Almodovar, 'DEIS Impacter

For more information: Amber Abernathy,

Wait, Was that Racist? A Discussion on Racial Microaggressions in Conversation

Friday, Jan. 29, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Levine Ross, Hassenfeld Conference Center (upper Sherman)

MicroaggressionsThe Southeast Asia Club hosted a discussion on racial microaggressions - the passive-aggressive racist things that people of color hear so often, from "you're pretty for a dark-skinned girl" to "no, where are you really from?" The talk was driven by a list of microaggressions that attendees created based on personal experience, as well as a New York Times video on campus movements against racial microaggressions, and on how racism can worm its way into our conversations, media, and communities. People of various cultural and national backgrounds were present for the conversation, making it a rich conversation.
Summary by Danni Tang, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: South East Asia Club (SEAC)
For more information: Danni Tang,

Social Impact with The Judges Teams

Friday, January 29, 4:00-10:00 p.m.
Gosman Sports and Convocation Center

Judges ActivismThe social impact that the Judges teams have participated in with Be Bold Be Bald and Net Impact was put on display during the Basketball UAA games. The event was tabled in the Gosman balcony, and literature from the organizations was handed out to both game spectators and gym guests. Event attendees were shown pictures of the athletes' involvement with these organizations, and some of the athletes were present to share their own personal experiences firsthand.
Summary by Eva Ahmad, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Brandeis Athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
For more information: Gabe Margolis,

Coffee, Cupcakes and Condoms: Conversations about Reproductive Justice is back!

Friday, Jan. 29, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

For the second year in a row, Brandeis Students for Reproductive Justice held a very popular and meaningful event about what reproductive justice means and how students can become involved in aiding the cause of reproductive justice. There was plenty of coffee and cupcakes for everyone! Student Leaders from BSRJ moderated an open discussion for over an hours about reproductive justice topics. It was a very comfortable and welcoming forum to ask questions, learn, state opinions, and debate.
Summary by Rebecca Mitchell, 'DEIS Impacter

Read the article in The Justice newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Students for Reproductive Justice (BSRJ)
For more information: Lexi Ouellette,

Interfaith Shabbat Dinner: Pluralism, Interfaith Dialogue, and Social Justice

Friday, Jan. 29, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Sherman Hall

A 'DEIS Impact-themed Shabbat dinner is an annual tradition at Brandeis. This year it took the shape of an interfaith conversation about the ways that people of faith can work together for social justice and break down barriers. During a traditional Jewish meal (open to all), participants at each table discussed questions such as examples of productive personal interfaith experiences, how negative interfaith experiences could have been improved, and how people can engage in deliberate interfaith dialogue beyond "everyday life" conversations.

Sponsored by: Hillel at Brandeis
For more information: Julia Sirota,

Saturday, January 30

ColaLife: Taking Medicine Where Coke Goes

Saturday, Jan. 30, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Levine Ross, Hassenfeld Conference Center (Upper Sherman)

ColaLifeThis event kicked off with a screening of The Cola Road, a documentary about ColaLife - the nonprofit that brings lifesaving medicine to developing countries using the same distribution networks as Coca-Cola. Starting in Zambia, a group of 4 built the nonprofit from the ground, driven by the fact that far too many infants died of diarrhea because crucial medicine was scarce - and yet Coca-Cola seemed to be found everywhere. The group also had the incredible chance to do a Skype Q&A with ColaLife founder Simon Berry, who lives in Zambia and had to use Skype via his cell phone due to a power outage in his village. He answered questions on ColaLife's relationships with for-profits, its future, and its impact on health services in Zambia.
Summary by Danni Tang, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Net Impact Brandeis (undergraduate chapter)
For more information: Jake Greenberg,

Prenatal Testing: The Intersection of Disability and Ethics in the 21st Century

Saturday, Jan. 30, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library

Prenatal TestingCentered around the implications that pre-natal testing holds within the disabled community, this event, moderated by Dr. Steven Gulley of the Heller School, featured a panel of three individuals who have each uniquely experienced disability. Melanie Perkins McLaughlin, mother to a child with Down Syndrome, spoke candidly of her experiences knowingly bearing and giving birth to a child with a life-changing disability. She discussed how these experiences prompted her to reconsider what it means to be disabled, and pushed her to become an advocate for disability rights in a movement that she described as a modern-day Civil Rights movement. Disability rights advocate Lydia X. Brown, who is autistic, discussed issues that disabled people commonly face as a marginalizes group, and explained why as a society we need to change the way we view the disabled so that their lives are consistently valued and protected. Shain Neumeier, an autistic attorney with several physical disabilities who specializes in disability rights, talked about their own experiences completing law school as a disabled individual. Additionally, Shain explained how genetic counselors can best educate parents on the many resources and opportunities that exist to help disabled people live happy, fulfilling lives. This event brought to light many contentious ethical dilemmas – after all, how can we best implement a woman’s right to choose within a society that systematically devalues the disabled? After the panelists shared their thoughts and experiences, audience members had the chance to ask questions for over an hour.
Summary by Michelle Oberman, 'DEIS Impacter

Check out their 
ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Brandeis Students for Disability Activism
For more information: Ruthann Hewett,

Sunday, January 31

Get Off the Grid: Sustaining the Environment, Eliminating Poverty

Sunday, Jan. 31, 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Levine Ross, Hassenfeld Conference Center (Upper Sherman)

Get off the Grid photo"Sustainability doesn't mean sacrificing quality of life," said Zoe Zelkha. Living in Israel for a year, she saw firsthand a variety of innovative sustainability measures such as a home biogas system that uses food scraps to produce 2-3 hours of cooking fuel per day; geodesic domes made of aluminum, straw and mud; and a "lasagna garden" built on top of the desert sand in raised beds layered with matter high in carbon (leaves, sawdust, wood) and layers high in nitrogen (greens, food scraps, manure). She spoke about the rooftop garden right here at Brandeis started by the Farmer's Club, using urban space to grow food. Using materials provided in the workshop, participants planted their own small gardens of peas or beans in sawed-off soda bottles, assembled in such a way that watering them lasts 2 weeks or longer. Brandeis was delighted to host Cambridge School of Weston students, staff and science teachers at this event as well.

Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Farmers’ Club and Waltham Group Symbiosis
For more information: Zoe Zelkha,

emPOWER: Self-Defense against Sexual Assault

Sunday, Jan. 31, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

emPOWERIn this interactive workshop, students had the opportunity to learn and practice self-defense techniques taught by a member of the Brandeis police force. Students learned the safest and most effective ways to protect themselves in a variety of threatening situations. Furthermore, staff members of Brandeis' Psychological Counseling Center presented about self-care and led guided meditation sessions. Additionally, a student representative for Brandeis' Rape Crisis Center shared the resources available to students who have been affected by sexual assault. Towards the end of the event, students were presented with sexual assault statistics, and learned how one's race, sexual identity, and gender greatly impact one's chances of being sexually assaulted. The event culminated with small group discussions and reflections.
Summary by Michelle Oberman, 'DEIS Impacter

Read the article in The Justice newspaper. 
Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Heller Gender Working Group, Heller LGBT Working Group, and Brandeis Rape Crisis Center
For more information: Allison Goforth,


Monday, February 1


Empowering Youth Through Business and Education: The Story of More Than Words

Monday, Feb.1, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Room 313

MTWEmployees and youth participants from More Than Words (MTW) gave an educational and interactive presentation on their business and youth programs. Those who attended the event were asked to brainstorm the things they felt youth (ages 16-21) need in order to successfully transition to adulthood, which were then later addressed as the things MTW helps their youths achieve. Following this, the team provided statistics about the youth they work with, such as 6 million youths in our country are currently unemployed or not in school, and only 3% of youth in foster care will obtain a college degree. They then presented the business and program model that they use, which includes the business job, the "you job," and the graduate program, which adds up to about 3 years of support. Following these programs, MTW continues to support their members with education and employment opportunities through their partnerships with other organizations, schools, and programs. As they described, MTW looks like a business, but is really a model for changing kids lives and acts as a place to build skills and confidence. Their goal is to use the business as a vehicle to empower youth. They ended the event by opening the discussion on what else can be done to help youth like those they work with, and what we can learn from the model that has been so successful for MTW.
Summary by Lindsay Mitnik, 'DEIS Impacter

Read the article in The Hoot newspaper. 
Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF].

Sponsored by: Community Service Department and More Than Words
For more information: Elena Babineau,

Renewal: A Faith-Based Approach to Saving the Planet

Monday, Feb. 1, 3:00-4:40 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

renewalThis event was the brilliant combination of two spheres that people generally don't see intersecting: that of religion and environmentalism. Sponsored by the Brandeis Chaplaincy and coordinated by Rabbi Elyse Winick the even features a screening of the film "Renewal" and a discussing with the director, Marty Ostrow. Mr. Ostrow had work in producing documentaries, particulary those of an environmental nature for decade but had always felt there was an aspect of environmentalism, it's connection towards religion, that people constantly over look. Years of work culminated in "Renewal," an anthology of stories about various faith communities, from a Jewish day school summer camp to a Baptist church in the South. "Renewal" showcases how religious groups draw inspiration from and their duty to protect the environment from their faith. Two clips were shown and what followed was a fascinating and in depth discussion where the director, each member of the chaplaincy office, and several students share how their faith impacts their environmentalism. It was a inspiration and though provoking afternoon.
Summary by Rebecca Mitchell, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Brandeis Chaplaincy
For more information: Rabbi Elyse Winick,

Environmental Health in Hair Salons: Research Findings

Monday, Feb. 1, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Geller, Hassenfeld Conference Center (Upper Sherman)

Environmental Health Hair SalonsThis event was the capstone project of a semester long Justice Brandeis Semester program in which students collected data from a previously unobserved source, black hair salons. Due to standards of white beauty that our society has established, one of the most popular hairstyles requested at black hair salons is hair straightening. However, the chemicals associated with this service release harmful chemicals into the salon, enough to the point that one of the students remarked there were a "higher concentration of pollutants in some black hair salons than in Beijing". The event managed to be highly intelligent while also being extremely accessible, to the point that a non-science major such as myself was still able to grasp most parts of the presentation. The findings also sparked much debate; after asking if there were any questions one woman piped up from the audience "so many questions!". It was a fascinating event that addressed issues of social justice, environmental health, and body image, and hopefully the findings will be used to implement work environments for hairstyles in black salons everywhere.
Summary by Kris Labovitch, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Environmental Health and Justice Justice Brandeis Semester
For more information: Cassidy Tatun,

Reclaiming Narrative through African Diasporic Cuisine

Monday, Feb. 1, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Forum

Reclaiming the Narrative“Reclaiming Narrative Through African Diasporic Cuisine” was a delicious event, both literally and figuratively speaking. The first part of the event consisted of enjoying healthy and vegetarian soul food. The second part of the event consisted of discussing how the delicious food that was presented allowed individuals to connect to their blackness or to black culture in general. It is indisputable that food is an essential aspect of culture, and this event aimed to spark discussions about the distinct ways that soul food allows people to express themselves and their activism.
Summary by Jennifer Almodovar, 'DEIS Impacter

Read the article in The Hoot newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Women of Color Alliance (WOCA)
For more information: Queen White, 

Breaking the Story: How Eight Ordinary Citizens Took Down the FBI

Boston Premiere: “1971” Screening, Q&A with Filmmaker, Reporter & Two Burglars
Monday, Feb. 1, 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Rapaporte Treasure Hall, Goldfarb Library- Note change in location

Breaking the StoryThis event was, in all honesty, awe-inspiring. Monday night, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism screened the documentary "1971," on how 8 young adults decided to steal all of a Pennsylvania FBI office's files and release them to the public. Two of the burglars - John and Bonnie Raines - and the reporter who broke their story later answered questions about the whole ordeal. As a young person into activism myself, I found the Raines' story mind-blowing. I can't imagine how terrifying and exhilarating it must have been to break into the FBI... and keep it a secret for decades even though what was discovered shook the nation. It was fascinating to hear from activists from the generation before, to be reminded that people who have gone before us are by no means obsolete. (Actually, they were badass.) What most stuck with me is how John Raines spoke of the culture of resistance during his time and how it seems to be reviving with Black Lives Matter, climate justice, and more today - and how, after I thanked him for his time and service, he smiled, poked me playfully in the shoulder, and said, "Now it's your turn."
Summary by Lindsay Mitnik and Danni Tang, 'DEIS Impacters

See the article in The Justice newspaper, and the article in The Hoot newspaper. 

Hear how the event was covered on WBRS 100.1 FM. 

Sponsored by: The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism
For more information: Lisa Button,


Tuesday, February 2

Through Immigrant Voices: School in the USA

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
Alumni Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Through Immigrant VoicesAs attendees entered "Through Immigrant Voices," they were greeted in languages other than English. This is a reality that immigrants in the United States face every day. This gave us a look inside the unique struggles immigrants deal with. Participants in the event were asked to answer questions such as "How did you feel your first day of school?" and "Why is English important to you?" Those answers were then compared to the answers of immigrant who are students at the Waltham Family School, an English learning program for immigrant parents. We then heard from two students of the Waltham Family School, Nabirah, a native Swahili speaker, and Eugenia, a native Spanish speaker. They told their powerful stories of coming to America, their struggles with learning the English language, and their experiences at WFS. Nabirah struggled with English at first and worried that this was affecting her eight-year-old son. "When my son had trouble talking, I thought maybe it was me," She said. After completing four years at the WFS, she is more confident in her skills. She said, "I am so proud of myself. I can help my son." Eugenia spoke of her desire to come to America when she was younger. "My dream was to live here in the U.S. Have my children here. Learn English." Through her experience at WFS, she has become inspired to help others who have experienced similar language struggles. "When I see somebody who can't speak English, I know I can help them because that was me," She said. It was truly inspiring to hear these women speak so eloquently about their experiences. They provided a very unique and often untold perspective. This event made it clear that if we are to create a more equal and just education system and society, we must look through immigrant voices.
Summary by Hannah Sussman, 'DEIS Impacter

Check out their 
ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Waltham Family School
For more information: Mrudula Gadgil,

Hand-in-Hand: Helping to Transform Women's Lives

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 12:30-2:00 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Hand in Hand“Hand-in-Hand: Helping to Transform Women’s Lives” was a panel with five speakers, mostly from the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. The panelists, accompanied by PowerPoint presentations, all took some time to discuss their projects or areas of research, each involving women from somewhere around the world. Attendees learned about various challenges that women face worldwide, and actions that can be done to address these issues. Specifically, we learned about women in Afghanistan who make crafts, women writers in Cuba, the problem of gang violence against women in El Salvador, the problem of sex trafficking in West Bengal, women in slums in Indian cities, and debates over reproductive rights in Indonesia. After the presentations, some attendees got the chance to ask the panelists questions. The event was certainly very sobering at times, with the panelists giving an honest portrayal of some very tragic problems that cause women suffering. However, it was also very inspiring to see these panelists’ devotion to the well-being of women around the world, and to learn about the ways that some of these women are finding ways to overcome the challenges they face.
Summary by Devon Kennedy, 'DEIS Impacter

Check out their 
ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Women’s Studies Research Center and the Heller Gender Working Group
For more information: Linda Bond,

Keynote Performance

Performance of "Freedom Underfoot"
With Germaine Ingram, civil rights lawyer and jazz tap dancer

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2:00-3:20 p.m. (performance), 3:30-4:30 (talkback)
Shapiro Campus Center Theater

Keynote PerformanceSee the article in BrandeisNow and read below for a summary of her keynote talk. 
See YouTube video of performance here.

This keynote event is part of the Student Support Services Program (SSSP) 25th Anniversary Celebration, and co-sponsored by Brandeis Posse and the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

Supporting Youth-led Social Justice Organizations

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Supporting Youth Led Social JusticeThe powerhouse speaker Daunasia Yancey, lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Boston, was joined by student speakers Bethlehem Belaineh '16 (moderator), Student Union president Nyah Macklin '16, Rima Chaudry '16 (Heller, MPP), and Christian Perry '16 (Heller SID, MBA). Given the recent events at Brandeis in the #FordHall2015 movement and across the country in the Black Lives Matter movement, questions of operating within horizontal structures and sustainability have even more importance. These groundswell movements that are addressing vital issues of racial equality and other social justice matters must continue their momentum.

Read the
article in The Hoot newspaper.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Student Union
For more information: Bethlehem S. Belaineh,

Step Inside My Head

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Alumni Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Step Inside my headAlthough mental health issues affect 1 in 4 college students, stigma often prevents individuals from seeking the help they need and deserve. "Stigma leads to shame, which leads to silence, which hurts us all," quoted Cassidy Tatun, president of Active Minds at Brandeis. "Putting words to real people's stories made me feel less alone, and understand myself in a different way." With the right support, each individual can find the way to harness their inner gifts to benefit society. Several individuals spoke confidentially in this safe space about their personal struggles, claiming their voices that are often marginalizes. Psychological Counseling Center staff were on hand to provide information and assistance.

Read the article in The Hoot newspaper. Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Active Minds at Brandeis and Brandeis Psychological Counseling Center (PCC)
For more information: Cassidy Tatun,

Perspectives on Housing Insecurity

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

Perspectives on Housing Insecurity“Perspectives on Housing Insecurity” was an informative and thought-provoking event about the difficulties that some people face with having housing. First, an event host asked us each to introduce ourselves and then to finish the sentence “housing inequality creates…”, naming a social problem that it contributes to. We were also asked to take cardboard boxes from a collection that the hosts had brought, and use them to build a tower. According to a host, the tower represented the “wall between us”, the “division” caused by housing inequality. After we built the tower, a representative from WATCH, a community development organization in Waltham, gave a speech. She talked about the difficulties with housing that affect some people in Waltham, and the things that WATCH does to help such people. After her speech, one of the student hosts talked about the history of housing inequality, mentioning how racial disparities in housing access are related to the legacy of discrimination and slavery. After this, the hosts encouraged us to have discussions with the people seated next to us about potential solutions to housing insecurity issues. We were also told to try to make a budget of how much people’s basic needs cost per month, showing how it can be difficult for people with low incomes to pay all of their bills. After these discussions, the representative from WATCH answered questions from attendees, and we were encouraged to share ideas we had from our discussions. Finally, at the end of the event, we were told to stand back up and knock down the tower we had built at the beginning – representing the action we should take to end the problem of housing inequality.
Summary by Devon Kennedy, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Habitat for Humanity, Hunger and Homelessness
For more information: Sofia Lavrentyeva,


Wednesday, February 3


Creative Approaches to Conflict Transformation – A Conversation with Germaine Ingram and Cindy Cohen

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Location: Heller School, Room 163

Read the article in The Hoot newspaper. 

Sponsored by: CAST (the interdisciplinary minor in Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation), and Heller's Coexistence and Conflict and Sustainable International Development Programs
For more information: Sandra Jones,

Keynote Address

The Law and the Stage: Platforms for Pursuing Social Justice
With Germaine Ingram, Civil rights lawyer and jazz tap dancer

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7:30- 9:00 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Theater

KeynoteRead the article in The Justice newspaper, and the article in The Hoot newspaper.
See performance on YouTube here.

This keynote event is part of the Student Support Services Program (SSSP) 25th Anniversary Celebration, and co-sponsored by Brandeis Posse and the minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST).

Thursday, February 4

'DEIS Impact College: 
Social Justice in the Writing of Women of Color

Thursday, Feb. 4, 11:00-11:50 a.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

An open session of ENG 197b, Within the Veil: African-American and Muslim Women's Writing, with Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman. Click here for a summary of this open class. 

'DEIS Impact College: Sacco and Vanzetti, The Trial of the Century

Thursday, Feb. 4, 12:00-12:50 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

An open session of AMST 100b, Twentieth Century American Culture, with Thomas Doherty.   Click here for a summary of this open class. 

The Immigrant Experience at Brandeis

Thursday, Feb. 4, 12:00-9:00 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Atrium

Immigrant Experience“The Immigrant Experience at Brandeis” was a walk-through presentation of some of the many immigration stories from Brandeis students. The display was extremely informative, as it portrayed the distinct struggles and micro-aggressions that immigrant students have gone through, not only at Brandeis, but throughout their lives. One of the immigrants described how her transition into American culture was aided by the fact that she looked, “American;” however her transition period was just as difficult as many other immigrants. It was extremely interesting to see how their backgrounds connected with their individual transition into American culture, and how they managed to stay true to their origins despite everything. Overall, the display was extremely captivating, due to the fact that not a single individual could step away after reading just one story.
Summary by Jennifer Almodovar, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Brandeis Immigration Education Initiative
For more information: Linda Forrester,

'DEIS Impact College: The Potential, the Limits and the Tragedy of Due Process of Law: Baker v. Carr and DeShaney v. Winnebago Co.

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

An open session of LGLS 116b, Civil Liberties: Constitutional Debates, with Daniel Breen.  Click here for a summary of this open class. 

'DEIS Impact College: Al Qaeda before 9/11

Thursday, Feb. 4, 3:30-4:50 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

An Open Session of POL 160a, The War on Global Terrorism, with Jytte Klaussen.  Click here for a summary of this open class. 

'DEIS Impact College: Religious Symbols in a Secular Public

Thursday, Feb. 4, 5:00-6:20 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

The Case of the Islamic Veil: An open session of ANTH 118a, Secularism, Religion and Modernity, with Hikmet Kocamaner.  Click here for a summary of this open class. 

Exploring social justice in the Brandeis classroom and beyond: courses, internships, and careers

Thursday, February 4, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Location: Shapiro Campus Center Room 313

Exploring Social JusticeRead the article in The Justice newspaper. 

Sponsored by: Brandeis Legal Studies Department and Health: Society, Science & Policy Program
For more information: Sarah Elisabeth Curi, JD, MPH,

The Business Case for Social Impact

Thursday, Feb. 4, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Panel: SCC Theater
Break out rooms: Geller, Levine Ross, Lurias (upper Sherman), SCC 314 and 315

It's long past time we challenge the old notion that businesses are solely about making money. During the Business Case for Social Impact, business leaders Nurys Camargo (Regional Director of External Affairs at AT&T and Founder of the Chica Project), Paul Francisco (Managing Director and Head of the Diversity Consulting and Sourcing Office & Head of Workforce Development Programs at State Street Corporation) and Lynne Katzmann (Founder and President at Juniper Communities) met for a large-group panel discussion, followed by a living-room style discussion in which attendees could converse with the speakers. The speakers emphasized the need for people of color and women in corporate America and in leadership roles like their own. Business Undergraduate Representative and Eli J. Segal Fellow Gabby Zilkha ’16 facilitated the panel discussion that Camargo and Francisco participated in. Katzmann was unable to attend the panel discussion but joined the event later by video chat to take questions in the living-room style conversation. 
Summary by Gabrielle Zilkha, 16

Read the article in The Justice newspaper.

Sponsored by: Brandeis Business Program Undergraduate Representatives, Social Justice Social Policy Undergraduate Representatives, Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program, Hiatt Career Center, The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy
For more information: Gabrielle Zilkha,

"Best Kept Secret": Transitioning to Adulthood for Young People with Special Needs

Thursday, Feb. 4, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Location: Heller School, Altman Amphitheater (G1)

Best Kept SecretThe film "Best Kept Secret" explores what happens when students with disabilities transition from high school to adult life. Panelists included Maria Paiewonsky (from the Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston), Finn Gardiner (Institute for Community Inclusion, Mass Developmental Disabilities Council, Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and Mass Attorney General's Disability Rights Advisory Committee), and Tom Sannicandro (state representative and author of groundbreaking legislation for people with disabilities). Panelists and audience members from the community discussed the degree to which students "fall off the cliff" as they age out of school into communities that are often unprepared and under-resourced to provide much besides daycare. The best scenario is when students are placed in work programs with mentors to help them succeed, or community programs that offer enrichment and inclusion. "Why does this society care so much about children with disabilities and so little about adults?" one person asked.

Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy, Department of Education, Brandeis Buddies, SPECTRUM, and Brandeis Students for Disability Activism
For more information: Michelle Techler,



Friday, February 5

'DEIS Impact College: 
Social justice through the eyes of women playwrights

Friday, Feb. 5, 9:30-10:50 a.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

An open session of THA 142b, Women Playwrights: Writing for the Stage by and about Women, by Adrianne Krstansky.  Click here for a summary of this open class. 

'DEIS Impact College: "Is 'social justice' a mirage? A discussion of Friedrich Hayek's critique of social justice"

Friday, Feb. 5, 11:00 a.m.-12:20 p.m.  
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

An open session of POL 187b: Conservative Political Thought," Bernard Yack.  Click here for a summary of this open class. 

Hope into Practice, Jewish Women Choosing Justice Despite Our Fears

Friday, Feb. 5, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Mandel Center for the Humanities Reading Room (303)

Hope into PracticeDuring this event author Penny Rosenwasser gave us a glimpse into her book and the narratives on overcoming fear that it contains. Student and Faculty volunteers read excerpts from the book, which were woven into Penny's greater discussion of the ways in which fear exists in our lives, through our identities, religions, and relationships with others, and the tools we possess to remain hopeful and overcome the fear. Those who attended her event learned that we have the courage to face our fears, but not act on them, and that our fears are real and rooted in history. However, we must choose justice despite these fears. To do so, we must uproot our internalized oppression -- because the better we feel about ourselves, the better we will treat other people, the more full of possibilities our lives will be, and the more effective our activism will be towards a just and generous world. We were reminded that "hurt people hurt people" -- so for people who have been traumatized, we must work to heal that in order to prevent projecting it onto another people we have been taught to hate and fear. However, "the chain of pain can be broken, we don't have to pass on to others what was done to us."
Summary by Lindsay Mitnik, 'DEIS Impacter

Read the article in The Justice newspaper.
Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies (PAX)
For more information: Gordon Fellman,

Global Racism or Global Ignorance: The Narrative of Color while Studying Abroad

Friday, Feb. 5, 4:00-5:30 p.m.
International Lounge, Usdan Student Center

Global Racism Global Ignorance"Global Racism or Global Ignorance: The Narrative of Color while Studying Abroad?" was an incite and educational event that shed light on the underlying truth of people of color studying abroad. The event, organized by Marhla Lagardere '16, who also studied abroad during Fall 2015 in India, comprised of five other Brandeis student panelists: Bronte Velez '16, Joel Burt-Miller '16, Ama Darkwa '16, Zari Havercome '16, and Linda Phiri '16. Each panelist expressed and shared their own experiences of studying abroad in different regions: Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, Czech Republic and Sydney. Although all six panelists were in different countries there was no doubt that each shared similar predicaments that transpire through the differences of culture, morals, and race. Each student had to grapple with the question of identity as their own culture, morals, and race became the central qualities that seemed to define each individual. Nevertheless, each panelist reflected upon their own experiences and eventuale growth in resilience, preservation and hopes to alleviate the systemic issues that each panelist encountered abroad. The event proved the resilience, preservation and hope that Marhla, Bronte, Joel, Ama, Zari, and Linda had to continue on to build and educate. This event allowed the creation of a contemporaneous space to voice the unheard stories from people of color who studied abroad.
Summary by Yeng Her, 'DEIS Impacter

Check out their ideas for lasting impact [PDF]

Sponsored by: Brandeis Black Student Organization, The Brandeis-India Fellowship, and the South Asian Studies Department
For more information: Marlharrissa Lagardere,

Consent and Cookies: Building Consent Confidence with Yana Tallon-Hicks

Friday, Feb. 5, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

Consent and CookiesSocial equality includes interpersonal equality, which includes sexual consent in a relationship of equal power. Equal power can be compromised when both individuals are not of legal age to consent, are drunk or asleep, or one has more money (i.e. is paying for the date and expects sexual favors in return), or more experience (i.e. is placing themselves in the role of sexual "teacher"). Workshop facilitator Yana Tallon-Hicks used not only negative examples but also positive communication. Then workshop participants had the opportunity to practice tools and techniques via decorating and eating custom-designed sugar cookies with a partner.

Sponsored by: Global Perspectives Leader Scholar Community, Brandeis Students for Reproductive Justice, and Women and Gender Studies Department
For more information: Gabriel Sol Aronson Fontes,


Saturday, February 6

The Curriculum of Social Justice: A Look Inside Facing History

Saturday, Feb. 6, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Room 313

Facing HistoryWhat lessons can we learn from racism in history and how do they apply to our issues today? Rose Sadler of Facing History and Ourselves in Boston, and Hannah Sussman, who served on the Facing History council in her New Haven, CT magnet high school, spoke about the way bystanders can become upstanders. Everyone can refuse to watch social injustice unfold in front of us and remain silent. The classic 1968 film "A Class Divided" showed how a teacher wanted her 3rd graders to understand racism after MLK's assassination. As the teacher taught the children discrimination based on eye color, she said "I watched marvelous, cooperative children turn into nasty, vicious third-graders in 15 minutes." Comparing articles from 1957 about the integration of Little Rock, Arkansas, with articles today about cyberbullying and curricula promoting patriotism and obedience to authority, participants noted that individual action really can make a difference.
Summary by Hannah Sussman, 'DEIS Impacter

For more information: Hannah Sussman,

Dancing Upon Flames

Saturday, Feb. 6, Session 1: 3:00-4:30 p.m.; Session 2: 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room

Danging Upon the FlamesHorrific images of tragedies across the globe, made instantly available, make us global bystanders watching catastrophe upon catastrophe. In this interactive workshop, Linda Phiri led participants in mastering a simple dance with just music playing, then dance while a ghastly scene from a bombing was played over the music -- continuing the same dance while watching the searing images. 13th century Persian poet and theologian Rumi said, “Dance, when you're broken open. Dance, if you've torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you're perfectly free." But we need not simply be global bystanders in a world increasingly desensitized to violence. Choose something that speaks to you, focus on combating it -- and keep dancing.

For more information: Linda Phiri,

New Media for the Greater Good with Jackson Bird

Saturday, Feb. 6, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Levine Ross, Hassenfeld Conference Center (Upper Sherman)

New Media for the Greater GoodThis event featured Harry Potter Alliance staff member Jackson Bird. It focused on the role of social media and fandoms in creating communities in order to fight for social change. We discussed how to utilize social media successfully, how campaigns are created, and how fan activism has developed into the powerful force for change that it now is. At its core though, this event was about putting our passions to good use, whether it be Harry Potter or more broadly what Harry Potter stands for, which is fighting the evil in the world and standing up for others. In the end, Bird's goal was to remind us that we all have the power to make a difference in the world like all the heroes we admire, and we have the tools to create communities and campaigns around the issues we care about. As he said, "Everyone dreams of being the heroes you grow up reading about…We all know the world needs more heroes. But we’ve got heroes, millions of them, billions of them! They all just need someone to crash down their aunt and uncle's door at midnight on their birthday…and tell them you can be a hero, and the world needs you."
Summary by Lindsay Mitnik, 'DEIS Impacter

Sponsored by: Harry Potter Alliance: Imagine Better
For more information: Olga Birbrayer,

‘DEIS Impact Afterparty

Saturday, Feb. 6, 9:30-10:30 p.m.
Chums Coffee House

This event celebrated all that had been accomplished as a community through this week of social justice and delved deeper into what we can all do in the future to have a lasting impact. The party featured music, food, and of course our amazing and passionate event coordinators and 'DEIS Impacters. 


For more information about 'DEIS Impact click here.
Questions about this weeklong festival of justice? Email