Recent News

ENACT Students Meet With Massachusetts Legislative Advocates

January 31, 2023

The students of the Brandeis ENACT course “Advocacy for Policy Change” (LGLS 161b) recently met in January with advocates from nine Massachusetts organizations. Each advocate discussed their issue and the related legislation being proposed at the Massachusetts State House, encouraging ENACT students to focus on the related bill in their ENACT work.

Photo of students, taken by David Weinstein

Pictured: Brandeis ENACT students meet with representatives and leaders from Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Mass NOW (the Massachusetts chapter of the National Organization for Women), the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), Health Care For All, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, Reproductive Equity Now, and the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence.

February 1, 2022

Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, is the 2022 winner of the Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize. Dr. Anderson tackles Black voter suppression, racial inequality, and the impact of white supremacy on US history in her research and advocacy. As a part of her October 24-26 2022 on-campus residency, she engaged with Brandeis students, visiting classes such as Professor Chad Williams’ “Introduction to African and African American Studies class and Professor Elizabeth Ferry’s “Power and Violence”. Dr. Anderson is also the author of “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide”, was elected to the Society of American Historians and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was named a W.E.B. Du Bois Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. To learn more about Dr. Anderson and her work, watch the keynote speech she delivered on October 26, 2022 and her conversation with Professor of the Philosophy of Justice, Rajesh Sampath at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management.

On October 7, 2022, the VoteDeis Campus Coalition and Brandeis Student Union collaborated in staging an event pushing people to register to vote and fill out absentee ballots. Organized by Gabriella Lieberman ’23, and VoteDeis co-presidents Mandy Feuerman ’25 and Maia Lefferman ’25, several booths were set up in Fellows Garden to walk members of the Brandeis Community through the process of mailing in their ballots, pertinent election resources, and more. On-campus organizations such as the Brandeis Democrats, Students Demand Action, and the Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation, as well as local government officials such as Waltham Mayor Jeannette A. McCarthy, were present at the event. Incorporating giveaways such as desserts, buttons, and small copies of the U.S. Constitution, VoteDeis successfully encouraged the Brandeis community to support and engage in American democracy.

To learn more about how to register to vote and for election resources, visit the VoteDeis website.

January 24, 2022

Director Melissa Stimell writes about how the Center’s work continued throughout the 2021-22 academic year even amidst a global pandemic.

The Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex, the Brandeis campus home of the Ethics Center

The Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex, the Brandeis campus home of the Ethics Center

Photo Credit: David J. Weinstein

January 24, 2022

"Ethical Engagement at Brandeis and Beyond": For 24 years, the Ethics Center has offered distinctive approaches to ethical engagement, exploring and addressing issues of pressing concern with partners on the Brandeis University campus, in local communities in Waltham and Massachusetts, across the United States and around the world. Read about how the Ethics Center’s three major current program areas continue to embody the Center’s commitments to civic engagement, ethical practices, and the values of reciprocity and listening.

Red dress hung on a tree on the Brandeis campus as part of the REDress Project with sign description connecting it to the project in the grass below

Photo Credit: Toni Shapiro-Phim

January 24, 2022

"The REDress Project and between us at Brandeis," two recent exhibits curated by Toni Shapiro-Phim, calls attention to the horrific levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls across North America. This past fall, the “Introduction to CAST” (CAST 150b) students designed and put in place a public installation of dresses on the Brandeis campus as part of artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project, and further amplified Jaime Black’s art and message by contributing to between us, an exhibition of Black’s other work (poems, photographs, video) inside the Kniznick Gallery.
Picture of Zoom meeting of the Multilingual Life on a Monolingual Campus Team

October 2021 Zoom meeting of the Brandeis, Macquarie, and Birmingham research teams.

January 24, 2022

Multilingual Life on a Monolingual Campus: Phase Two,” a joint research project involving the Ethics Center, and partner institutions Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia and the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom explores how international students experience language use and language attitudes on English dominated campuses.

Several ENACT students wearing masks while standing with a statute in the Virginia State Capitol

Randolph-Macon College ENACT students Cade Jones, Sam Dantzler and Owen Arruza at the Virginia State Capitol in January with Rhena Hicks, Legislative Aide for Virginia State Delegate Kelly Convirs-Fowler. (Also pictured: Thomas Jefferson.)

January 24, 2022

"Student-to-Student Support: The ENACT Student Delegates," ENACT Student Delegates Elaina Pevide '20 and Alison Cantor '22 explore new ways of strengthening ties between ENACT classes.

"Petals of Hope" artwork with orange and blue inside and yellow and red around on the outside framing it

This image titled “Petals of Hope” made from paper handcrafted from flowers left at a memorial for victims of a 1998 bombing in Omagh, North Ireland (1999) which illustrates the work of the new non-profit launched by Peacebuilding and the Arts called IMPACT, Inc.

Photo Credit: Carol Kane, Facilitating Artist

January 24, 2022

"Peacebuilding and the Arts launches new non-profit with global reach: IMPACT, Inc. will strengthen the field of arts, culture and conflict transformation." Read more about IMPACT. The Ethics Center’s Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts will also advance IMPACT’s advocacy efforts, including its work with UNESCO’s Art Lab for Human Rights and Dialogue, and will disseminate the “Invite | Affirm | Evoke | Unleash: How artistic and cultural processes transform complex challenges” report commissioned by the Porticus Community Arts Network. (See article: Ethics Central Vol 24 No. 1 page 6.)

Gold Seal Award with Brandeis and the 70% - 79% rate of participation the seal

January 24, 2022

Voter Participation Earns Brandeis National Gold Seal Recognition”: the VoteDeis Campus Coalition, organized by Leigh Swigart and David Weinstein of the Ethics Center in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Students, helped Brandeis achieve high levels of participation in the 2020 presidential election.

January 24, 2022

“An Incubator for the University”: Since 1998 Ethics Center has served as an incubator for initiatives that have had a transformative impact on Brandeis University and on individuals and in professions around the globe. Read about some of these initiatives.

Cover of ENACT Pilot Evaluation Report

Cover of ENACT Pilot Evaluation Report

February 1, 2022

Ethics Center Director Melissa Stimell, with Brandeis graduate student Kaitie Chakoian and Brandeis alum Charlotte Powley PhD, surveyed and interviewed alumni from 10 years of the course the Brandeis ENACT course "Advocacy for Policy Change" (LGLS 161b), which was developed by Stimell and has been taught by her since 2011.

This course is the model for the Ethics Center's national, 50-state program ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation:

The results from this ENACT Pilot Evaluation Report shows the impact of Ethics Center's ENACT course on alumni civic engagement and career trajectories.

Among their conclusions:

ENACT alumni have high levels of political efficacy. They feel well-qualified to engage with the political process and believe that doing so can have an impact on political outcomes. As a result, they are much more civically engaged than the average U.S. resident. They vote at substantially higher rates and engage in various other ways. ENACT alumni retain the knowledge they learned in the class about the political process, even years after completing it. They also retain skills (speaking and writing clearly, working effectively with others, and evaluating data sources) that have helped them in their professional work – whether that work is policy-related or completely unrelated. In addition to these skills, ENACT alumni credit the networks they developed and the mentorship of ENACT faculty with the trajectories their careers have taken since leaving Brandeis.

Click here to read the full report

2021 ENACT Anthology

Cover of 2021 ENACT Anthology

November 21, 2021

The 2021 edition of "Advocacy for Policy Change: Brandeis Students Work to Reform Massachusetts Law" is now available. Advocacy for Policy Change (LGLS 161b) is taught by Professor Melissa Stimell as part of the national program ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation.

Howard Stevenson

2020 Gittler Prize Winner Howard Stevenson

Howard C. Stevenson named winner of 2020 Gittler Prize

November 18, 2021

Howard C. Stevenson, Constance Clayton Professor of Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education has been named the winner of the 2020 Joseph B. and Toby Gittler Prize. Stevenson serves as the Executive Director of the Racial Empowerment Collaborative and contributes to Forward Promise, which promotes a culture of health for boys and young men of color, to help them heal from the trauma of historical and present-day dehumanization, discrimination and colonization. On November 18th, 2021, Stevenson delivered his keynote speech. View the talk and his conversation with Joseph Reimer, Professor, Education Program and the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership; and Maria Madison, Lecturer, Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, and Director Institute for Economic and Racial Equity here.

Climate Scientist Peter C. Frumhoff, is the 2022 Richman Distinguished Fellow in Public Life. Peter C. Frumhoff served through 2021 as the longtime chief climate scientist and director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. At UCS, he led strategies and initiatives to bring robust scientific expertise to bear on informing public understanding and motivating public policies; guided science, equity and innovation post-doctoral fellowships and served as senior liaison with the scientific community, policymakers and the media. Frumhoff is currently on sabbatical at the Harvard University Center for the Environment where he is researching the scientific basis for climate litigation against fossil fuel companies and governments. We enjoyed hosting him on campus for his residency March 29-31, 2022.