Brenda Meehan Social Justice-In-Action Grant
Application Deadline: October 11, 2023 by 9:00 pm ET
The Social Justice & Social Policy (SJSP) program is pleased to announce a grant opportunity for Brandeis University undergraduate students. These grants are designed to provide support for student-organized events that bring together academic and activist perspectives on important current public policy issues.
The Brenda Meehan Social Justice-in-Action Grants will provide up to $1,000 to support events planned for the 2023-2024 academic year. Applications will be accepted until the application deadline and recipients will be notified soon after.
The selection committee encourages proposals to:
- incorporate both academic and activist social justice perspectives in meaningful ways
- involve our campus as part of the event and be free to all members of the Brandeis community
- include significant participation by Brandeis students, faculty, and/or staff; invited off-campus guests also can participate
- value collaboration between student organizations, and/or between undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff
- inform and/or link to ongoing initiatives that enable the proposed event to contribute to an enduring social justice impact on campus or in broader communities.
How to Apply
Please submit the following via email to SJSP Chair Melissa Stimell, firstname.lastname@example.org by 9:00 pm ET on October 11, 2023:
- your name(s) and contact information, along with the names of any co-sponsoring clubs or organizations
- a one-paragraph summary of the proposed event(s)
- a brief (no more than 100 words) statement providing background on the relevant experience of any proposed speakers/presenters/artists
- an itemized budget estimate; indicate if the event is still viable if partial funding is granted (highly recommended); please also including any funding from other sources
- a statement that clarifies, in 500 words or less, the organization and anticipated impact of the event(s), the full set of anticipated participants, and whether or not off- campus participants have already committed to participate. The selection committee understands that it is sometimes difficult to obtain commitments prior to receiving funding, so it is not required that you be entirely certain about the line-up of participating guests. However, your statement should list at least one alternative option for any off-campus participant who has not yet provided a firm advance commitment.
The Ferguson’s Fines Memorial is an immersive theatrical exhibit dedicated to those who have lost their lives to police violence. The experience follows three productions of the original play Ferguson’s Fines, where documented encounters with the police have been used to tell an emotional story of what it is like to be Black in America. The exhibit will include a discussion about Ferguson’s Fines, police violence, as well as other tensions faced with being Black in America.
The Brandeis Democrats aim is to help decrease the voting barriers that at-risk people face, namely those who are system-impacted. The club will do this by visiting a women's halfway house to help register their residents who have recently been released from prison and delivering voting resources to juvenile carceral facilities.
Every March, SEAC holds a cultural show called AYALA with a central theme. AYALA 2023: Bayanihan. “Bayanihan” is the Tagalog word for “community-spirit” that encourages people to work with another for the greater good of the community. The show represented and showcased Southeast Asian love, culture, and pride at Brandeis as eeveryone comes together in celebration and community.
International Women’s Day has become an important day in Latin America, where millions of women have come together to fight against the persistence of gender violence in the region. Creating a tendedero, a popular form of Latinx feminist art, will raise awareness about this issue through the collaboration and display of this activist piece. The screening of Ruido and the discussion after it helped provide a space and time for individuals who have any type of connection with this significant day.
Jess is a PARC violence prevention educator and has written an original play about a woman after sexual assault that will be part of the Brandeis Theater Department’s senior studio productions. In the play, Lily Alden is a survivor of sexual assault who struggles to come to terms with her experience and her invasive PTSD. While undergoing a SANE exam at a local hospital, Lily finds support through her SANE nurse, Matthew, along with Rose, a frequent, chronically-ill patient and her extroverted, fiery nurse, Anna. The play is a story of how we heal, despite how difficult it may be. The senior studio productions are also part of the larger Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts.
Jolecia created an event that celebrates the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) with Brandeis students on campus. The Crown Act is a law that prohibits discrimination based on hairstyle choice in spaces such as schools, the workplace, and much more.
The PAD Day of Service was a day-long event bringing together menstrual and reproductive justice groups to complete service projects right on the Brandeis campus. The event was completely open and accessible to the entire University community with a variety of service activities and projects. This day helped bring together groups and members of our campus in order to make a positive impact on the lives of local menstruators.
Phebean is creating an event to educate and bring awareness about the issues of Violence Against Black Women.
Black women in the US are three times more likely to die from maternal complications than their white counterparts while 60% of those deaths are preventable (CDC, 2022). In celebration of the national Black Maternal Health Week in April, Brandeis Black Maternal Health (BBMH) hosted a panel session and networking opportunity for all Brandeisians followed by a brunch. They also invited public health advocates, educators, and medical professionals to an engaging conversation regarding Maternal/Child Health disparities and future solutions in Black communities.
A forum in which young people from Easterseals "TeachDisabilityHistory" team, older adults who are survivors of state institutions, Brandeis students, and disability rights activists and scholars came together to discuss the importance of disability history, what and who should teach this history, and what survivors of state institutions for people with disabilities would like to see regarding the legacy of those institutions.
Brandeis Students Demand action is a gun violence prevention club on campus dedicated towards education and advocacy of gun violence prevention issues. They brought Fred Gutenberg, a gun violence activist, and father of one of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in February 2018. The event occurred on March 24th at 7 pm on campus and reached a wide audience.
The Intercultural Center celebrated the anniversary of its vision for 30 years
Marek and Shoshi are composing a musical theatre production focused on “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland. The musical tells the story of this violent 20th century political conflict that took more than 3500 lives, the majority of whom were civilians.
Cassipea is organizing an event for National Transgender Day of Visibility, that would honor the lives of Black Trans Femme, with a collectively crafted art installation, and performance by Myles S. Golden (they/them), a Black gender non-conforming, Trans-femme visual artist and poet.
Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS) will be holding its first ever conference, “Staying on Track: The Gap between Undergraduate and Graduate Education.” Undergraduate students will be exposed to a network of peers and professionals from research, public health, medicine, and others.
The Brandeis Latinx Student Organization will host Johanna Toruño, a queer Salvadoran street artist, about art in form of protest. This will also be a collaborative workshop with poster designing, spray painting, and buttons to share across campus. Johanna Toruño will be accompanied by her partner, Amy Quichiz, who does community organizing for Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C., and will be doing her own speech on community activist in relation to art as a form of protest.
J Street U hosted a screening of the documentary “Naila and the Uprising” by the organization Just Vision. The documentary focuses on the nationwide uprising that took place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the First Intifada.
IfNotNow will be hosting a community dinner and a facilitated discussion on how anti-ICE work and anti-occupation work are intrinsically linked.
Maryam will be directing a play, “To Be a Problem,” which she herself wrote to highlight the lives of Muslim Americans after 9/11. Based on entirely true stories, it will be the first Muslim student theater production to go up at Brandeis.
In partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, DeBorah seeks to invite speakers to campus who can talk about forging communication between those in practice and those in research (pedagogy).
Brandeis Asian American Students Association (BAASA) seeks to provide a resource for students on campus to get involved in initiatives outside of campus through the Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW). Other objectives of the workshop include discussing the political and social factors that the deportation of Southeast Asian (SEA) immigrants is rooted in and the impact that it has on not only them but the rest of the Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Brandeis Labor Coalition (BLC), Women of Color Alliance (WOCA), Heller’s Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), Brandeis Asian American Task Force (BAATF), Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a series of events surrounding prison abolition and other criminal justice solutions, in order to introduce the Brandeis community to the activism and social justice work that students, faculty, administrators, and community members can become involved in.
Makayla Richards ‘20 & the Brandeis Black and Latinx Queer Collective (BLQ) hosted a Q&A session and moderated community discussion with revolutionary Sir Knight, CoFounder of BlackTransTV, on imagining radical futures that investigate active divestment from white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormative cultures and practices.
Zachary Williams ‘21 and Brandeis STAND invited local refugee/immigrant artists to campus to speak about their experiences, to challenge the Brandeis community to look beyond the statistics and acknowledge the human impact of the refugee and immigrant crisis.
Emilia Feldman ‘19, Eliana Kleiman ‘21, Alejandra Bonilla ‘21 brought author Liliana Vasquez to Brandeis to discuss her book Dreams and Nightmares about her journey from Guatemala to the US at the age of 14, and held an open forum to ask questions and engage in a meaningful dialogue surrounding the harsh realities immigrants and asylum seekers face
Renee Korgood '20 hosted a celebration of on- and off-campus activism and the ability of students, to influence policy change. Event will included tabling, workshops, and a panel of Waltham’s elected representatives.
Gabriel Fontes '19 organized a photo exhibition and artistic celebration of a multicultural, multilingual library built with students at Boston International Newcomer’s Academy (BINCA).
Pengfei’s project is entitled, “From Paris Agreement to Beijing Smog: Cross-Cultural Conversation on Climate Justice and Everyday Consumption”. There will be five roundtable discussions around the topics of trash recycling and ethical consumption, including guest speakers and documentary screenings, to further participants’ engagement with environmental justice in everyday practices.
Food Recovery Network is hosting Andrew Fisher, author of “Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups”. In Big Hunger, Fisher takes a critical look at the business of hunger and offers a new vision for the anti-hunger movement.
BAATF and BAASA are hosting internationally renowned Samoan-American spoken word poet, educator, and artist Will Nu’utupu Giles for a performance and workshop event on indigenous and immigrant narratives. This is a part of his spring 2018 poetry tour, “Until Name Becomes Prayer”.
With the help of the Caribbean Cultural Club and African and Afro-American Studies, Gilberto is hosting a screening of Si bondye vle, Yuli and talk-back with Haitian-Dominican actor and filmmaker Jean Jean.In the midst of government regulation, imminent deportation and personal upheaval, questions arise: What really makes us belong to a place? How are the links between the land and its people made?
Amanda's project, "Sanaa Studio", will showcase the artwork of up and coming Black artists at Brandeis. The project hopes to engage the entire Brandeis community and provide space for grievance and healing through art.
Marcelo and Bruna want to bring the White Ribbon Project to Brandeis and engage men on campus in conversations about harmful ideas of manhood that lead to violence against women. This project will engage campus clubs such as B.Men, Men of Color Alliance, Voicemale, club soccer team and more.
Justice Jam is a two-part event series in which students from "ED 170a: Critical Perspectives in Urban Education" will share the importance of protecting public education with the larger Brandeis and Waltham community.
Jonathan and Victoria's project, "Brandeis Citizenship Day," is an event connecting the Brandeis community with the vast number of immigration resources provided by Brandeis clubs and organizations in the greater Boston area. The event will feature a panel with the ACLU,Project Citizenship, ISSO, and the Newcomer Academy.
Shikha and Sara's project is a 3-hour long lecture series focusing on healthcare issues in light of the new presidential administration. The talks will encompass technology, advocacy and social justice, and health and social policy. It will feature speakers from Brandeis and Heller School of Social Policy.