At a time when their contributions to the movement are essential, the student activists who received grants from the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund this year promise a different world as they work to create peace, preserve our rights, and connect our issues and our communities.
Bina Ahmad, a second year law student, recently completed an ACLU internship building a grassroots response to attacks on civil liberties.
Mike Amato is an undergraduate at Northeastern who has built support for low-wage workers in his community and internationally.
Deborah Baron, an AIDS activist with international experience, is studying treatment in the Global South at Columbia University.
Marilyn Buck, a significant figure in the movement to free political prisoners, continues her studies at the New College of San Francisco.
Maria De Jesus works with international communities affected by war and institutional violence and is entering graduate school at Boston College.
Katie Desmond, finishing her doctorate in political science at Northern Arizona University, focuses on alternatives to corporate globalization.
Monica Enr’quez, a Colombian, produced the documentary, Latinas Lesbianas, and is an international activist and a senior at San Francisco State.
Anna Liza Gravieres was part of the Cuba Travel Project at the Center for Constitutional Rights before entering Brooklyn Law School.
Brigit Greeson Alvarez, finishing law school at UCLA, is an LGBT activist experienced in community organizing and leadership development.
Sora Han, finishing law school at UCLA, is a major voice against the prison/industrial complex and established an anti-violence legal clinic for women prisoners.
Deidre Hughes discovered real solutions to social problems and started organizing for peace in graduate school at Southern Illinois University.
Katherine Humphrey, from the Cherokee Nation, is in a University of Oklahoma graduate program designed to preserve indigenous languages.
O’Connor Scholar Dawn Jenkins. One of the Fund’s founders was Jessie Lloyd O’Connor, a journalist and organizer who understood the importance of building bridges across lines of race, class, and nationality. When she died, Jessie made a bequest to the Fund and the final task for the Fund’s Trustees, after selecting our grantees each year, is to designate one who best reflects Jessie’s love of life and passion for justice. This year’s Jessie Lloyd O’Connor scholar is Dawn Jenkins. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Dawn is the product of a city and state radically changed by the civil rights movement. After receiving a degree in social work, she worked on racial and economic equity and was central to the fight against punitive welfare reform policies. She became a key figure in the struggle for economic justice and international solidarity though Jobs with Justice, organizing the fight for a living wage and a highly successful Kentucky/Mexico worker exchange. A long-time supporter of the Fund, Dawn lives with her partner Carol Kraemer, and has helped plan and implement a voter participation and identification campaign. Based on door-to-door canvassing on behalf of progressive candidates, the campaign will build a core of voters committed to economic justice and civil rights. She is also part of the state LGBT political action committee and organizes against Medicaid cuts. A first year student at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law, she hopes her degree will help her support the grassroots movements needed to build a broad, diverse and sustainable movement. Jessie would be proud.
Tanisha Johnson, an undergraduate at the University of Louisville, is active in the LGBT civil rights movement and anti-racist training.
Sang Kil, finishing her doctoral in justice studies at Arizona State University, builds coalitions around global justice and immigrant rights.
Kyung Min Lee, a UC Santa Barbara undergraduate, works with students of color, a feminist political action group, and anti-war coalitions.
Susie Lee is a filmmaker and doctoral student at Cornell University who has created multi-racial coalitions to preserve ethnic studies.
Betsy Maclean, experienced in Cuban solidarity movements and anti-imperialist struggles, is completing her masters at Columbia University.
Naw Dorcus Moo, an undergraduate at Hartwick College, lived in a refugee camp which led to her commitment to the rights of women.
Diane Moten is active an LGBT political action committee and protests police abuse while a community college student in Louisville.
Rodney Ortiz, who worked on conflict alternatives in the Caribbean and South America, is enrolled at the University of South Florida.
Abigail Reyes, a veteran of the international movement connecting environmental and human rights, is a law student at UC Berkeley.
Angelyn Rudd, finishing her masters at the University of Louisville, is an anti-war, anti-racist, and International Solidarity Movement activist.
Stephanie Sayo founded an anti-imperialist Filipino youth group and will receive her undergraduate degree from San Jose State University this year.
Josh Schaffner, an undergraduate at McGill, recently traveled across the country with the re-creation of the Poor People’s March.
Stephen Shukaitis, part of the Student Voice for Peace radio collective at WBAI in New York, studies sociology at the New School.
Sonya Sivesind has organized against gentrification and globalization and studies to become a nurse practitioner at Manhattan Community College.
Andrew Terranova, a solidarity activist, will receive his teaching certificate and masters degree from the University of San Francisco this year.
Sarah Thompson is a feminist undergraduate at Spelman College where she is organizing opposition to the war and the Patriot Act.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg organized against the death penalty before enrolling in the journalism program at Northwestern University.
Diana Pei Wu, a doctoral student at UC Berkeley, trains community people to monitor the environmental contaminants in their neighborhoods.
Sandra Ynoa, a youth organizer with the Student Liberation Action Movement (SLAM!), is a nursing student at Pace University.