Spring 2012 SEERS Fellows Bios
Hometown: Born in Banja Luka, Boznia and Herzegovina and currently reside in New Hope, PA
Organizational affiliation: Started and ran CURE Foundation (CURE means GIRLS in Bosnian Herzegovinian) from 2004-2011
Organizational overview: Feminist activist group working for gender equality and ending gender violence through education, arts and culture, and research programs.
Why do you do what you do? There is a need to publically condemn growing violence against women that’s veiled in silence and to illustrate through action that large sums of money aren’t a pre-requisite to a successful action that brings social change. Through my feminist activism, I work to ensure that women are acknowledged and celebrated; I create spaces to transform some of the pain caused by the war. Through new cultural and activist initiatives, I give contribution to peace and a violence-free life.
What do you hope to achieve at Stanford? Through connecting with students, professors, local NGOs and businesses, I aim to actively reflect on my work and use the time at Stanford to complete an initiative proposal and to the best of my ability articulate possible new direction(s) for my future.
Favorite quote or fun fact: Recently, I have returned to this as one of my favorite quotes: "Purple is to lavender as woman is to feminist." (Alice Walker)
Hometown: Ramallah, Palestine
Organizational affiliation: Visualizing Palestine
Organizational overview: Visualizing Palestine creates visual stories for social justice in Israel and Palestine through the use of infographics, animation using available statistics from human rights organizations (Israeli, Palestinian and international). Visualizing Palestine is building a factual narrative that advocates equality, rights, dignity, freedom and democracy. These visual stories will be used to galvanize the public to advocate for an end to all forms of discrimination and reparation to past and present injustices.
Why do you do what you do? I felt that this endeavor was greatly needed after working in the Palestinian territories. As a member of the diaspora, I returned and observed the dichotomy between what is happening on the ground and the false narrative that exists in mainstream media and subsequently in our minds. I felt compelled - along with a wide team - to help build a factual, rights-based, narrative to compel people to act for justice, equality and dignity.
What do you hope to achieve at Stanford? To harness the potential of different disciplines examining issues of social justice (journalism, design, storytelling, technology) to create stories and narratives tailored for the Stanford community to better understand the situation on the ground in Palestine and Israel using the paradigm of human rights. In this globalized world, I would like to show - in a visceral manner - how the Stanford community's actions and decisions affect the community I live in. I look forward to working in groups with students on campaigns for social justice - whether Visualizing Palestine or otherwise.
Favorite quote or fun fact:
“Nonviolence is a piece of theatre, it requires an audience.” (Arundhati Roy)
“During my travels, my imaginations was the only suitcase I could take with me.” (Turkish writer Elif Shafak)
“Do you know the secret of the true scholar? In every woman there is something wherein that I learn from her.” (Ralph Emerson modified)
"The task of activists is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much integrity as possible; it is to dismantle those systems." (Unknown)
Hometown: San Francisco, California (Home of the 2010 World Series Champion Giants!)
Organizational affiliation: Movement of the 99% (Currently Unemployed); Founder and former executive director of POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights 1997 – 2011)
Organizational overview: POWER is a grassroots organization made up of and led by low-wage workers and tenants working for economic, environmental, racial and gender justice in San Francisco and around the globe. Through issue-based campaigns, leadership development and movement building, we empower African Americans, Latinas, women and young people to make positive changes in our workplaces, in our communities and in the world.
Why do you do what you do? The world can be an amazing place, and when it is and I’m there, I feel an electricity that I wish would never go away. Those moments could and should come more often for more people, but many of our social structures make those moments harder to come by. I do whatever I can to help people come together to challenge and transform those systems so that we can reclaim our electric futures.
What do you hope to achieve at Stanford? I hope to survey organizers and activists across the country and around the world to better understand what work is going on and to envision new models and strategies that challenge U.S. imperialism and empower a movement for economic, ecological, racial and gender justice.
Favorite quote or fun fact: Steve was once offered a spot on MTV’s The Real World.