2022 Joslin Award
Jamila is from Bethlehem, New York. She received an A.B. with honors in American studies and an A.B. in international and public affairs (development). She was elected Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. Beesley’s academic work interrogates intra-community caste discrimination in South Asian American diasporic spaces through a gendered lens. Her senior honors thesis was supported through participation in the Swearer Center’s Royce Fellowship. She has been a member of Sexual Assault Peer Education (SAPE) for all four years at Brown, serving as coordinator of the program for two years. Through this position, she has facilitated workshops on sexual, relationship and gender-based harm prevention with a wide range of student organizations, athletic teams and groups on campus. She led the Culture of Consent webinar during Orientation for more than 1,600 first-year students. Beesley also served on Brown’s Culture of Respect Core Leadership Team as the Multitiered Prevention Education Subcommittee co-lead.
As a member of the Watson Institute Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Beesley helped facilitate discussions around restructuring course syllabi to reflect values of epistemic diversity, including organizing a student and faculty event panel entitled “Colonialism in the Curriculum.” She led a Decolonization at Brown task force to develop a rubric and self-assessment tool for Watson to evaluate syllabi and teaching intentions to include non-western intellectual traditions.
Following graduation, Beesley will be working as a legal assistant at Sanford Heisler Sharp, a civil rights law firm, in New York City. She hopes to eventually pursue a career in civil rights and immigration law supporting caste-oppressed South Asians and other marginalized communities against employment discrimination.
Christina is from Long Island, New York. She is receiving an A.B. in public health with honors. Her work on campus has focused on supporting the Black community, and she is passionate about health promotion and health equity for the Brown and greater Providence communities. Bonaparte served as the co-president of Harambee House and as Harambee’s community-building director. In these positions, she worked on fundraising and community outreach, collaborated with other Black student leaders, and served as a voice for the community with administrators.
Bonaparte has worked with BWell Health Promotion in a variety of roles. She worked as the BWell student office and communications coordinator, helping to create and distribute materials promoting mental, physical and sexual health on campus. She was a presidential intern for Brown Takes Care and helped implement Brown’s COVID-19 public health campaign to promote positive behavior change. She presented at the American College Health Association with Tanya Purdy on the success of this campaign. At BWell, Bonaparte is a wellness peer educator and works with student organizations to deliver educational interventions to students wishing to improve their wellness practices. She also served as a patient advocate with Connect for Health, where she helped connect low-income families to health resources and social services. She was a board member of the Campus Life Student Advisory Board. She is Brown’s representative for the Rhode Island Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Student Leaders Committee.
Bonaparte recently submitted her honors thesis in public health, which evaluated the impact that doulas can have on improving Black maternal mortality. She has published three additional research papers on the effects of vaping, COVID-19 and cardiac health issues. She will be continuing with research in her gap year before beginning medical school. When she is not working, Bonaparte loves trying new restaurants and planning get-togethers for friends and family.
Amanda is from Moorestown, New Jersey. She is receiving an A.B. in sociology. During her time at Brown, her work centered on building a more just, safe and equitable community in a variety of spaces, including athletics, as well as activism around community-based anti-sexual violence mobilization. Cooper spent a significant amount of time involved with varsity athletics at Brown, where she played four years of Division I field hockey. She was elected by her peers to serve as the co-president on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Executive Board, Brown’s student-athlete government. During her tenure as co-president, Cooper fought for graduate student eligibility in the Ivy League, increased the visibility of Brown’s student-athletes through the SAAC social media pages, met weekly with senior-level athletics administrators, helped write a 10-year master plan for SAAC, and got student-athlete graduation stoles approved by the vice president for athletics and recreation for all Brown student-athletes beginning in 2022.
Cooper fought for and helped implement a mandatory annual sexual assault prevention module for all student-athletes at Brown. She served as a student representative on Brown’s Culture of Respect Campus Leadership Team as well as on Brown University’s Title IX Council. Cooper worked as an organizer of Voices of Brown, a group made of current and former Brown students who run an Instagram page that serves to facilitate community-based anti-sexual violence work at Brown. Cooper sat on the Brown Campus Life Subcommittee on Athletics and Physical Education; served on the Executive Council of Brown’s nonprofit group Circle of Women; worked as a student ambassador for the Student Conduct and Community Standards Office; worked as a teaching assistant in the Department of Engineering (ENGN 0090); volunteered as a junior mentor in the Matched Advising Program for Sophomores; and re-founded an a capella group for student-athletes called Jockapella.
Lijin (Summer) Dai
Summer is from Beijing, China. She is receiving an A.B. in economics (honors) and an A.B. in education studies. Dai has dedicated much of her time as an undergraduate to building community and enhancing the student experience at Brown. She joined the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS) her freshman year in an attempt to find ways to engage with and improve the student experience within the Brown community, and she served on the UCS first as treasurer (2019-20), then as vice president (2020-21), and finally as president (2021-22). During her time on UCS, she established the Startup Fund, which increased funding access for new student groups on campus in collaboration with the Undergraduate Finance Board; organized a series of virtual Student [email protected] fairs with the Student Employment Office to increase student exposure to employment opportunities; initiated and hosted the first series of Undergraduate Town Halls with the Office of the President; and collected student feedback from campus-wide surveys to discuss during meetings with the Brown Corporation. She also met frequently and worked closely with the Department of Campus Life to address student concerns and compile helpful resources for the student body.
Outside of UCS, Dai worked as a research assistant for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, where she examined the impact of tutoring on educational outcomes. In addition to her role as a mentor in both the Meiklejohn Peer Mentorship Program and the Matched Advising Program for Sophomores, Dai served on the New Alumni Trustee Candidate Advisory Committee and the Brown University Community Council. Driven to action after learning about economic and educational inequalities through her coursework as an education studies and economics concentrator, Dai is passionate about increasing resources and better supporting students both at Brown and around the country. She is excited to work toward these goals while pursuing her master's in education policy and analysis at the Harvard Graduate School of Education after Brown.
Raelee is from Tahelquah, Oklahoma. They are receiving an A.B. in education studies. During their time at Brown, they spent much time in the House of Nínnuog, the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC) and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative, where they found communities to make a sprawling home across campus. Over their four years in the BCSC community, they worked as a graphic designer; a Third World Transition Program (TWTP) 2021 workshop facilitator; a coordinator for TWTP 2022: omi/ama bodies: sites of (re)memory; and a Native American Heritage Series (NAHS) coordinator. As a NAHS coordinator, Fourkiller helped plan and organize the 19th annual Spring Thaw Powwow. Further, their role as the Natives at Brown coordinator led them to holding various fundraisers for their community and to donate to transnational Indigenous movements, hosting Ivy Native Council in fall 2019, drafting the Native American and Indigenous studies curriculum, and co-creating space for Native students across the globe.
As an educator, Fourkiller has been involved with College Horizons, as a volunteer and mentor for Native high school students since 2017; published an article titled “The Teachers Have Something to Say: Lessons Learned from U.S. PK-12 Teachers During the COVID-impacted 2020-21 School Year”; created various syllabi dedicated to teaching Native literature in middle and high school classrooms; and drafted a syllabus for self-taught Cherokee language learners. By threading their artists pursuits with education, Fourkiller created an anthology titled “Skadugi” for their senior capstone. “Skadugi” explores the intimate connection, artistic curation and transformative creation a learning community can develop through creative writing; they looked to Cherokee pedagogies of care and relationality to create writing prompts and guidelines that they ultimately shared with their closest and dearest loved ones during circles.
Fourkiller has published in many campus magazines and newspapers, offering readings during community events and publishing three chapbooks, and now hosts open mic nights at Riff Raff bookstore in Providence. They hope to complete their chapbook titled “My Love is a Dedication” after graduation.
Jared is from Lithia Springs, Georgia. He is receiving an A.B. in English and an A.B. in religious studies. His passions and interests lie in community building, particularly in accountability and healing practices dedicated to supporting and transforming individuals without the punitive system. He has been a caucus leader for the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus of Brown Democrats and an advocacy committee leader of Brown Votes, an organization dedicated to improving voter registration, voting participation and civic engagement at Brown University.
Jones served as president of Harambee House as a sophomore, a leader of Black Christian Ministries since freshman year, and the president of Beta Omega Chi as a senior. In all of these organizations, he has dedicated himself to supporting Black students in achieving greater heights in every enterprise throughout their time at Brown.
Jones will be attending Yale Divinity School (YDS) in fall 2022 to start his journey of receiving a joint degree with Yale Divinity School and Law School. He plans on using his time in divinity school to study methods, techniques and ideologies of accountability and healing. Using what he learns from YDS, he plans to study criminal justice, doing abolitionist work, and to begin implementing a transformative justice framework that will seek to transform individuals within our community, reduce harm and install an alternative justice system that will hopefully replace this current punitive justice system.
Ashton C. Lam
Ashton is from Pleasanton, California. He is receiving an A.B. in economics and an A.B. in international and public affairs (development). At Brown, Lam’s work has centered around promoting equity and inclusion in spaces that have historically and systemically been inaccessible to underrepresented identities, namely pre-professional groups and academic departments such as economics. As co-president of the Economics Departmental Undergraduate Group (DUG), he created the DUG’s equity and inclusion team to broaden the range of perspectives and backgrounds represented by the department. One key initiative that he directed was a symposium titled “Conversations on Race and Capitalism,” hosted in April 2021 in collaboration with the Department of Sociology. Featuring speakers from the Rhode Island Senate, Stony Brook University and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice as well as attendees from across the country, the event aimed to uncover the structural racism rampant in modern market systems in the U.S., issues not widely discussed in introductory economics coursework.
Beyond the Department of Economics, Lam served as internal vice president of the Brown Consulting Club, where he conducted interview-based primary research with members of the student body to determine the biggest sources of inequality in recruiting for pre-professional clubs. His findings were promptly implemented into the club's recruitment protocol in the form of implicit bias trainings, a demographic survey and application mentorship, and these efforts culminated in a workshop that he co-hosted in late 2020 with Tidal Equality to disseminate recruiting best practices to the wider Brown community. Additionally, in 2021, Lam piloted a bilingual introductory business program that took place as a part of Hope High School's media arts class, through which he led biweekly educational sessions and hosted a college and career panel to connect high schoolers to college students of similar identities and backgrounds.
Outside of these roles, Lam has served as a teaching assistant, economics peer advisor and member of the College Curriculum Council. After graduating, he will be joining The Bridgespan Group in Boston as a consultant, through which he hopes to build greater expertise on the issues of sustainability and development and continue to champion justice, equity and inclusion.
Mia is from Trumbull, Connecticut. She is receiving her A.B. in Africana studies. Throughout her time at Brown, she spent the majority of her extracurricular time dedicated to student theater and the performing arts. Since enrolling at Brown as a sophomore transfer student in Fall 2019, McKinney has been a part of countless productions, both on and off stage. She also joined Harmonic Motion a cappella and served as the business manager for two years. In Fall 2020, McKinney joined Production Workshop, one of Brown’s student theater-producing boards. Production Workshop is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of T.F. Green, the only space on campus exclusively for student theater. As a part of her board responsibilities, McKinney served as one of the chairs of the T. F. Green Administrative Board and a liaison to the Student Activities Office (SAO).
As the community returned to campus after COVID, there were huge gaps in institutional knowledge in the student theater community. McKinney worked to rebuild the lost knowledge and assist in the production of multiple student productions. In Fall 2020, she started working for SAO as one of the coordinators of Underground Thursdays, a performing arts programming series. At first, the series was completely virtual because of COVID-19, and the programming was one of the only ways for students to engage with the performing arts. McKinney planned virtual events that were attended by hundreds of students throughout Spring 2020. After returning to campus, she cultivated a supportive and safe space for student performers to share their music and spoken word in person each month in the Underground. While working for SAO, McKinney has served on a number of interview processes for new staff members, assisting with panels and other events, lending a hand whenever she could. Through her relationships with SAO, McKinney has been able to help resolve conflict in the theater and a cappella communities by providing insight and advocating for students engaged in performing arts on campus.
After graduating from Brown, McKinney plans to get doula certified and eventually to go on to become a certified nurse midwife, hopefully assisting in efforts to lower rates of Black maternal and infant mortality.
David is a Nigerian-American student, artist and facilitator from the Bronx, New York. He is receiving an A.B. in communication and social influence (independent concentration). Since childhood, he has taken an interest in how communication styles and methods can change environments and affirm those who are often purposefully ignored. As a “freelance artist” at Brown, instead of an enrolled student (as his peers say), he has dedicated countless hours toward supporting Black students and Black creativity on campus. In numerous settings, such as the Black Student Union, the Alpha Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Multimedia Labs, the Community Dialogue Project and the Minority Peer Counselor Program, he has worked consistently to make sure Black students feel seen, supported and encouraged to create and celebrate. He has also spent much time offering support in spaces off campus, ranging from facilitation support in elementary school classrooms to offering spaces for students from multiple college campuses to connect.
He moves forward from Brown leaving behind pervasive multimedia documentation of Black life on campus, the newly founded Black Together Artist Group, many memories of what a care-filled affirming space feels like, and hopefully many deep breaths and lasting smiles. He often says “the way you let people know ‘this is what we do here’ is an immeasurably powerful responsibility.” With that, he hopes to continue encouraging more care-filled communication and art sharing in his communities. While progressing his personal multimedia work in photography, videography, sound, artistic curation and creative facilitation, he hopes to attend graduate school and then work in the arts and education.
Ciara is a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and aunt from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is receiving an A.B. in education studies and an A.B. in urban studies. As an individual holding identities that often get examined and theorized most in education research — a first-generation Black woman produced by inner-city public schools — Sing’s passion revolves around combating education inequity and working to reform education in a way that does not reinforce trauma.
At Brown, her work has consistently been centered around healing and joy for all students of color. She has committed her time to the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC), the Swearer Center, Bonner Community Fellows, ResLife, Brown's Pre-College Program and Brown Recreation. Through the BCSC, Sing has served as co-program coordinator of the Black Heritage Series, a minority peer counselor and a minority peer counselor coordinator. She facilitated workshops around transformative justice, the power of storytelling and ways to help students of color navigate Brown. As a Bonner Community Fellow, Sing worked in Providence nonprofit education organizations, working with children to advance their academic success. Through the Swearer Center, Sing was the student coordinator for the Civil Rights Trip at Tougaloo College and explored ways to enhance Bonner’s connection to the Brown-Tougaloo Partnership. Sing has served on the executive board of the Black Student Union (BSU) as first-year liaison, event coordinator, vice president and president. In her work with BSU, she provided opportunities for cultural enrichment and intellectual growth through educational, social and political programming. She forged connections across Brown’s Black network and built upon its beautiful legacy.
Sing is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the oldest Greek-letter organization established by African American college women, and is serving as Brown’s Iota Alpha chapter president. After graduation, Sing will be continuing her educational career at Brown University, obtaining her Master of Arts in Teaching. In life’s next step, Sing hopes to continue promoting equity, healing and love.