In this interview, Justice Gaines, Brown University class of 2016, discusses her undergraduate career at Brown and highlights her activism on campus.
Gaines begins by sharing some background on her high school experiences participating in theatre of the oppressed and JROTC in New Jersey. She explains choosing to attend Brown on the recommendation of her mother and describes how she found her friend groups on campus. She mentions participating in Gravediggers Poetry Collective and the Third World Center, now the Brown Center for Students of Color.
Gaines describes in detail the reaction of the campus to a scheduled presentation by Ray Kelly, Commissioner of the New York Police Department. She talks about the student protests on campus before and after the event which was cancelled, as well as the University’s response. Additionally, she addresses student movements regarding Brown’s investment in coal, Imagine Rape Zero, and the name change for the Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday.
In closing her interview, Gaines briefly discusses her path toward identifying as a trans-woman, grappling with topics of race and socioeconomic privileges, and being politically involved in Providence’s communities.
The Pembroke Center thanks Sebastián Castro Niculescu for serving as the peer curator of trans oral histories for the Pembroke Center Archives.
Page-Robinson Hall, Brown University