The summer before she came to Brown, Jenell Grier-Spratley read “The New Jim Crow,” a book that exposed her to the social injustice of mass incarceration in the United States.
“It infuriated me and made me feel powerless,” she says. “But when I arrived at Brown and saw that there were tangible ways to combat the problems of the prison-industrial complex, like volunteering for the Petey Greene Program, I was relieved. I could constructively channel my frustration into positive change.”
Through the Petey Greene Program, Jenell tutors incarcerated people in Rhode Island who are working on their education. But that’s one part of Jenell’s work for social justice. She’s also a volunteer with Connect for Health, a local health equity nonprofit, and Brown Elementary After-School Mentoring, a program that pairs Brown student mentors with kids in local public schools.