"My name is Gwendolene Mugodi and I am a writer and the founder of Paivapo Storytellers, a movement that aims to provide better access to local, good quality literature to the children in Zimbabwe--and eventually beyond. Our work would not be complete without the help of local artists like Abel Zvorufura who I met through the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. As two different artists we spent about a month and a half going back and forth on this book until we got to a place we were both happy with. I look forward to sharing that full book in a few months, but for now here's a little bit about Abel and why he does what he does."
Sowing the Seeds
Rie Ohta ’13.5 is a Starr Fellow working on a semester-long workshop called $ocial Classmates that aims to create a safe space in which Brown students may constructively explore social class.
I had expected that by the end of the summer things would have changed – something unexpected and fascinating would have happened – and I was a little unnerved that it didn’t. I continued working as I had throughout the summer, developing curricula and reaching out to people and groups on campus to try and connect.
Since the semester started, however, things have been moving at an unprecedented pace. Suddenly people are reaching out to us, asking for workshop facilitation, the semester-long workshops are a go - though we had to disband one of the three, leaving one facilitator without a job (we’re working on it!) - and the ambassadors are gearing up and doing amazing work already. I almost feel like I can just sit back and watch! I can’t of course, coordinating is no joke. But transitioning from being the only person working on something, to having eight dedicated people working by my side has been a huge relief, and not just in terms of workload, but for $ocial Classmate’s future as well.
Now the challenge is transitioning from a coordinator – managing and designing and enforcing and checking in – to a coach and mentor for whoever will take my place. It’s hard to know the line between enough and too much when it comes to mentoring: how much structure should I put in place? How can I delegate work to specific people such that it translates to the new team next semester? How can I ensure the connections I’ve made this semester will carry over to the new coordinators next semester? And the most pressing question, how can I ensure the next coordinators have an entrepreneurial vision for $ocial Classmates that will carry it to the next level?
Any one of them could take my place next semester, and with the great work they’re doing, I want to figure out a way to recognize each of their contribution. Ultimately, I’m guessing a few will leave at the end of this semester, and a few more will join the team. Right now, I need to keep everything on track, mentor and help out where I can, and start sowing the seeds that will hopefully sprout next year.
August 11, 2016
June 13, 2016
Lauren Maunus '19 is starting a bold new venture.
Its goal: To help eliminate food waste and bring healthy, affordable food to "food swamps" in Rhode Island and beyond.
March 15, 2016"If little girls like me were saying Barbie is the pretty one and the brown one is the ugly one, that's a problem."
Yelitsa Jean-Charles studies Illustration at RISD with a a concentration in Gender, Race & Sexuality. She identifies as a visual activist, and believes that artists have a responsibility as society’s image-makers. Her doll company and book series, Healthy Roots, combats internalized racism and colorism by getting to the root of the problem: altering beauty standards and cultviating self-love for young girls through education, diversity, and positive representation.
March 12, 2016An Excerpt
Mina is a Brown-RISD Social Innovation Fellow. She traveled to her home in Iran last summer and brought back a cultural souvenir: the book she wrote, Taste of Culture. She explores Iranian families, streets, stores and the stories and spirit embedded in the recipes of Iranian food. She hopes to start a conversation about the benefit of knowing cuisines of different cultures to connect societies.
This year's class of Brown-RISD Social Innovation Fellows have just begun their yearlong foray into the world of social entrepenuership. Check out their projects here.
December 16, 2015
Ria is a 2015 Social Innovation Fellow and co-founder of No Country for Women (NCFW), an internationally-recognized gender education initiative that aims to combat systemic gender-based discrimination in India. Ria and her co-founder, Shreena Thakore ’16, who grew up in India, were awarded the Projects for Peace fellowship and used this grant to launch the project in May of 2014. NCFW was set up to educate the people in India on gender, rape culture, and misogyny through a series of workshops and initiate informed discussions about social change.
I was inspired by Ria’s story because she was determined to start a conversation about an issue in a country that fights hard to keep such issues silent and hidden. We reflected on Ria’s experiences, her interactions with young people, most of whom had never thought about this obvious form of discrimination before, and her moments of self-doubt and extreme conviction.
October 2, 2015