Big name, bigger voice

Hi, my name is Ladasia and I’m a rising senior studying Public Policy and Global Health. I identify as a Black Woman, sister, daughter, feminist, mental health advocate and Christian. My identity definitely shapes my walk through life and my goals. I grew up as one of the girls with the name teachers could never pronounce (I don’t think it’s that difficult) and learning not to take up space because of feeling that being black and having a “black sounding” name already drew too much attention. This experience meant never correcting people or allowing them to shorten me and my name. Learning to feel confident in taking space and using my voice to speak out against the social injustices I seen since my childhood is my life-long goal.

This summer I am working with Legal Momentum, a nonprofit organization for the legal education and advocacy of women’s rights. I’m specifically working on a project for their National Judicial Education Program where I will update a teen dating violence curriculum. I’m really excited because this information will be provided to judges and made accessible online for all. Working on this project will allow me to promote advocacy and awareness at a large-scale. This effort is important to me and my plan to dedicate my life to increasing outcomes of justice and equality for underserved communities, especially low-income, people of color.

Going into this internship I have questioned how the process of research translates to policy and what roles are needed to see policy change in matters of social justice. I am grateful to be learning about policy and research through my courses in school, but I believe real world insight is unmatchable. My biggest concern is about my capabilities since I don’t have experience working in social justice and this project is extremely important. But, I am learning that I cannot fear being a part of amazing projects when given the opportunity.

This summer I hope to gain insight into the work of nonprofit organizations and law environments promoting social justice. I also hope to gain some experience in social justice so I can better determine what type of graduate program to pursue.  I know what I want to spend my professional career doing broadly but I need to narrow it down soon. I am excited to learn with Legal Momentum.


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