Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program

Fellows in Action

Congratulations 2022 Brandeis and Heller Segal Fellows

 

Congratulations to our 2022 Brandeis and Heller MPP Segal Fellows

Congratulations to our six newest Brandeis Undergraduate and Heller MPP Segal Fellows, who are all joining our 2022 Brandeis Segal Fellow Cohort. These inspiring and dedicated citizen leaders are joining a Network of 148 lifelong Segal Fellows and 500+ Segal Network partners making an impact across a wide range of issue areas and sectors. Through their participation in the Segal Program, Fellows are supported with professional development, a mission driven summer internship, leadership resources, and a powerful community with which to continue their growth as an agent for social change.

You can read their full bios online.

Segal Fellow Spotlight: Lamar Butler

2020 AmeriCorps (CNCS) Segal Fellow Lamar Butler

Because of the Segal Program, I have a family that wants to see this world become a better place and wants to do it together.

My biggest goal is to help break down the barriers of access, so that every community has an equal opportunity for exposure and growth. I am truly blessed to have had the many experiences I did growing up and matriculating through school; not everyone is able. Though I may not be able to recreate my exact experiences, I can still help expose youth to the endless possibilities available to them. I aspire to one day open a school that does education completely differently. I want to build a curriculum that allows students to gain the knowledge they need to succeed as adults and also chase their passions. A school where athletes, gamers, scientists, journalists, dancers, actors, medical doctors, police officers, astronauts, lawyers, etc. all are seen as viable career paths and the student is immersed in experiences that take them one step closer to the reality they see for themselves. To build something that complex, I'm going to need to understand various aspects of life, including business, leadership, education, and equity. Not only will I have to have book smarts, but I will also need emotional intelligence as well: Understanding people and their various walks of life. Being able to connect with every individual, regardless of identity, and help them see the value in giving it your all to pursue your dream. 

Pictured Above: Lamar Butler at the AmeriCorps offices, where he continues to work after his Segal Fellowship year there.

I currently work as a Racial Equity Specialist for AmeriCorps (formerly CNCS), where they asked me to stay on the team after my Segal Fellowship last year,  and I volunteer as a Program Director for the Tulsa Initiative, Inc. which is a nonprofit organization. In both of these positions, I am working to make true equity a reality for those around me and this country. At AmeriCorps we are focused on making service and volunteerism a cornerstone in the American experience, and to make this a reality we are doing our best to reach underserved communities that have less access to our resources. The Tulsa Initiative, Inc. is all about mentorship and building future entrepreneurs. We truly believe that by helping to build and shape the next generation of entrepreneurs, they will have a significant impact on their communities. Utilizing my position in both of these organizations, I intend to allow my work and experiences to join together to help create opportunities for youth that they never thought about.

My work with AmeriCorps is laying the foundation for understanding nonprofit organizations and how the federal government partners with communities. While my work with Tulsa is preparing me for creative program development and building my knowledge of entrepreneurship. I don't always understand how or why I have been given this level of access. I just know that if I am here, it is part of God's plan for my life and I need to take full advantage of the opportunities He has provided.

Being a Black man in America, the shift for me with all the new age awakening has been interesting. I definitely appreciate the wave of people wanting to do right and see change happen in this country, but living in the reality that I could die at any time while being pulled over by a White police officer wasn't a new realization. If anything, this movement for equity brings a slight aggravation because, in the face of how things are still playing out in our legal system, in schools, in the workplace, and in southern states, it just seems like this movement is the hot topic of the time. I wonder if people truly care or if they are just trying not to be called out at the moment. Like, why all of a sudden is this stuff a priority when our ancestors literally died so this wouldn't have to be our reality. What makes the riots and protests of 2020 any different or more significant than those that took place in the years before? I struggle with my work at times because I don't always feel like we are doing enough or moving with urgency. Imagine being a Black man who was a teacher knowing that each day there is some child losing hope about their future because they can't see beyond their immediate community, and where you work has resources that could change that child's entire life, yet the procedures and red tape make it difficult to truly get things done. This is what it's like for me, and because I'm new and still feeling uneasy about authenticity, I don't always speak up, which makes it even harder to look in the mirror and believe I am who I say I am. Society is changing, but is this a true change or just us putting on a different mask?

It has meant a lot to me to be a member of the Segal Network. I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people who are changing my life through their support and conversation. I am constantly challenged because I know I'm not the smartest person in the room, which fuels my desire to learn more and specifically learn more from the Network. In both the formal and informal settings, there has been such a sense of love and acceptance that I never feel out of place. Even when I'm not thinking like everyone else or my thoughts may be in a different direction, I'm welcomed as my authentic self with open arms. The Segal Network has given me real moments of self reflection, and revelations that are not easy to come by. I am pushed to look at myself and my interactions with the world in a way that causes a constant evolution of my perspective that makes me a better man. 

 

Pictured Above: Damond Ford speaking about Fellow experience at 2019 Segal Fellow Retreat

Being a Fellow with the Segal program  has meant a lot to me. I found some life long friends, but also a network of change makers. These change makers do the work that is necessary without the fanfare of recognition. And the Segal Program has some of the best people on the planet, so it's easy to speak highly of the program and the Fellows. I make it a regular part of my professional and personal life to check in with my support systems and network with the Segal Program. Whether it’s checking in with Fellows I’ve met over text, meeting often for our monthly convenings, or offering wisdom as a Fellow, I truly enjoy the friendship, fellowship, and support I have received from being part of this community.


 

Flyer for 2021 Brandeis Segal Fellow Internships

2021 Segal Summer Internships

Congratulations to our 2021 Brandeis Segal Fellows on their summer internships, and thank you to our organizational partners. This year our Fellows tackled issues related to HIV & health equity, childcare and student debt initiatives in Boston, racial equity policy, policing reform, international peace building, youth immigration, and education advocacy through law. The 2021 Segal Summer Internship page has full details on each internship, our partners, and their great work together  this summer to promote social justice.

 


 

Fellow in Action Highlights

Learn more about how are Segal Fellows are also making a difference around voting rights/election engagement and the COVID pandemic.

Segal Fellow COVID-19 Frontline Workers

Segal Fellows Election Spotlight 

Segal Fellows in Media