Fellows in Action

2020 Corporation for National and Community Service Segal Fellows, Lamar Butler and Paul Nolan

Congratulations to our two newest Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Segal Fellows, Lamar Butler and Paul Nolan. Lamar and Paul will join our 2020 National Service Cohort, take part in a paid 1-year Fellowship at CNCS, and become lifelong Segal Fellows. 

Check out Paul Nolan and Lamar Butler's bios to hear more about their stories and accomplishments.


 

Segal Fellow Spotlight: Alejandra Bonilla

Because of the Segal Program, I am connected to a versatile group of folks who inspire and provide me with strength to pursue my goals. I was able to explore the housing world, outside of my comfort zone of grassroots organizing, and gain new and enriching knowledge that has made me a more competitive and prepared candidate for future career/organizing goals.

I was brought up within the context of housing instability and have witnessed, not only in my home, but also with complete strangers, the consequential weight that arises from not having secure housing. I am aware of the importance of proper representation when describing the ways in which housing affects everyone involved. As of right now, I aspire to take the LSAT, so I can apply to law school in a year or two, and potentially do a dual degree program with a JD and master’s in public policy. I recently began studying for the LSAT, while simultaneously continuing my Segal Internship with the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC). The work I do at SFHAC is reflective of my future career goals, as I am interested in exploring a career around housing law. This internship has equipped me with the knowledge and understanding of what housing in the Bay Area looks like, including its politics and community-based work, as well as the generational effects that one sided political decision making has on marginalized communities. All this drives and inspires my goal to receive an education that will allow me to best support my community

Pictured Above: Alejandra marshalling at a Mass Action against Police Brutality
This summer, I spent some time at home with my family in California, time in Minnesota visiting my partner, and have now returned to Waltham, MA, to prepare for my senior year at Brandeis. Due to the pandemic, my role as a daughter and advocate for my family has enhanced in many areas, as I have been putting my best effort into supporting my family with health, immigration and public resources. Additionally,  through the Segal Program, I have been virtually interning at the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition (SFHAC), where I have written letters of support for housing developers and worked on social media and website upkeep, and where I am constantly learning about housing language and its politics. Furthermore, I have done my best to stay in tune with supporting my community and its movements by acting as an English to Spanish translator for many Cosecha MA meetings, as well as attending and marshalling their Licenses for All protest. I also protested and marched for Black Lives Matter and bought medical products for on the ground EMTs in Minnesota. Through all of this, I have tried my hardest to still find time to be a source of support for my family, friends and comrades. 

The current state of events in the USA has only been fueled and heightened by the pandemic and our inability to continue with normalized subjugation. We, the Black, Indigenous and people of color of the USA, are aware of our disparities before recent societal changes and continue to be aware of them. This pandemic and the horrific killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, only made it so that it is impossible to turn a blind eye. It woke the ignorant and forced them out of their comfort. I believe that my work, activism, and citizen leadership has not changed immensely. The manner in which I do all of this has just adjusted. It obviously all feels riskier. Choosing to attend protests comes with the heightened risk and fear of police brutality and being exposed to COVID. Most organizing now happens virtually. Whether it be in-person or online, I continue my work in educating myself and those around me, I translate/interpret when needed for different groups, and I support my loved ones in whatever way possible. These events have personally and professionally only reaffirmed my goals and aspirations to continue working until our communities get the justice and liberation we deserve. 

Being a part of the Segal Network has been so reaffirming and crucial for my future during these trying times. To this day, I still amaze myself for having applied for the fellowship while abroad in Chile during the beginning of the social revolution there. Returning early from my abroad experience in Mexico to a state of emergency, financial issues at home, and the constant unknown of the future, Segal helped me shape my immediate path in a positive, enriching manner. It kept me secure knowing that I still had opportunities and experiences to look forward to virtually. The amount of support, guidance, and love I receive from Segal Program staff and the Fellows has been so crucial for me during this pandemic. The Fellowship has given me concrete reassurance in pursuing my future goals through constant motivation, cohort calls, check-ins, my mentor’s guidance, and the internship I have because of Segal’s connections. I look forward to continuing building and growing with the Segal Network.

Congratulations to our 2020 Brandeis Segal Fellows on their Segal Summer Internships

Find out more about how these Segal Fellows are building their citizen leadership skills, gaining professional experience, and working with our host site partners to make a positive impact in public health, Latinx political engagement, housing policy, education, technology accessibility in Gateway cities, and fighting against sexual harassment.

2020 Brandeis Segal Fellows with their internships

Special Thank You to our Frontline Workers

Our Segal Fellows work and volunteer in a variety of jobs, fields, and sectors, actively demonstrating our philosophy that there is no one way to be a citizen leader. Some of our Fellows are working during the COVID-19 pandemic as front line workers, helping those in need during this crisis. This summer we are highlighting some of the efforts of our Fellows in health care and education, as they give back (#segalfellowsgive).

 


 

We were thrilled to kick off our community of practice (CoP) for politically-engaged Segal Fellows at the end of March. In May, Segal Fellow Leila Quinn facilitated our next CoP about building connection and understanding across political lines and beliefs. In July, our CoP focused on working and volunteering for campaigns during the time of COVID-19 and how Fellows can increse their involvement. Our July Fellow facilitators were seasoned campaign volunteer Jess Kent and John Valinch, who is working for Damali Vidot's campaign for State Representative in MA. Please check out the events page for more information about past and upcoming CoPs.

Thanks to all of our Fellows who are participating in this peer community around political engagement and to our donor Mady Chalk (PhD '90) for supporting expansion of our civic engagement focus.

“The Segal Program is a source of inspiration, encouragement and energy. Individual passions drive collective progress. It has helped me expand my connections and resources and my understanding of and respect for social justice issues that aren’t my personal passions.”

Julie Livingstone, 2007 CNCS Segal Fellow