Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program

John Rodrigues

2020 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

John Rodrigues is a Cape Verdean-American born and raised in Brockton, MA. He is a junior majoring in Health: Science, Society, and Policy, with triple minors in African-African American Studies, Legal Studies, and Social Justice Social Policy. While at Brandeis John has found community in the Student Support Services Program as a Peer Mentor and as a member of the Student Leadership Board, creating inclusive spaces by planning study breaks, cultural enrichment events and mentoring first year students in the program. He works in the Undergraduate Admissions Office as a front desk worker and for Public Safety as a campus driver. He is also a part of the Student Health Advisory Committee as a Minority Representative, advocating on behalf of minority students to ensure an inclusive holistic experience at the campus health center. Last summer he participated in the Justice Brandeis Semester, specifically in the Health, Law, and Justice program. For 10 weeks, he explored legal and ethical issues in the American healthcare system and the numerous reforms it has undergone, while also discussing the future of the healthcare system. He engaged directly with key stakeholders and underwent an immersive learning experience through projects and field visits. Through his advocacy and passion, John plans on addressing the legal system’s interaction with different diseases and illnesses and the impact that inadequate access to health services has on incarceration rates. He wants to gain a better understanding of the times when society has responded to health issues through legal action rather than medical intervention. He also plans to use his advocacy to address the systemic racism that exists in this system and its impact on access and the quality of care that minoritized groups receive. John is excited to have an impact on healthcare policy as a Segal Fellow this summer.