Social Justice Articles & Blogs

Krissy Truesdale, founder of Solar For Our Superheroes stands outside at Clark University in Worcester
January 31, 2017
Clark University sophomore Krissy Truesdale lives each day to make the world a cleaner, greener and friendlier place. Solar for Our Superheroes (S4OS), the nonprofit she formed as a 16-year-old, is how she hopes to accomplish that. Truesdale, a Traina Scholar who’s planning to major in Global Environmental Studies,...
Clark University alumni Leah Penniman ’02, M.A.T. ’03, and her husband, Jonah Vitale-Wolff ’02
December 23, 2016
In the summer of 2014, Leah Penniman ’02, M.A.T. ’03, and her husband, Jonah Vitale-Wolff ’02, invited 20 aspiring black and Latino farmers to spend a week at their upstate New York property. Participants arrived at Soul Fire Farm from nearby cities, and as far away as Florida and California, to “restructure the narrative...
Activist Tom Hayden speaks at Clark University in 2011
October 26, 2016
Editor’s note: Robert J.S. “Bob” Ross, research professor of sociology, wrote this reflection about activist and legislator Tom Hayden, 76, who died Sunday in California. Ross was close to Hayden, as a student activist and throughout his academic career. Hayden, a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, was a civil rights...
Thomas Kühne,David Pijawka, Judy Dworkin and Jody Emel, seated in chairs, talk about issues in "Indian country."
October 19, 2016
Alumni Judy Dworkin, PhD ’78, and David Pijawka, PhD ’83, recently returned to Clark University to talk about their experiences in Arizona working with American Indians. Their talk, titled “The Challenges in Indian Country in the 21st Century: Planning, Law and Community,” was sponsored by the Graduate School of Geography...
19th-century map of the colony of Liberia
October 4, 2016
In a recent lecture at Clark University, Ousmane Power-Greene, professor of history, put words to the African-American struggle against “King Cotton” and the desire to find a homeland — and a place to build community. Ousmane Power-Greene
Radiant Sport
September 20, 2016
Raja Venkatachalam, M.B.A. ’16, always thought life was easy before starting Radiant Sport, his nonprofit sports organization focused on engaging people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. “When I interacted with orphans and the downtrodden, my perspective of life changed,” says Venkatachalam, who recently earned a degree...
Poster of Defying the Nazis PBS special showing people with baby
September 19, 2016
"Hitler came to power on January 30, 1933. Within half a year, the life of every single Jew living in Germany — that’s half a million people — was radically changed.” These words are among comments contributed by Holocaust historian and Clark University Professor Debórah Dwork in “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps' War,” the...
Thana Faroq '13 is a photographer in Yemen
September 15, 2016
Thana Faroq '13 took her first photograph — a picture of her family — using her father’s camera when she was just 10 years old. Back then, she and her family lived in a peaceful Yemen, one without war or bloodshed.
Farida Hassan conducts field work in Turkana County, Kenya
September 2, 2016
After earning a master’s degree in environmental science and policy from Clark University, Farida Hassan, M.S./ES&P ’10, identified a need for environmentally sustainable community development in one of the places that mattered the most to her — Kenya, the country where she was born. “I wanted to give back to my...
Dea Dodi stands with flags at the United Nations
August 16, 2016
There are few places Dea Dodi ’17 likes to be more than in the United Nations building in New York. You could say she’s been working her way there since the tender age of 12 when she first asked her parents what the term “political science” meant.
August 9, 2016
The professors and students in Clark’s Community Development and Planning (CDP) program learn from and work alongside members of the very community they want to transform. Their research not only pursues solutions to problems besetting urban neighborhoods, but also helps governments and nonprofits aspire to a more socially...
Charlie Bresler, M.A.’83, Ph.D.’84, walked away from a lucrative career and found a richer purpose
August 5, 2016
"You’re gonna like the way you look.” George Zimmer, the gravel-voiced founder and CEO of Men’s Wearhouse, delivered the line in countless television commercials that touted his clothing stores, punctuating each ad with the promise, “I guarantee it.” Zimmer peddled suits, slacks, shirts and ties with the fervor of a guy...
Hasnaa Mokhtar in the Goddard Library at Clark University
August 4, 2016
I pushed my seven-month-old son, Malik, in his stroller with one hand while trying to fix my hijab (head covering) with the other. I was at the supermarket on a late Wednesday afternoon buying groceries. I couldn’t help but notice an older man fixated on me. He is staring at my headscarf. It feels heavy on my head. I wish...
Christopher Owens, professor Jude Fernando and the rest of the class visit Haiti
August 3, 2016
Since arriving at Clark University last fall to study international development and social change, Christopher Owens, M.A. '17, has traveled to conduct research about refugees in two countries: Haiti and Jordan. Read more about Christopher Owens' trip to Haiti with Associate Professor Jude Fernando, pictured here in a...
August 2, 2016
A low hum of chatter fills the dining room of the Worcester Senior Center as Anita Fábos describes the findings of Shared Worlds, a research project exploring the relationships between the city’s native-born and foreign-born residents.
Rachel Polinsky, right, listens to Richard Freund talk abou the Holocaust escape tunnel
July 28, 2016
A recent Clark University graduate is part of a research story that has made international headlines: archaeologists’ discovery of a tunnel dug by Jews in Lithuania trying to escape extermination during the Holocaust.
Themal Ellawala, psychology student and Steinbrecher Fellow at Clark University, posed in front of a GLBTQ rainbow flag on a beach in Sri Lanka
July 21, 2016
Themal Ellawala ’17, a psychology major at Clark University, returned to Sri Lanka this summer to research how culture, gender norms and stigma affect non-heterosexuals in the island nation where he grew up. Ellawala (pictured above) is interviewing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and others (LGBTQ+) who fall...
July 7, 2016
Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel died last week at 87 years old, but not before working unflaggingly to keep the memory of those lost during the Holocaust alive and to encourage the world to remember and understand what both victims and survivors endured. “Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices,” he said...
Lelani Williams demonstrates her Sun Top Solar Cooker on a sunny day at Clark University in Worcester.
June 29, 2016
On a sunny day in Haiti, Lelani Williams, M.B.A./M.A. (CDP) '16, started crafting a recipe. She wanted to feed people devastated by natural disasters, but, more importantly, help them feed themselves more easily in the future. Her recipe didn’t use traditional ingredients. It consisted of equal parts hard work, inspiration...
Jude Fernando overlooks a field in Haiti in 2016
June 28, 2016
Sitting on the edge of the bed of a pickup truck with a driver "maniacally navigating" the chaotic streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Associate Professor Jude Fernando is relaxed and smiling, with his hair and long beard blowing in the wind. He's explaining what connections the five Clark University graduate students...
Stephen Steinbrecher and President David P. Angel with alumni Steinbrecher and Anton fellows
June 27, 2016
When Ali Canino ’12 saw the campground for the first time, her heart sank. Due to severe drought, Sioux YMCA’s Camp Marrowbone in north-central South Dakota had not been used in seven years, and it was a disaster. The buildings were falling down, there were no bathrooms, barbed wire was everywhere and the electrical...
Francis Lelo speaks during Clark University's 2015 commencement
June 22, 2016
When Francis Lelo, Ph.D. ’94, was a boy in rural Kenya, the local school was seven kilometers from his home. His family had no access to a vehicle, and the teachers punished any tardiness with a smack across the backside with a cane. The clear benefits of punctuality meant that simply walking to school was not an option.
Clark University students with urban farmers and college students from Bogota, Colombia
June 15, 2016
Millennials, now the “largest segment of the U.S. labor market,” have latched on to social entrepreneurship, seeking to use innovative ideas to solve the world’s most pressing problems, Forbes reports. They want to support and work for businesses and organizations that make a difference.
Carla Lee Perez
June 15, 2016
Carla Lee Perez ’19 traveled to Colombia recently as part of a Clark University social entrepreneurship project to assist the Fundación Mujeres Empresarias Marie Poussepin (or Marie Poussepin Women Entrepreneurs Foundation), a nongovernmental organization (NGO) based in Bogotá. The foundation helps women develop urban...
Massachusetts Senator Harriette Chandler speaks at Clark University
June 10, 2016
About 40 public health officials, city and state representatives and academics gathered at Clark University this week to celebrate the success of collaborative health initiatives in Worcester – and discuss next steps, including curbing opioid-related overdoses.   The 2016 Greater Worcester Community Health Improvement...

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