Ureka Challenge 2021 participant, and Clark University student, Gari De Ramos ’21, founder of Radical In Progress has been busy getting the word out about her educational website, which provides free study guides, similar to Spark Notes, on must-read social justice literature.
Gari’s social justice and activism journey started years ago in junior high school, however, she was particularly moved by the events related to police brutality against Black Americans this past summer. Though she considers herself to be an activist, her definition is a bit different than common thought, and one that supports the mission of RIP. Inspired by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, Gari was able to refine her definition of what it means to be an activist.
To Gari, an activist “is someone fighting for policy and power change, which means they don’t have to have a successful track record right away”. These thoughts inspired “in progress” in the name of her venture.
Gari’s personal journey in social justice and activism helps her have compassion for those trying to gather, sift through, and understand the massive amounts of material published on current social justice topics. It can be complicated, so that is where RIP comes in and breaks down topics into easy-to-read study guides that summarize text on all types of social justice issues from white supremacy and antiracism, to mutual aid and disability justice!
Noting that RIP’s target audience is Generation Z, Gari turned to TikTok, a popular social media platform for Gen Zers, to get the word out. Since starting RIP’s TikTok page about a month ago, RIP has built a following of almost 40k followers with over a quarter-million views! Additionally, since Radical in Progress’s website launched, a mere month ago, more than 78,000 unique visitors have visited the site.
Gari knows there is much work to be done to get the word out. She was recently awarded $5000 from Teen Vogue and the Omidyar Network project which named her one of three winners in a contest aimed at recognizing young people for their work to enact social change. Gari plans on using the funding to pay creators to develop additional content for RIP. And, on Wednesday, March 3rd, Gari will be an invited presenter at Quinsigamond Community College as part of their Open Educational Resource series on how to help faculty incorporate the study guides into their curriculum.
And of course, Gari is helping fellow Clarkie’s too. She recently was a guest on Figures of the Future a Clark student-run podcast hosted by Ahiela Watson ’21. Take a listen and hear Gari’s fascinating journey.
If you want to learn more or be a part of the phenomenon, you can contact Radical in Progress to find out how to become a volunteer or an intern.