This summer, 16 students will promote democracy and broaden their engagement with the public sphere through Wesleyan’s Engage 2020 Initiative (E2020) Fund.
The initiative is a comprehensive university effort to support student learning via civic engagement and liberal arts education. Wesleyan’s Civic Action Plan sets goals for building civic preparedness among students, faculty, and staff, and for enhancing the University’s role in public life.
Summer E2020 Fund recipients receive grants to support costs associated with lodging, meals, computer software, project supplies, and phone and internet services. In addition, participants enroll in the quarter-credit course CSPL 494, Internship: Elections, which requires students to participate with an electoral process for at least 40 hours, offer structured reflection, and complete a final paper.
To date, 33 students have received one of Wesleyan’s 40 E2020 grants during the fall, spring, and summer. The summer grantees will begin their work in July.
The Summer E2020 Initiative Fund recipients and their projects are described below.
Gender and sexuality studies major Leslie Caratachea ’22 will use her bilingual skills to lead a “voting squad” to help members of the Latinx community register to vote through her project When We All Vote.
“Through When We All Vote, I hope I can improve my rural Latinx community’s voting turnout, and help my community voice their opinion. I hope that through this volunteer work I am able to learn how to provide others with resources on how to vote . . . and grow more as a community leader and as a person.”
Anna Ribeiro ’23 will work with Dianne Morales on her New York City mayoral election, helping with fundraising, research, and outreach. “As a first-generation, low-income student who is also the daughter of immigrants, I find Dianne’s efforts [in] becoming the first female mayor of NYC to not only be admirable but also [an inspiration to] me to help elevate her cause,” Ribeiro said. “I think that, as a direct result of [involving] myself in campaign work, whether it be fortifying my fundraising skills or brushing up on my outreach, this internship will teach me a lot about the inner workings of a campaign, in particular of a local election. I hope that through my work in my campaign, I can network with individuals who are also passionate about radical reformation in New York City politics, as well as learn new skills and knowledge about the workings of local government . . . and bring that knowledge back to Wesleyan, not only to educate my fellow peers but also to see if I can implement my newfound knowledge and skills to local politics in Middletown to help support our community.”