Providence College Names 2021-22 Newman Civic Fellow
Providence College announced today that Michaela Campbell ’22 has been selected as a 2021-22 Newman Civic Fellow.
The Newman Civic Fellowship is a year-long program recognizing community-committed students who have invested time and energy toward finding solutions to social justice issues facing communities throughout the country. The students selected for the fellowship are leaders on their campuses with a demonstrated passion for improving community life and educating students on civic and social responsibility.
A public and community service studies major from Holliston, MA, Campbell personifies the fellowship’s qualities as president of the campus student organization Society Organized Against Racism, known as SOAR; as a member of the Dialogue, Inclusion, and Democracy Lab; and as an orientation leader for first-year students.
For the last two years, Campbell has worked with Sophia Academy in Providence, a middle school for girls from low-income families that provides an education grounded in social justice. She facilitated an eighth-grade seminar on social justice-based community organizing and guided students and families through the high school application process.
Campbell built relationships with students and was rewarded with a view into the lives of young women who aspire to lead change in Providence and beyond. She learned about the systemic issues they face simply in pursuing an education. The contrast between these challenges and the ones she faces as a student at a private college less than 10 miles away was eye-opening, she said.
Her work at Sophia Academy and with SOAR has allowed Campbell to recognize the means necessary to confront and dismantle the fundamental causes of injustice, such as racism and discrimination, through less tangible solutions — reflection, education, reparation, dialogue, and policy change.
She is hopeful that she will be able to enact meaningful social change through her experiences with the Newman Civic Fellowship.
“I am most looking forward to connecting with peers across the country whose values align with mine,” Campbell said. “Doing social justice work can be overwhelming, but I am grateful to have the opportunity to connect with other young change-agents across the country, to foster resilience together, and to figure out how we can keep this momentum going beyond our college careers and into the workforce.”
Through her fellowship, which starts this fall, Campbell hopes to continue to refine her skills to tackle more complicated problems, while preparing to pursue a vocation that will help make a difference in the lives of others after she graduates.
“My hope is to help change the culture of PC to one in which every single student, no matter their lived experience, is expected to use their platform to combat the systemic injustice that our BIPOC students, faculty, and neighbors of Smith Hill are facing, and in the global community more broadly,” Campbell said. “I know it may be a bit controversial, but I think it’s really important especially considering so much of my work is focused on advocacy with — and justice for — students and faculty on campus.”