As a sociology major focusing on public policy at Cal State University San Marcos, I applied to the SEJ fellowship at the Center on Policy Initiatives, because I saw it as an extremely unique opportunity to learn from and connect with, the movers and shakers of San Diego. I am thrilled to be accepted, and the program has not disappointed. A typical training day at CPI starts out with a talk on class and power, moves to a lecture on labor history and labor law, is followed up with a conversation and exercise on organizing 101, then power mapping, and finally onto a lecture on understanding wage theft in San Diego. Of course, there are plenty of breaks!
Through both my direct training with CPI and my site placement at United Association Local 230 (Plumbers & Pipefitters union), I am learning to connect the dots between economic injustice and change-making in our community. As a college student with a medical disability, I was uncomfortable with the fact that in my classes, even the ones dealings with topics on social justice and intersectionality, disability was left out of the curriculum and the conversation. This prompted me to do something I would have never dreamed of prior to CSUSM – begin to advocate publicly at the University for a culture and a curriculum that is inclusive of disability. Now is the time for myself, and our community to organize against a future in which our healthcare system once again will exclude millions, including those most vulnerable. CPI is empowering me to do this.
The SEJ fellowship is competitive and CPI has high standards and expectations of their fellows. They invest a significant amount of time, money and resources into each of us, so that we will walk out the doors informed and equipped to take up the mission of economic and social justice for San Diegans. CPI is investing in a more equal San Diego by investing in us. We promise you, an investment in us and in the SEJ program makes a difference. We will not let you down.
My goal is to fund-raise 1,000$ to sustain this important program. Please consider donating. Thank you!
Read more about Kelsey Baird and the rest of the #SEJ2017 Cohort at: http://buff.ly/2sPQhmE